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Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 16379
Experience:  15 years exp all aspects of general law
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I taught at Sunnyside High School for 26 years. For the last

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I taught at Sunnyside High School for 26 years. For the last three years, I was on a retiree-hiring program on a year to year terminal contract. I was not extended a contract in May, 2012, and I got a job elsewhere. Today, I received a letter from the Sunnyside District HR that said,

"According to Sunnyside practice, an employee's insurance will termininate effective August 31st of the year in which the employee works their last contract day. This situation applies to you, however due to the fact that the Benefits Department was not notified of your last day until November, we were not able to retro-terminate your insurances back to August 31, 2012.

"Your insurances, as noted below, were terminiated effective September 30, 20123. Due to this termination date, you are responsible to pay the following premiums for your insurances:" (Itemization for medical, dental, and life insurances came out to $1,194.78.

I was well aware (as are all employees) of the usual August 31st termination of insurance, and I had no clue that HR mistakenly extended my insurance. I did not use any of the insurances after August 31st. Curious to the whole thing is that shortly after my evaluating administrator told me that my contract was not to be renewed, I received a new contract in the District mail. When I emailed my administrator, she said that it was an error. She evidently contacted HR because the head of HR called me within the hour, apologized, and asked for the contract back. I gave it back to HR that day. (That was in late April or early May.)

Am I in any way "responsible" for this bill?

Hello there


If you did not use the services then that means that you had no way of knowing that you were still being covered by these services after the time period that you should not have been covered. This is definitely a situation where it is in the eyes of the person reviewing the matter -- they have no reason to say to you that you knew or should have known that these services were continued if you did not use them and my suggestion to you is to simply tell them that you are not responsible for these charges because you did not request and extension and you did not use or benefit from the extension. They may get upset and try to take the matter to small claims court but it is a case I believe that you will win. Unfortunately, in a situation like this, there is no statute or law in your state or any state that says "If they make a mistake then the employee is still responsible for the charges". A court will look at what you were contracted for and when that was supposed to end and see that you had no way of knowing there was a mistake that you should have reported and will find in your favor on this matter -- it all boils down to the facts and the contract language. If they were supposed to terminate it and did not do so, then that is their mistake.


I truly wish I could give you a more definitive answer than that, but as I said, it will turn on the facts of what happened in the individual case. However, if you do not pay it they may not hire you back again for additional teaching jobs and if they do, they could try to take the money out of your paychecks stating that you owe it to them when you begin working for them again.



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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Your answer is fine and is what I would have expected. There is one issue that I would point out:

In your answer, there are words at the end of each line that are partial or missing. There is some problem with the formatting of your program (or possibly with my email provider). This is what I received: " had no way of knowing tha were still being covered...." It was like that all through the answer. I cut and pasted your answer into Word, and all of your answer appeared, including the parts that were missing, so I was indeed able to read your complete answer.

Thank you for telling me this. I will alert our computer department about this issue.