Are Employers Mandated to Provide Benefits for Their Employees?

employee benefits sign

When you are considering whether or not to accept a job offer, you will likely consider what employee benefits you are being offered. While some of these may just be added perks, others are required to be provided by federal and New York State law. Follow along to find out whether employers are mandated to provide benefits for their employees and how a proficient New York employee contract lawyer at the Bell Law Group can help you navigate through this.

Are employers required to provide certain benefits for their employees?

To reiterate, there are federal and state-specific laws surrounding mandatory benefits for employees. These include the following:

  • Social Security and Medicare: federal and state law requires that employers withhold Social Security tax at 6.2 percent of gross compensation and Medicare tax at 1.45 percent of gross compensation. In addition, employers are required to match this 6.2 percent for Social Security and 1.45 percent for Medicare.
  • Unemployment insurance: federal and state law requires that employers carry at least the minimum required amount of coverage for unemployment insurance. In New York State, this amount is approximately 3.4 percent of gross compensation.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance: federal and state law requires that employers meet the New York State requirement for workers’ compensation insurance either by opting for self-insurance or state-run insurance.
  • Health insurance: federal and state law requires that employers do not instill premiums for individual health coverage that exceeds 9.83 percent of their gross compensation.
  • Family and Medical Leave Act protections: federal and state law requires that employers provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid during a 12-month period for qualifying family and medical reasons.

And in addition to California, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and New Jersey, New York state laws mandate that employers provide disability insurance for employees experiencing an illness or injury that requires them to miss work for more than one week.

Notably, there are certain exceptions, and these requirements only apply to qualified employers and qualified employees. To learn more, consult with a talented New York employee rights lawyer today.

What benefits are not required under federal and state law?

On the other hand, there are employee benefits that are non-mandated and that can be offered at the discretion of an employer. Examples of such include the following:

  • An employee’s paid vacation time (i.e., PTO).
  • An employee’s contributions to a retirement savings plan (i.e., 401k).
  • An employee’s supplemental health insurance (i.e., dental and vision insurance).
  • An employee’s education assistance.
  • An employee’s wellness program.
  • An employee’s childcare assistance.

To learn more, talk with an experienced New York employee rights lawyer as soon as possible.

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