I recently started a new job where one of the benefits offered was "benefit dollars" that can be applied to a number of options including health insurance premiums, additional vacation, etc. If you don't elect to spend the benefit dollars, they are paid to you as salary at the end of the year. Two months after my start date, HR informed me that they were eliminating this benefit but only for employees that are not electing health coverage through the company. I have learned that only about 24 people are losing this benefit while the remaining 300 plus employees are retaining it as they can put the dollars towards their out of pocket health premium payments. I cannot as I receive free health insurance through my husbands firm. Because these extra benefit dollars were part of my compensation package for accepting employment, I am angry that HR used them as a negotiationg tool only to take them away such a short time later . Isn't this discrimination of some kind - do I have any recourse?
1 Answer from Attorneys
It is not discrimination. The terms of how the benefit dollars can be used (or, in this case, taken away) are likely set forth in writing in an employment manual. Have you checked it to see what it says? In all likelihood, the Company reserves the right to do what it has done. After only 2 months of working at the company, I can't imagine that you built up enough benefit dollars to have the new decision really affect you. If you don't like the new policy, there is certainly one option you can take -- quit. The other option, making waves at your new company, is probably not a good one.
Best of luck.******The above is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client privilege.*******