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Sterling Employment Law

Understanding employment benefits for MI state employees

In Michigan, a person who takes a job with the state will have certain employment benefits that he or she is entitled to. While these types of jobs are often considered secure and there is an expectation that the benefits will be granted as a matter of course, it is possible that they will not be. This could be due to a mistake, a clerical error or some other issue that leads to employees not receiving what they are entitled to. It is with this in mind that employees should make sure to understand what they are supposed to receive and what they can do if they don't get all of their benefits.

State employees who are married to another state employee or retiree might be able to receive benefits in two different ways. They can get them as an employee or as a dependent. Workers are not able to have two simultaneous enrollments for benefits such as health care. Two premiums cannot be paid to the same person and state employees must have their insurance coverage separately. Health care plans are available to any employee who has an appointment of a minimum of 720 hours duration except for those who do not have a career appointment. Some unclassified employees are eligible.

State employees can receive dental care, life and vision care in the following circumstances: if he or she is a full time employee; if the employee is part-time or job sharing with 32 or more hours of work for every biweekly pay period; or if it is a permanent-intermittent employee who is expected to work a minimum of 40 percent of full-time on an annual basis. That comes to a minimum of 832 hours. The state will allow for a long-term disability plan if the same factors are in place for the dental, life and vision care.

Those who are in the middle of employment-related disputes because they have not received the benefits they are supposed to when meeting the above conditions need to have a grasp of the concept of breach of contract and their rights as employees. Speaking to an attorney about employment disputes can be an important first step in ensuring that an employee gets the benefits that they have earned under the terms of their employment.

Source: Michigan.gov, "Employee Benefits -- Employee Eligibility," accessed on Feb. 2, 2016

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