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Employer lied about having health insurance after 90 days. New York

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  • Employer lied about having health insurance after 90 days. New York

    I've been with this company for about 6 and a half months. Before I was hired, during the interview I asked if there was health insurance. I was told yes, and that HR would email me and I could get more info that way. So through email, I had asked if there's health insurance and it was written in the email, that there is health insurance after the 90 day probation period. After my first official hire date, flipping through the employee handbook, it even stated there was health insurance. Now they just implemented a new employee handbook and conveniently took health insurance out of it. It's supposedly in the works. It's been "in the works" for probably more than 6 months now. I know for a fact I'm not the first person they lied to about this.

    I'm curious what my possible rights I have, as an employee in this situation? And what possible actions I could consider possibly taking?

    Any information/advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

  • #2
    This is complicated.
    - If we are looking at federal law only, there is a federal law called ERISA, which does not require that employers offer health insurance, but if the employer chooses to offer health insurance, then certain requuirements are imposed. Specifically, if a health plan exists, then per ERISA, there must be a published plan, the employee must be given a copy of the plan called a Summary Plan Document on request, and the employer is legally required to follow the exact wording of their plan. Bases on what you have said, there may or may not be an ERISA violation. ERISA does not prevent the employer from getting rid of an existing plan, but the employer saying one thing and doing something else is legally risky. There is a chance that you have am ERISA violation here, and there is a chance that if you contact federal DOL they may (or may not) be interested.
    - Past that, an argument could be made that "determental reiliance" has occured. DR claims are very difficult, especially in a employment law context. DR claims are not a DIY project and would require you talking to a local attorney specializing in such things.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)