The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that applies certain minimum standards to employee benefit plans in the private industry. ERISA protects the rights and interests of the employees in their plans. It does this partly by imposing duties and liability on those with authority over the plan or its assets.
ERISA gives employers duties and employees rights regarding their benefit plans. Among these rights is the disclosure of plan information and a timely and fair benefit claims process. If you think you are not receiving these rights or are suspicious that fraudulent activity may be going on, you should contact a skilled and knowledgeable ERISA attorney in San Francisco.
Employers can commit ERISA fraud in various ways. You should be on the lookout for red flags if you think your employer may be engaging in wrongful conduct.
If you see any hints of these kinds of activities on the part of your California employer, contact a San Francisco ERISA attorney today.
ERISA provides for various penalties that can be imposed on employers that violate its various provisions. Some of these penalties include fines, imposed changes to the company’s policies, activities, and procedures. Even something seemingly as minor as the failure to comply with the annual reporting requirements can result in fines against the employer of $1,000 per day per violation. Employers and other plan fiduciaries can also be required to make payments or reimbursements to plan participants.
Plan participants and beneficiaries of ERISA plans can also take action against plan fiduciaries, including the plan manager, plan administrator, and others who control plan assets. They may sue for breach of the statutory fiduciary duty established by ERISA and seek to recover lost earnings or improperly received assets.
If the ERISA violations are intentional or willful, they can result in criminal prosecution. Criminal penalties for ERISA violations can be as much as ten years in prison and fines of up to $100,000. Companies found to have violated ERISA can face criminal fines of up to $500,000 over and above any civil penalties or reimbursements imposed.
If you believe your employer or another fiduciary to your California employee benefit plan may be violating your ERISA rights. You should contact an ERISA attorney at Roberts Disability Law, P.C. for an initial consultation and evaluation of your claim. Contact us as soon as possible so that we can help you to make sure that your ERISA rights and employee benefits are protected.
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