Whether you apply for benefits through your employer or not, there are benefits they must supply to all employees by law. Some of these can vary by the size of the business or by state. For example, small businesses with less than 50 full-time employees do not need to supply health insurance coverage. Here is what you are entitled to as an employee at any organization.
Family Medical Leave
Per the law, private employers with 50 or more employees must provide a maximum of 12 weeks of unpaid leave (job-protected) during any 12 month period. This can be used for any qualifying family or medical reasons, including maternity leave or emergencies.
Employers are not obligated to compensate employees during medical leave, but some may. Some states may have certain requirements with PTO and unpaid medical leave, leaving employees to use PTO for part of that time to get paid.
Despite seeing disability insurance on most enrollment forms, only five U.S. states and one territory actually have to mandate this to employees. Those states are California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and the territory is Puerto Rico.
In many instances, employees can get a minimum amount of coverage for short-term or long-term disability in the event of an injury or illness that requires them to be out of work for a certain period of time. Oftentimes they can opt-out or add-on extra disability coverage depending on what they expect to need.
Workers’ compensation ensures employees get paid and receive medical compensation should they sustain a work-place injury or illness. Employers have the choice to choose state-mandated workers’ compensation insurance, or they can self-insure.
Self-insuring is riskier, but in low-risk work environments, it can be manageable. Worker’s compensation can also help protect against liability lawsuits. Thus it is seen as essential in any business.
Social Security and Medicare
Both employees and employers must contribute to their Medicare and social security taxes. However, the amount contributed by the employer will depend on the age and income of the contributing employee.
Legally, employers are required to withhold 6.2% of gross salary for social security tax, up to the wage base which can change year by year. They also must withhold a 1.45% Medicare tax rate of gross earnings as well.
All employees working full or part-time in a role are entitled to receive unemployment upon losing their job involuntarily. Employers, no matter the size of their business or how many employees they have, must carry unemployment insurance.
This ensures their employees are secure in the event they are laid off, fired, or lose their job under any other involuntary circumstances. This amount can vary state by state but is always required.
Time Off for Jury Duty and Voting
Though regulations vary state by state, and also by the industry, the majority of states mandate that employers supply adequate time off for events of jury duty and/or voting in local, primary, and presidential elections.
When employees are enrolling in benefits, these state-mandated benefits should be mentioned. Although they are legally required, some employees may not fully be aware of their rights and what is covered in the event they need disability or other critical coverages. Ensuring your employees have these basics and a decent benefits package can be a major point for employee retention and acquisition. People want to know they are protected and safe. Find out how to add these and other benefits to your BeneQuick portal and more here.