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Ray
Ray, Employment lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  30 years in Employment law
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Can a company offer group short term disability and group

Customer Question

Can a company offer group short term disability and group term life based on having worked for the company for 30 months and excluding everyone else?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.

Yes they can as long as they offer it to all employees who have worked there 30 months or more.

he key is to make sure that benefits plan decisions are nondiscriminatory, keeping in mind the adverse impact on protected groups and any unintentional discrimination that may result from those decisions. The EEOC Compliance Manual of Employee Benefits, Section 3 provides this helpful guidance:

This Section addresses discrimination in life and health insurance benefits; long-term and short-term disability benefits; severance benefits; pension or other retirement benefits; and early retirement incentives. Under the ADEA, the ADA, and Title VII, charges involving these types of benefits may raise unique issues that require special analysis. This Section discusses that analysis in detail. At bottom, however, the fundamental principle of the anti-discrimination laws applies in this context as in all others: if an employer provides a lower level of benefits to an individual based on a prohibited factor, it must make out a defense. If it cannot do so, its conduct will be unlawful, and cause should be found.

- See more at: https://www.shrm.org/templatestools/hrqa/pages/offeringdifferentbenefitsfordifferentemployees.aspx#sthash.WY5GhHWe.dpuf

ADA would only look at this for discrimination if only one employee were offered these benefits.As long as all employees with a certain length of service are offered them there is not going to be a problem and ADA and EEOC would not address this.The employer can set a time period, all employees are eligible after 30 months of service, as long as they are uniform here it is not a problem.Overall there is very little regulation of benefits under federal and state law as long as they are applied uniformly--all employees with 30 months service are eligible here.

I appreciate the chance to help you today.Thanks again.

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