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False Pretenses with Respect to Benefits

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  • False Pretenses with Respect to Benefits

    My friend recently began a job in November as an at will employee with a mid-size company. Prior to accepting the job, she was given a written offer letter which assured her that the company would provide her with a PPO and would subsidize all premiums. Before accepting the position, my friend confirmed this fact with the company's HR coordinator and indicated that the company's healthcare policy was a factor in her accepting employment. One month later, the company announced that beginning January 07, it was switching healthcare plans and would only "partially" subsidizing costs. The company will offer only one plan (a PPO) and require its employee to pay $400 in premiums p/month. The company's new healthcare policy effectively amounts to a $5,000 paycut (nearly 15% of my friend's overall salary). Does my friend have any recourse?

  • #2
    Companies review their benefit plans annually. It's unfortunate but a majority of firms are forced to share costs with its workers.

    In this situation, your friend was hired with the pretext that benefits would be subsidized 100%. I assume this did indeed happen initially. Her concern is that changes will be made to the company sponsored plan effective 1/2007.

    I personally do not see any recourse (other than changing jobs). The changes are not specific to your friend. The changes are across the board for all workers. This would not be discrimination, harassment or failure to meet their pre-offer promise.

    I agree that $400 per month seems a bit steep for health insurance. The reality of it is that at some companies her costs could be higher. Or if she were to personnally insure outside the company, the costs could be higheer. Insurance is not cheap.


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