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Employment Law/Benefits at Termination & COBRA

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Question
I was terminated from my employer 12/10/12. My termination letter stated my medical benefits along with dependents would be terminated at the end of 12/10/12. I called my HR dept. 12/12 asking if my benefits were extended until the end of the month since I received severance until then and was told yes I had medical benefits until the end of the month. I was glad since I needed to refill some mail order prescriptions, get an eye exam and my wife had some unfinished dental work to get completed. I called my eye doctor 12/28 to schedule an appointment and was told my insurance was cancelled 12/11. I called HR back 12/28 to find out what was up and they said all benefits were canceled in error but have been reinstated until the end of the month. They said should there be any problems with insurance to have it resubmitted. I received my COBRA continuation letter 12/31 which was dated 12/25, past the 14 days period for notification. The COBRA letter stated all benefits were terminated 12/11. In my opinion this was handled very sloppy, do I have any recourse? I would also like to help protect other employees from this happening to them and maybe a fine to my past employer might wake them up.

Answer
You can contact the Department of labor and put in a claim for a cobra violation on receiving the Cobra letter late. You can also talk to them about the insurance ending too soon. They are obligated to provide insurance through the last day of the month in which you worked.

Shirley

Employment Law

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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR

Expertise

I can answer questions about payroll laws and payroll tax laws and Human Resource laws and agencies. I can answer federal payroll and human resource law questions and most states; I do not have a knowledge of the local taxes for cities and counties within the state. If and when I can I will try and send you the website where you can reference the answer and where you can obtain more information as well as a contact number if needed for that particular agency. Some agencies I have worked with are IRS, Department of Labor (federal and state), Revenue Canada (and provincial governments), Inland Revenue, OSHA (0ccupational Safety and Health Administration); Social Security Administration and National Child Support as well as other agencies in Payroll and Human Resources. Some Laws I am particularly familiar with are FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act ) , QDRO's, QMCSO's, and other support orders and garnishments, USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Remployment Rights Act,PPA Act (Pension Protection Act of 2006, As well as most other employment type acts. I am also well versed in the Title V Civil Rights Act and the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

Experience

30 years in Payroll and Human Resources

Organizations
SHRM (Society of Human Resources) APA (American Payroll Association) DOLEA (Department of Labor Employers Association) CPA (Canadian Payroll Association) NAPW (National Association of Professional Women) The Mentoring Network

Education/Credentials
PHR Certification in Human Resources CPP Certification in Payroll in U.S. Payroll Administrator and Payroll Supervisor certification in Canada

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