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Am I entitled to employment benefits?

When you are employed in Minnesota, you may be entitled to some employment benefits but not to others. While there are many benefits that you are guaranteed by state and federal law, some packages are only provided by companies to attract and keep skilled workers. It is important that you know which benefits are legally mandated and which are voluntarily provided by your employer.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, your employer must withhold Social Security and federal income taxes from each of your paychecks. These employment benefits are mandatory and if your employer does not comply, it can face serious penalties. Additionally, if your company uses employees instead of independent contractors, it may be required to offer workers’ compensation insurance coverage and unemployment insurance in case of accidents on the job or if you lose your employment. Another benefit that your employer may be required to offer is family and medical leave. This benefit may provide you with up to 12 weeks for unpaid, job-protected leave in one calendar year for certain family and medical situations. If you work for a private company with 50 or more employees or a public employer, it must provide this benefit.

Companies are not prohibited from offering additional benefits, so long as they apply them evenly and without any discrimination to you and their other employees. Some common benefits include the following:

  •          Group health insurance
  •          Life insurance
  •          Retirement benefits
  •          Severance pay
  •          Vacation pay
  •          Paid sick leave

Unless your employment contract specifically states that you will have these benefits while you remain employed with your company, you may not have a legal reason to seek them from your employer. This information is intended to be used for educational purposes only, not as legal advice. 

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