button Vol. 5
No. 1
Spring 1999

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General Handbook

- Tread Lightly!
- Page 1 -
line Work Place Tips
- Short Reminders
- Page 2 -
line You Can Prevent Liability
Workplace Conflicts
- Page3 -
line Audits May Help Prevent
Law Suits

- Page 4 -
line UPS - Follow up Report,
One Year After
The Strike...??
- Page 5 - line Some Tips on

- Page 6 -

Braun Consulting News
News on Personnel, Labor Relations and Benefits

See our Archive Pages for Back Issues of Braun Consulting News!

button Some Tips on Benefits

  • For purposes of benefits under ERISA, an employee starts receiving credit for service as of their date of hire. It may be a good idea to handle sick leave, leaves of absence and other off the job time in the same fashion. During a probationary period you need to clearly state in your new hire materials whether an employee is entitled to sick leave or other forms of leave during probation. You should look at any written material you have such as employee handbooks and Summary Plan Descriptions for health and retirement plans, and see if leaves are covered.

  • The definition of "gross misconduct" is not specifically defined by COBRA… And yet an employee is not eligible to continue health benefits under COBRA if he/she is fired for "gross misconduct". The following definitions have been used by several courts in the past:
    1. Intentional and substantial disregard for the employer's interest.
    2. Theft or dishonesty.
    3. Negligence or carelessness indicating evil design or wrongful intent.

    Do NOT try to use the gross misconduct clause unless there is evidence to back it up… if you do you may be liable for the employees medical expenses plus attorney's fees and costs.

  • In order for COBRA coverage to be dropped once it has been started, coverage under another group health plan must be in force, the COBRA time period exhausted, or the covered person stops making payment. A qualified beneficiary must be covered under another group health plan and not merely be eligible for coverage. If the employee chooses not to enroll another family member in a different plan, he/she can elect for continued COBRA coverage for the duration of the COBRA period.
    (Page 7 of Benefits Legal Alert Sept 98)

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