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I have an individual client who's employer is stating he voluntarily terminated employment because of job abandonment. However, he did not abandon his job but left (with the employers permission) on a Tuesday after they refused to pay him a commission on a large deal which violated his employment agreement because he was very upset. His attorney sent the employer a demand letter the next day requesting how they were changing his prior employment agreement and indicated the employee would be taking vacation days until the employer responded. The issue is that employer is stating he voluntarily resigned when he didn't and wanted to remain working there but couldn't get them to agree that they were changing his employment agreement. He elected COBRA, (the employer has less than 20 employees so it officially falls under the state continuation plan) but without knowing the monthly premium cost. When he received the amounts($3,400/month for he and his family), he did not proceed with COBRA and didn't make any payments. He is still within his COBRA eligibility window and therefore submitted his request for treatment as an AEI, but the employer returned it to him denying coverage due to "loss of employment was voluntary". The DOL/EBSA cannot assist because they don't have jurisdiction over state continuation plans and his state department of insurance is indicating they can only help with Insurance Company or Agent issues. Does anyone have any suggestions on how he can either get this resolved or where he can get legal assistance? Most of the law firms he has spoken to deal with employers and not individuals so he's at a loss of where to turn. Thanks in advance for your thoughts! C
Can an employer offer longer COBRA duration, for example 30 months instead of 18 for a class of employees - executives, or salaried but not hourly? Assume that the employer does not subsidize the premium.