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Hire Date after Probation Period??? Kentucky

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  • Hire Date after Probation Period??? Kentucky

    I was hired March 3rd, 2011. Before being hired, in an interview, I was told (and the policy manual states) that I would have life insurance starting day 1 and health insurance on the first month following hire date. I would also get one week of vacation one year after hire date.

    After being hired I was told that my life and health insurance would start after the 6 month probationary period was over. I didn't know I had a 6 month probation until my start day, March 3rd. My six months was up on Sept. 3rd 2011. After several other policies seemed to change overnight without revisions to the policy manual I talked with my boss. He then proceeds to tell me that my hire date was September 3rd and the 6 month probation doesn't count towards my time worked. Therefore, I would get vacation 18 months after I started.

    I am just curious if anyone knows if KY has any laws on hire dates or probation periods? This is really aggravating especially since I have lost $1200 for being on my wife's insurance for the past 6 months. If this is the case should I put March 3, 2011 or September 3, 2011 as my hire date on my resume? Thanks in Advance!

  • #2
    There is a federal law called ERISA directed generally at heath care and retirement plans. ERISA requires that employers have formal published plans for these types of benefits and that the employer follow these published plans to the letter. You need to ask the employer for a copy of the Summary Plan Document for the health care coverage. The employer is legally required to give you a copy.

    Life insurance is not normally ERISA. I know how a really dumb employer could make that or any other benefit subject to ERISA, but it is extremely unlikely to be true in this case. Meaning that the life insurance policy is not subject to ERISA and federal law has no interest in your employer's actions here. Maybe you state does. Maybe not. KY is not my state, but my guess is not. You can read your company's manual, but company manuals very rarely rise to the level of a formal enforcable legal contract.

    The government (federal or state) generally has no interest in things like hire dates or probation periods. The government does not generally have "one size fits all" rules affecting benefits. At most, government sometimes has specific rules effecting very specific types of benefit plans, such as ERISA or COBRA.
    Last edited by DAW; 10-10-2011, 05:05 PM.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


    • #3
      No, there are no laws in KY (or any other state) regarding hire dates or probationary periods.

      But you're not asking the right questions. The question you should be asking is, Are there any laws regarding the dates benefits are to start?

      Definitely for the health insurance and probably for the life insurance, there will be a summary plan description (SPD) that your employer is required by law to provide you on request. This is NOT the same thing as an employee handbook. The SPD will say when the health insurance (and possibly the life insurance) is due. (We are talking about two different books - there will not be one SPD covering both.) The employer is required to follow what is in the SPD. If the SPD shows that you are not eligible for health insurance until 18 months after hire, then you're not. If it shows that you should already be on it, you have two choices; you can point that out to the employer and see what he says, or you can file a complaint with the US DOL and the IRS, both of whom have some regulatory authority over this issue.

      One caveat; when I say that the employer is required by law to give you a copy of the SPD on request, I do not mean that he is required to reach into a box and hand you one then and there. He is allowed a reasonable time to obtain one from the insurer or have one printed (some employers do them as print on demand). He also may instruct you as to where to find one online, and that's okay too. Just don't let him put you off more than 7-10 days or so after your request.
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.