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  • Manager Benefits? California

    Hi all.

    We were wondering if there were any issues that could come from offering our management team different benefits from that of our 'regular' employees?

    Thoughts?

    Also, we are in California and are an LLC.

    Thanks!

    LJ

  • #2
    Just what type of benefits are we talking about here - vacation/holiday benefits or health/dental benefits or both? (other?) Health/dental benefits you have to be careful who the plan defines as eligible.
    Last edited by Betty3; 10-15-2009, 11:53 AM. Reason: add info
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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    • #3
      Probably just vacation/PTO and the eligibility for earning this time.

      As for the health/dental, it would probably remain the same level as for our employees.

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      • #4
        That should be fine. You can offer different vacation/PTO benefits to different classes of employees. You might just want to watch that there is no disparate impact on any protected class.
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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        • #5
          Is there somewhere that I can look to get more information on all of this?

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          • #6
            Not that I know of. Not sure what type of "information" you're looking for. Legal or practical?
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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            • #7
              Not that I know of either. If you do a google search, there might be "some" information you can find.
              Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

              Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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              • #8
                One thing that I would be very careful with is to not assume that all benefits work under the same rules. They do not. If you are talking about ERISA level benefits only (medical plan, retirement plans including 401(k)), then per the federal ERISA law, the employer must have a formal written plan which the employer must follow to the letter. Very bad things happen to employers who get this wrong. If you are planning on making changes to ERISA level benefits, you really need to hire someone who actually knows what they are doing to formally change the plans. This is not DIY. I have worked for large employers with full time benefit departments that still would send changes to ERISA level benefits plans to outside professionals, not because they did not know the rules, but because they knew that they did not know the rules well enough to have a high comfort level that an in house revision would be perfect, and it must be legally perfect to avoid potential penalties.

                All other benefits are generally not ERISA. Meaning look at state law, at the exact wording of the company's policies (if any), and maybe have a lawyer read the policies. Most policies do not rise to the level of a legal enforceable contract, but only a local attorney who has actually read every single word associated with the policies can tell for sure. Employers I have worked for made a point of having non-ERISA benefit policies reviewed by in house Legal to make sure that the "not an enforceable contract" line was never crossed.

                Past that, what everyone else said. Things such as "disparate impact" are a possibility, but that is potentially very technical, also not IMO something that one would consider DIY. The potential problem is not classes of employees per se, but rather being able to later convince a judge that there is a non sinister reason for the classes. For example, having one set of benefits for factory workers and different set for office workers or brass is common and probably legal. Conversely picking out a single class of workers, say janitors, to treat badly would be legally more problematic, particularly under disparate impact.

                The nail that sticks out is the one that gets pounded.
                "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by DAW View Post
                  The nail that sticks out is the one that gets pounded.
                  I like your "quotes" that you use on occasion, DAW.
                  Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                  Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There is generally a reason why certain expressions stand the test of time.
                    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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