Can an employment lawyer help me with issues like health benefits and 401k package ?

I have been employed for this company for almost 13 years. I have been paying for medical/dental benefits and into a 401k package. A couple years ago I filed a Workers Comp case (which still hasn't settled) and FMLA once. While I was gone, there have been issues with my benefits package due to the incompetence and negligence of Human Resources. The issue is very confusing and now I owe financially for their mistakes. Can you help?

1 answer  |  asked Aug 13, 2017 12:32 PM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (1)

Marilynn Mika Spencer
Please read the following notices, then continue reading for my response. * * This message may NOT be privileged or confidential as it is being processed through a public website or another non-confidential system. To ensure confidentiality, always contact attorneys directly and not through an intermediary. * * * * No attorney-client relationship is created based on this communication. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights.* ** * Spencer Johnson McCammon LLP will not take any action on your behalf unless you and Spencer Johnson McCammon LLP sign a legal services agreement. * ** * These comments are for information only and must not be taken as legal advice. Spencer Johnson McCammon LLP has not read any details in your e-mail message or any attachments and has not analyzed your potential claim. Spencer Johnson McCammon LLP cannot and does not give legal advice based on contacts from web sites or e-mail, or based on partial information. * ** * All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Deadlines can be as short as just a few days. For referrals, you may contact the Lawyer Referral Service of the San Diego County Bar Association at (619) 231-8585, or the county bar association for your county. Also, you can find lists of plaintiffs employment attorneys at , , and . * *There is good news and bad news. The good news is that an attorney can most likely help you, provided the attorney has some experience in medical benefits and the related issues. The bad news is that you will probably have to pay attorneys fees by the hour for this assistance. There is a possibility that these fees will ultimately be paid by the employer, but without knowing details of your specific situation and the medical plan involved, it isn't possible to comment on this.Many excellent employment attorneys do not have experience working with employee benefits; this is actualy a different area of law and, if you work for the private sector, most likely implicates the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). ERISA is famously complicated and relatively few attorneys have added ERISA cases to their portfolio. If you work for a public sector employer in California, you are probably dealing with Cal-PERS. Few attorneys take these cases, too.There are additional issues raised by your question related to workers' compensation, the Family and Medical Leathe Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),and the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). There may be retalliation or harassment involved. You may have medical privacy issues and even defamation issues. As you can see, there is a lot to sort out and doing so will take some time.I do not say this to discourage you. I just want you to be clear on what is involved so you will understand the reason you are most likely going to have to pay for legal services, at least until the case is fully analyzed, which would include consideration of whether there is a fee-shifting statute involved so that the employer pays the legal fees in the long run.If the amount of money involved is considerable, you certainly should be represented. If it is a relatively small amount, you may want to continue slugging it out alone or pay an attorney for a three hour (plus or minus) consultation to get a preliminary assessment.You can search for plaintiffs employment attorneys who have experience in employee benefits on the web site of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA). CELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the state for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is www.cela.org. Click on "Find a CELA Member" and you can search by location and practice area. Many CELA attorneys represent clients throughout the state. Remember to look for someone who specifies that she or he handles employee benefits. And it is usually best to contact several attorneys to compare them and see who is the right fit.I hope there is a good resolution to this situation. Marilynn Mika Spencer Managing AttorneySpencer Johnson McCammon LLP

posted by Marilynn Mika Spencer  |  Aug 13, 2017 3:09 PM [EST]

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