The Affordable Care Act – better known as Obamacare – contains numerous provisions that define the relationships between employers and their employees with respect to health care benefits. Among the most critical are the statute’s employer mandates requiring employers with more than 50 employees to offer health insurance coverage to its employees who work 30 hours or more a week or face statutory penalties. As I have previously noted in discussing possible Obamacare-related employer liability issues, the ACA’s mandate creates incentives for employers to try to restructure their workforce to avoid the statute’s requirements. However, as I have also noted, employer actions to restructure their workforces to avoid providing health plan benefits could lead to liability claims under ERISA.
A recent decision from the Southern District of New York shows how an employer’s actions to reduce full-time staff to part-time status — allegedly undertaken in an effort to avoid the health care law’s impact — can lead to ERISA class action claims. The decision also underscores how the affected employees may be able to assert viable ERISA claims.
Continue Reading Can Workforce Changes Made in Response to Obamacare Mandates Lead to Employer Liability Claims? Yes, They Can