Except for health coverage, there is no requirement that private companies offer employee benefits.
Federal law does require, though, that firms that offer benefits live up to their promises.
That’s where the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, comes in. It says that companies must adequately fund any benefit it promises employees. ERISA requires companies to carefully spell out the details of plans and make sure employees have that information. It mandates a fair and fast claims process.
It can include 401(k) plans, health savings accounts and life insurance. It also covers short-term disability, long-term disability and much more.
It’s a complex area of the law for both companies trying to manage the programs and for workers trying.
That’s why it’s important for an employee who’s denied benefits to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Many clients turn to use when employers’ insurers deny them disability checks. We also represent those denied life insurance benefits.
An experienced ERISA attorney
Nekki Shutt is our lead employee benefits attorney. She has decades of work in benefits, first in a corporate human relations department and then as an attorney.
She’s literally written the book on ERISA litigation, authoring chapters in the South Carolina Bar’s definitive guide to employment law. Peers recognize her work, honoring her as Lawyer of the Year in ERISA litigation for the Midlands.
Clients have benefited from her combination of experience, knowledge and tenacity. She’s battled big companies. She’s fought to force insurance companies to pay medical bills. Nekki’s advocated for hundreds of clients over the years, pushing employers, insurers and the law on behalf of workers whose backs are against the wall.
Sometimes employees try to go it alone at first, thinking the claim will end quickly. That’s usually a mistake. Remember that companies have people who work with ERISA every day. They also have insurance companies and their lawyers. Workers can turn to Burnette Shutt & McDaniel to balance that out.