If you work in Washington, D.C., you may be concerned about how to handle improper actions taken by your employer when they affect your benefits. There is a law, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, that is designed to protect the interests of workers in their retirement accounts as well as other key benefits provided on the job. While ERISA is best known as protective legislation to prevent unethical behavior with employee pensions, it also applies to medical insurance, health reimbursement accounts, additional health plans, disability insurance and severance agreements.
New rules are scheduled to take effect for short- and long-term disability claims and how they are investigated by plan fiduciaries. These changes will affect workers who have short- or long-term disability benefits through their jobs in Washington, D.C. and in the rest of the U.S.
News from Washington, D.C. indicates that although the Department of Labor is conducting fewer audits of employee retirement plans, it is recovering greater sums of money from missing employee contributions. The Labor Department's Employee Benefit Security Administration is responsible for enforcing policies to protect employee retirement funds. While American employers do not have to offer retirement programs and benefits to their employees, once those programs exist, they must follow certain guidelines and procedures in government regulations.