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Use new EEOC manual to ensure your benefits don’t discriminate

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in Employee Benefits Program,Employment Law,Human Resources

Whether you've been revving up employee benefits to find and keep top talent or paring them down to control costs, take a closer look at the impact.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently published a new section to its compliance manual aimed at helping determine whether benefit offerings would be considered discriminatory under federal law.

Among the questions answered: 

  • Under which circumstances can you provide different benefits to older and younger workers? Generally, you can offer differing benefits if you pay an equal amount for the perks, or if you offset certain benefits for older workers with other benefits. However, you can't take Medicare into account for current employees in determining whether workers have equal benefits. 
  • Can you consider age in granting retirement benefits? Under certain circumstances, you may provide higher benefits to younger workers. 
  • To what benefits are pregnant workers entitled? Pregnant workers must be treated the same as any other employee "who is similarly able or unable to work." That means if you offer benefits, they must cover pregnancy-related conditions the same way they cover other medical conditions. 

Read the manual and a Q&A rundown on the topic at www.eeoc.gov or get a paper copy by calling the EEOC at (202) 663-4900.

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