The department of labor gives comprehensive directives and regulations on approaches to issues of health and health benefits involving employees and employers. The section on “Health Plans and Benefits” on its website stipulates the interaction between employers and staff in happenstances of injury or sickness to the employees. Sometimes people move between jobs, and that period of transition can form a vacuum on health covers, and that is one area that the department of labor moves in to shed light and guide the parties to ensure that the individuals are covered without posing an extra cost to the employer. For instance, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives a guideline to employees who lose their health benefits as a result of lay downs or voluntary resignation. In the guidelines, those employees can continue to enjoy the benefits if they pay the premiums of the policy for a given period. This paper will dig into the information in the Department of Labor website to (or “intending to”) examine the benefits that employees and employers can get from the site.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
One of the major questions tackled by the department of labor is bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is the event that a company stops being a going concern, meaning that operations run into a halt, or another company takes over through a reorganization (Heitland, 1974). The website provides a PDF document guide that would benefit employees in the times of tumult when a company is grappling with bankruptcy proceedings. From the document, it is apparent that employees stand to recoup their employer benefits as a requirement by the law. If reorganization takes place, which might include a merger, the benefits and insurance plans should be continued by the new employer. Hence, there is no a single event when an employee should lose health and social security benefits when the company heads south because the contributions do not count as part of the company’s assets.
COBRA Continuation Health Coverage
In another detailed PDF file, the Department of Labor gives a guideline on what follows when employees leave a job, and they stop being beneficiaries of a group health cover. Under the regulations, it is noted that employees need the covers even when they stop working for the company, and instead of stopping the benefits, the former employees can take up the policy and pay the full cost of the coverage with an additional administration fee of 2%. The guidelines help employees who leave employment for self-owned ventures to remain covered against the health hazards. Their spouses and children remain covered as long as the premiums are paid (Badger, 2016).
Portability of Health Coverage
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) provide protection for employees who change jobs with a preexisting health condition. Take an example of a patient suffering from diabetes or cancer, and they get employment in a new company, meaning that they have to sign new health covers with the new employer. The portability act helps those people by incriminating actions of discrimination based on preexisting conditions (Nass, Levit, & Gostin, 2009). Also, the regulation allows the affected people to take individual policies that cover them and their conditions outside the group health plans. For employees changing jobs from one company to another, learning about the regulation can help in clarifying issues to the new employer.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
Mental Health Benefits
This feature offers guidance on the treatment of patients with mental illnesses. It provides that there should not be any discrimination in the implementation of the policies for these patients regarding the dollar limit. However, this guideline applies to group covers that have an aspect of mental illnesses protection and excludes cases like drug dependency and mental conditions caused by substance abuse. To the employer, this feature draws a line on the boundaries of the mental health benefits in insurance covers and protects the employer from incurring costs for conditions that are self-inflicted by employees.
Child Cares Assistance
The department of labor stays quiet on child care assistance, meaning that it does not offer guidelines on the support for adopted children. The employee plays an active role in initiating negotiations with the employer on that coverage, and that agreement becomes legally binding. However, the Family and Medical Leave Act qualifies the parent of an adopted child for unpaid leave to carry out the processes of fostering or adopting the child. This provision clarifies the issues to the employees, reducing the number of conflicts that can arise in the event of tussles involving adopted children.
Consumer Benefits on Health Plans
The department of labor dedicates a whole web page to the explanation of health plans. The aim of this information is to give employees an opportunity to gauge the plans and decide on the ones that benefit them most. Employees are in a position to make decisions on health plans depending on the advice of their doctors. For instance, an employee coming from a family that stands high probabilities of developing certain illnesses can pick a health plan that is comprehensive. The web page also explains some basic advantages of having a health plan and the forms of protection that come with each plan. For employers, the information on health plans provides a booklet that guides the interactions with employees, and the instances that the responsibility ceases to be an employer.
Usefulness of the Department of Labor Resource to Employer
The resources in the department of labor can be useful to employers because they would use the information to structure employee benefits. One of the ways that the employer can use the repository is by checking that the employee contracts and benefit programs are compliant with the regulations of the department of labor. Constructing all the contracts with the law enforcer in mind can save organization lots of potential losses through lost court cases. The department of labor simplifies the Federal laws touching on employees, making it easy to determine the applicability of certain regulations, and protecting the employer from the risks associated with non-compliance. While following labor laws would be a very intensive and involving function of the legal departments in companies, the department of labor repository is a quick guide to many issues relating to employee-employer relations.
Benefits of the Department of Labor Resources to Employees
Employees find themselves on the receiving side of contractual negotiations, mainly because they do not have the resources to study and master the regulations of the labor market in the Federal laws. Employers usually exploit that lack of information and knowledge by proposing one-sided contracts that expose the employees to mistreatment and discriminative actions by the employer. The department of labor gives valuable information on employee rights and contract agreements. Enlightened employees can use this knowledge to study the contracts that are presented to them by human resource managers when joining a new company.
As noted earlier, the department of labor gives guidelines on the implementation of group health plans and other health benefits. Employees have access to information that can help them when they are shifting from one company to another. For instance, many employers would terminate health plans for employees when they cease to be part of the organizations (McGreevy, 2016). However, the provision for temporary coverage by the department of labor ensures that employees do not go for long moments without a health cover, despite the fact that they have to pay the full cost of the cover.
In court proceedings, the provisions by the department of labor can be used to argue cases to the benefit of employees if they fall into disagreements with the employer. Understanding fundamental rights and protection in the law empower employees against unscrupulous employers who do not have respect for employee rights as provided in the law (Gershman, 2016). Therefore, the department of labor has information that would prevent most of the problems that exist between employees and employers in different industries.
Outline of the Department of Labor Website
- Summary of the Major Laws of the Department of Labor
- Wages & Hours
- Health Plans & Benefits
- Workplace Safety & Health
- Workers’ Compensation
- Employee Benefit Security
- Unions & Their Members
- Employee Protection
- Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
- Popular topics
As discussed in the above sections, the department of labor website has crucial information that can help improve relationships between employees and employers. While the paper has focused on health and benefits, it is just an example of the amount of information that can be found on the website. It suffices to conclude that the Department of Labor website is a repository that simplifies the Federal laws by extrapolating the key issues that affect employees and employers. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
Badger, E. (2016). What happens when we all become our own bosses? Washington Post.
Gershman, J. (2016). Appeals Court Weakens Employer Liability Shield in Discrimination Cases. Law Blog – WSJ.
Heitland, A. (1974). Employee Fringe Benefits in Employer Bankruptcy. The University Of Chicago Law Review, 41(3), 604.
McGreevy, P. (2016). “We need to continue fighting for equality”: Assembly approves gender-equity pay bill. Los Angeles Times.
Nass, S., Levit, L., & Gostin, L. (2009). Beyond the HIPAA Privacy Rule: Enhancing Privacy, Improving Health Through Research. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.