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By Louise Herman

When it comes to job hunting, there are many factors you will consider before applying to or accepting a position. This includes the job responsibilities, hours, location, salary, and benefits. However, some benefits are just perks, while others are mandated by state or federal law. If you’re unsure which benefits you are legally entitled to, keep reading to learn how a Providence County, Rhode Island employment lawyer can help you receive the benefits you deserve.

What Benefits Are Mandatory for Employers to Offer?

There are some benefits that all employers are required to provide for employees, as dictated by state and federal laws. These federal, mandatory benefits include the following:

  • Social Security/Medicare
  • Unemployment
  • Worker’s compensation insurance
  • FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act)

Both employees and employers are required to contribute to Social Security and Medicare funds, up to 6.2% for Social Security and 1.45% for Medicare. Rhode Island is one of a few states that mandates disability insurance for employees while also mandating that employers with more than 50 members of their staff offer health insurance to employees.

What Benefits Are Not Required By Law?

Many employers offer additional benefits in order to compete with other companies. After all, you would likely prefer to work for a company that offers paid time off and a retirement account than an employer that offers the bare minimum. However, these are not mandated by state or federal law and instead are offered at the employer’s discretion. These supplemental benefits include:

  • Paid time off
  • Additional healthcare, like dental or vision coverage
  • Retirement plans
  • Child care
  • Wellness programs

In some instances, companies will offer compensation for childcare in order to widen the pool of talent they can bring in, as working parents may not have the means to afford expensive childcare. However, these are not mandated in Rhode Island and vary from employer to employer.

It’s also vital to understand that not all employees are offered the same benefits. For example, full-time employees are guaranteed more than part-time workers or independent contractors. Understanding these differences before you begin a new position is crucial, as it allows you to weigh whether or not you still want to accept the job.

What Should I Do If My Employer Violates These Rights?

If your employer is not offering benefits guaranteed by the federal government, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. It’s also illegal for your employer to offer benefits with stipulations, like health insurance for employees under 50. This qualifies as discrimination.

When your rights are at risk in the workplace, you shouldn’t feel intimidated to receive the benefits you are entitled to under federal and state laws. At the Herman Law Group, we’re dedicated to putting employees first. We understand that employment law can be a complex and confusing issue for many, and we have the necessary experience to make it as simple as possible to navigate. Contact us today to learn how we can help you with your claim.

About the Author
At Herman Law Group, our focus is on safeguarding the rights and careers of employees and businesses alike. With over 35 years of successful legal practice, Louise A. Herman brings an invaluable dual perspective from representing both employees and employers. This unique insight allows us to effectively achieve successful outcomes for our clients in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and nationwide.