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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 39043
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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Can your employer make you take their insurance even if you

Resolved Question:

Can your employer make you take their insurance even if you dont need insurance (insured through my husbands insurance) and when i started working there exactly ago, insurance was offered and i signed none. option one. the salaries is 19.00 an hr and if yes to insurance is 16.00. I was told on Friday that now is mandatory that i take the insurance so my salary will be 16.00 even if i have insurance and this non negotiable for everybody. Can they do that i have good insurance and dont need a second carrier more expensive. I am from Texas please help guide me what can i do
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 7 years ago.

Interesting problem.

What you are describing is not a mandatory insurance provision. Rather it's simply a pay cut from $19 per hours to $16, because there is no way to avoid the pay reduction.

That said, there is no express law prohibiting the employer's policy. The policy could be found to be unlawful discrimination if it disparately impacts certain minority groups (over/under 40 years, gender, etc.). Or, it could be viewed as "conversion" (civil theft), because the employer is forcing the employee to accept a service that the employee may not want.

However, the change that the employer has now made, is probably the result of receiving legal counsel to that effect. Now that it's simply a pay cut, there's likely no law being violated.

Even if you were to sue on the theory that this is all a pretext for a paycut, you woud lose, because there is no law against cutting employee pay.

Hope this helps.

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I need more information, numbers, info inwriting. The employer stated that Texas is rt to work state and they can do that. I work for Ingenesisportal is a contracted company for the goverment (william Beaumont Medical Hospital) they hire medical coders to provide this service to their contracted customer. I dont know what to do.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 7 years ago.
I don't understand your question.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
i need more information regarding your answer, so an employer can tell you yes you have to take our insurance and this is how much is going to cost you (whether you have coverage or not) and even after a signed contract where i stated option one (which is no to insurance) back in June of 2008. and if you dont accept this your gone. the only exception is for the employees covered by tricare! I am wrong here thinking that is this is wrong and falls under discrimination. I dont understand how they can do that without any kind of notice, or nothing. help!
Expert:  socrateaser replied 7 years ago.

You're altering the facts to suit your argument. If that's what you want to do, then you can be correct, because I can change my answer to suit whatever facts you present.

For example, if you characterize the employer's actions as forcing you to accept health insurace rather than the wage equivalent, then that would be the tort of conversion, and you could sue the employer for damages, due to the theft.

However, previously you described facts that suggest you have been subjected to a pay cut of $3.00 per hour -- and there's nothing unlawful about that. If you continue to work, then you are consenting to the pay cut.

Texas is an "at will" employment jurisdiction, and under that well-established doctrine, an employer or employee can alter or terminate the employment relationship at any time and for any reason -- or for no reason at all. See Montgomery County Hosp. Dist. v. Brown, 965 S.W.2d 501, 502 (Tex. 1998).

Thus, your employer can cut your pay at any time and your only recourse is to quit your job.

Re your "signed contract." A written statement that you do not want insurance, under the "at will" doctrine, applies only as long as each party to the contract agrees to continue the employment relationship unchanged. As soon as someone wants to change the deal, they can, and as soon as they do, if the other party continues to work or employ, the deal is confirmed as changed.

I know that you are certain that the employer must be violating some law. I can tell you that in Texas, an employer can successfully fire an employee, even though the employee was being asked to violate a criminal law, unless the employee can prove that the termination was for the sole reason of refusing to violate the law. This means, that if the employer had any other reason for terminating the employee, that it could use that reason in combination with the fact that the employee refused to violate the law, and thereby fire the employee. See Sabine Pilot Services Inc v. Hauck, 687 S.W.2d 733, 735 (Tex. 1985).

The point I'm trying to make here is that the employment relationship has always heavily favor employers in Texas, and there appears to be no end in sight. So, while you may want to believe that you are being wronged, that wrong is not necessarily illegal.

The law does not right all wrongs. It just maintains order among members of society.

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