The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) protects employees who receive welfare or retirement benefits from their employers. Specifically, ERISA protects your savings from abuse and entitles you to information about your plan. But sometimes, employers fail to live up to the responsibilities required of them by ERISA.

Signs of an ERISA violation

It’s important to understand the benefits you are entitled to as an employee under ERISA. But, recognizing potential violations of the protections that ERISA created for you can help you know when you need to take action. Some examples of a violation may include:

Wrongly denying benefits — Employers cannot deny benefits to current or former employees under improper circumstances. For instance, if you are eligible to enroll in a benefit plan, your employer cannot refuse to grant you the benefits you are entitled to.

Acting for their own interests — Your employer has an obligation to provide benefits that have your best interests in mind. Using your savings or other benefits for the company or another individual is against the policies set forth by ERISA.

Lying about plan information — ERISA requires employers to be transparent and honest about the details of your plan. Failing to provide details of a benefits plan or follow the terms laid out by the plan violates ERISA requirements.

What can I do?

You depend on the benefits your employer provides for you, and you should be able to trust that they will manage your savings properly. If you have reason to believe your employer is violating ERISA, you should take action. An employment law attorney can help you understand the laws surrounding ERISA and how they apply to your case.

Violating the provisions of ERISA can result in civil and even criminal punishments for your employer. If they are caught, you may be eligible to recover any benefits that were withheld or denied to you.