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Introduction to Employee Benefits


Employers largely have discretion to choose what benefits to offer their employees—and how—but employee benefits are also highly regulated by law. Key issues for employers to consider when developing an employee benefits plan include:   

  • Which benefits must be provided by law to employees—such as family and medical leave and continuation of health coverage—and which benefits are voluntary; 
  • For each benefit, determining who is a covered employer and a covered employee, keeping in mind whether workers are independent contractors or employees;
  • Which federal and state laws apply to which benefits. For example, group health and retirement plans, while optional, are governed by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act; and
  • Tax consequences of benefits, such as those associated with offering a cafeteria plan.

The Employee Benefits section includes information on, among other things:

 For more on each of these topics, please click on the appropriate link above or in the left-hand menu. 

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