Maryland ERISA Retaliation Lawyer

Providing retirement, health, and other benefits for employees can be extremely valuable for both the employer and employees; however, such benefits are often costly, and employers may seek more “cost-friendly” alternatives.

A company may consider terminating an employee who has a pension that is about to vest or an employee who has a severe medical condition in order to cut costs. If this occurs, the employee’s income may not only be lost, but they also may lose crucial benefits that they need and deserve.

If you suspect that your benefits have been wrongfully terminated or that your employer is attempting to interfere with your claim’s success, a skilled Maryland ERISA retaliation lawyer may aggressively defend your rights and explore your legal options under the Employee Retirement Security Act. Call today and set up a consultation with a dedicated ERISA attorney.

The Role of Section 510 in ERISA Retaliation Cases

ERISA Section 510 covers both participants and beneficiaries of employee benefits plans governed by ERISA. These plan participants are often employees, members of unions, or former employees who are eligible to receive benefits.

Section 510 may protect plaintiffs who have already received accrued benefits. A plaintiff may only need to prove the defendant’s inadequate efforts to interfere with the plaintiff’s rights under ERISA regulations, not actual interference.

Moreover, Section 510 of ERISA forbids any type of interference by an employer regarding employees who have filed for and obtained the health benefits they are entitled to under federal law.

Under Section 510, an anti-retaliation provision exists to protect plan participants and beneficiaries who report ERISA violations by imposing a variety of civil fines and penalties on employers that commit an adverse employment action against an employee in retaliation for making such a report.

Proving Intent in ERISA Retaliation Claims

Proving the intent of an employer who is allegedly relating against the employee may be a necessary step for a successful retaliation claim. Retaliation can occur when employers either attempt to interfere with an employee’s rights to attain ERISA benefits or in response for exercising their rights under ERISA law. If an individual is seeking to file a claim against an employer for retaliation, the plaintiff may be tasked with proving the following elements by a preponderance of the evidence:

  • The employee is protected from retaliation under ERISA
  • The employee engaged in an activity that is protected under ERISA law
  • The employee suffered some type of adverse employment action
  • The adverse employment action violated such protection under ERISA

There are two main categories of protected activity. An employee may be protected if they exercise any rights under a pension or benefit plan that is regulated by ERISA. For instance, this can include making a claim, but also includes other activities allowed by the employee’s plan.

Second, an employee may be protected if they participate, provide information, or testify for an investigation regarding an alleged ERISA violation. Even if the employee was not directly involved in the violation, this protection still exists and is similar to whistleblower protection. For more information, contact an ERISA retaliation lawyer in Maryland.

Reach Out to a Maryland ERISA Retaliation Attorney Today

Proving the connection between your entitled benefits under ERISA and the adverse employment action may be difficult, since employers may present a pretextual reason for the action.

However, a skilled Maryland ERISA retaliation lawyer may be able to obtain evidence of your employer’s intent to retaliate and devise a plan of legal action. To learn more, call now.