Can an employer deduct more money for insurance from my wages then they do for another employee?

UPDATED: Aug 1, 2011

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Can an employer deduct more money for insurance from my wages then they do for another employee?

Over 3 years ago my employer, struck with financial problems told all of the employees that among other things employees would be paying twice as much for their insurance because the company would be paying half of what they were. Since then though, anyone hired was given the old employer insurance rate. Anyone hired in the last three years pays half as much for the same insurance as an employee that has been there prior to that. Is this legal?

Asked on August 1, 2011 Wisconsin


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

An employer need not provide company health insurance. Therefore to the extent that it does it is a discretionary benefit. This means that an employer can mandate its terms and conditions. The fact is that not all employees need be treated the same in the workplace. Accordingly unless actionable discrimination is a factor for this difference in employee contributions, your employer's action is perfectly permissable. Additonally, if this is in direct violation of company policy or in some way is prohibted by virtue of a union agreeemnt or employment contract.

Note: Actionable discrimination would be because of a person's membership in a legally protected class, for example such as that based on race, religion, gender, etc

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