• A Texas Board
  • Certified Trial
  • Lawyer With
  • More Than
  • 30 Years Of
  • Experience


A Texas Board Certified Trial Lawyer With More Than 25 Years Of Experience

Handling All Types Of Insurance Law Disputes

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. ERISA Claims
  4.  » ERISA and retaliation

ERISA and retaliation

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2024 | ERISA Claims | 0 comments

ERISA — the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 — is designed to protect workers who have employer-sponsored retirement benefits and health plans. One way it does this is by imposing minimum standards on these plans. ERISA also protects the rights of the individuals enrolled in these plans. Among other protections, it gives these individuals the right to take legal action against an employer who has retaliated against them for exercising their rights under ERISA.

This aspect of the law, which falls under Section 510 of the act, is sometimes known as ERISA’s anti-retaliation provision.

What counts as retaliation?

Retaliation is a common element of claims in employment law, but its definition can be somewhat vague. Many worker protection laws, including ERISA, contain a provision that prohibits employers from taking any adverse action against an employee simply because they have exercised a protected right.

For example, let’s say an employee exercises her right to use her health benefits when she has serious health problems and requires expensive medical benefits. Indeed the costs are so high that it drives up the cost of premiums for the employer’s health plan. This angers her boss so much he fires her. The worker then sues the employer for wrongful termination and retaliation. In this case, a court would almost certainly find that the employer committed unlawful retaliation because it fired the employee simply because she exercised her right under ERISA.

Now, let’s remember that we said employers cannot take “any adverse action” against an employee simply because they exercised their rights under the law. This means these individuals are protected from not just termination but also many other actions that would negatively affect the employee’s status, such as demoting them, reducing their pay, denying them a promotion, transferring them to a less-desirable position, reducing their hours or more.

ERISA is a complex law, and it can apply to a wide range of issues in employment. A worker who has had trouble after using heath or retirement benefits may wish to speak to an experienced professional to learn more about how the anti-retaliation provision might apply to their case.