Category Archives: Health Benefits

This category examines the complicated subject of health benefits. Topics include President Obama’s new health care legislation, denying benefits, discrimination in benefits, changing benefit plans, family and medical leave, and much more. It also looks at real world examples and cases to shed light on benefits law in California.

Pregnancy Series #3 – Maternity Leave – What You Should Know About California Law

Maternity Leave, California, FMLA, CFRAIf you just found out that you are pregnant let me be the first person in the Internet world to say, “Congrats!” There is nothing more exciting that expecting a child. I know this from experience. My wife and I just had our first daughter and I want to jump for joy. I couldn’t be happier.

But if you’re a working woman this might be daunting. What does your pregnancy mean for your job? It obviously means you must take time off for doctor visits, pregnancy classes, labor, and recovery. But how much time can you take off? What protections does California law afford?

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA) are the laws at issue. The FMLA, in combination with the CFRA, provides California working mothers with the best maternity leave rights in the nation.

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Filed under CFRA - California Family Rights Act, Employee Benefits, Family & Medical Leave, FMLA - Family & Medical Leave Act, Health Benefits, Health Care, Leaving a Job, Maternity Leave, Pregnancy, Sex Discrimination

Hostess Brands vs. Employee Pensions – Will Twinkies Die?

I’m not ashamed to admit that I ate a Twinkie the other day. It was my first Twinkie in about three years. It melted in my mouth and tickled warm memories of my childhood. I enjoyed it immensely. I told myself that I need to eat more of those delicious yellow cream-filled cakes, but sadly that soon might not be possible.

The maker of Twinkies, Hostess Brands, is bankrupt. Hostess owes more than a billion dollars to creditors. The bakers’ union pension fund was the biggest creditor, owed $994 million. Usually, bankruptcy isn’t a big deal for consumers such as myself, because companies continue to make and sell their products through the bankruptcy proceedings. Usually the company emerges from bankruptcy a more financially sound enterprise because the court discharges debt and other unsavory financial obligations. Well, Hostess Brands is asking the bankruptcy court in White Plains, N.Y. to tear up its labor agreements, which would allow Hostess to change how it funds union pensions. If it continues to fund them as it has been the company will run out of money.

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Filed under Employee Benefits, Health Benefits, Health Care, Labor Law

Can my company drop our health insurance?

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that sets minimum standards for most voluntarily established pension and health plans in private industry to provide protection for individuals in these plans.  However, this law does not mandate companies carry health insurance for its employees.  In fact, 47% of small businesses are thinking of dropping their health insurance.  OC Register


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Filed under Employee Benefits, Health Benefits, Health Care