datadan

Mandatory elections through a 125 Plan and Collective Bargaining?

Recommended Posts

Can an employer require employees to take a certain election through a 125 plan?  If it's a requirement, then isn't it not an election anymore?  The employer with the union and the CBA can create the cafeteria menu, but can they force an employee through the cafeteria line?

If the CBA states: " fringe benefit 1, fringe benefit 2, and fringe benefit 3 are the responsibility of the employee through the 125 plan".  Employer states, there will be a mandatory wage deduction for benefit 1,  because the union has "elected" option A on your behalf without any express authorization, doesn't this violate the principle of 125 plan choice?

Thank you in advance for your thoughts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your information is confusing so it is hard to know the exact answer.

It sounds like there is a collective bargaining agreement providing certain benefits.

If the benefit it truly tied to a 125 plan in the CBA, then it is up to the employee to elect to participate or not.  If the employer's comment is outside of the CBA, then it is not correct that there can be a mandatory 125 contribution.  The problem I have with your statement is that it says BOTH that benefit 1 is an employee responsibility through a 125 plan AND that the union has "elected" that benefit 1 is provided to everyone via mandatory employee contribution.  It is legal to have a union agreement that makes a certain benefit mandatory and employee paid, but then the language of the agreement must say that.

This is one of those cases where an outside labor counsel combined with an ERISA counsel might be needed to hash out what is actually the situation on benefit 1.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Larry, thank you for comment.  This is helpful.  This is a confusing situation, and it is in litigation currently. Do you know where I can find any documentation or rules that can be used to affirm your two statements: 

" If the employer's comment is outside of the CBA, then it is not correct that there can be a mandatory 125 contribution. "

" It is legal to have a union agreement that makes a certain benefit mandatory and employee paid, but then the language of the agreement must say that."

Thank you so much,

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suggest consulting with an experienced benefits or labor lawyer rather than relying on information posted here.  Your situation appears more complicated than can be competently answered in a few paragraphs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, datadan said:

Larry, thank you for comment.  This is helpful.  This is a confusing situation, and it is in litigation currently. Do you know where I can find any documentation or rules that can be used to affirm your two statements: 

" If the employer's comment is outside of the CBA, then it is not correct that there can be a mandatory 125 contribution. "

" It is legal to have a union agreement that makes a certain benefit mandatory and employee paid, but then the language of the agreement must say that."

Thank you so much,

 

Since I don't do much labor work, I don't know if there are cases on point (though there probably is).This is a job for a competent labor lawyer (I have several) who have an understanding of ERISA or a partner/associate who is an ERISA atty.

If it is in litigation, then you should already have counsel involved; I hope you have competent counsel who understand the issues.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now