DQ: What are legally required benefits and why are they required by law?

HRM 635  Topic 7 DQ 2

DQ: What are legally required benefits and why are they required by law?


Companies and the government are required to provide certain benefits to their employees and citizens. There are benefits required by the federal government and some required by state governments. The federally required benefits are social security, Medicare, Medicaid, health insurance, unemployment insurance, worker’s compensation, and family and medical leave. They are required by law in order to protect employees and help them prepare for retirement and were made in response to workers’ rights and welfare movements. Benefits that companies are required to provide, such as family and medical leave, can be waived if the company has less than 50 employees. An addition to these required benefits could be that companies should be required, by federal law, to provide maternity leave to both the mother and father of a newborn. Currently this benefit is only provided to the mother through the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. However, if the federal government was to extend this to the father, it could help reduce gender discrimination within recruitment and help provide families with the support they need.

Armstrong, Sharon, Mitchell., & Barbara. (2019). The Essential HR Handbook, Tenth Anniversary Edition.



Good thoughts!  There are many driving factors that influence employee motivation. One of the most overlooked factors is the powerful influence that one’s immediate supervisor has on job satisfaction levels which drive motivation. No matter how good benefits and compensation are, if one has a poor relationship with their immediate supervisor this can drastically demotivate employees and negatively affect organizational commitment. Sometimes this can lead to turnover.

Here is some great information regarding the power and influence a direct supervisor has on the engagement and satisfaction of employees.

Click here to ORDER an A++ paper from our MASTERS and DOCTORATE WRITERS: DQ: What are legally required benefits and why are they required by law?

Have you ever seen a positive or negative effect that an immediate supervisor had on employee motivation?

Topic 7 DQ 2

What are legally required benefits and why are they required by law? Can any of these benefits be waived? Provide an example. Provide one additional benefit that should be made into a legally required benefit.

One of the most important and widespread trends in employee satisfaction recently has been an increased interest in the benefits

DQ What are legally required benefits and why are they required by law
DQ What are legally required benefits and why are they required by law

employers provide for their staff. In fact, many recent studies including this one, show that employees today are just as if not more interested in a good benefits program, as they are concerned with the height of their salaries. This has translated into companies offering a great employee benefits plan, having the upper hand when it comes to both hiring and retaining top-tier talent. However, if you are a small business owner that is just getting started and cannot really afford to offer a sophisticated benefits package, it is important to know that there are still benefits that must be provided. There are legally required benefits that are considered mandatory for just about all businesses, ones that every company must offer to their staff according to federal regulations and laws. Mandatory benefits, also known as statutory benefits, are benefits that employer are required by law to provide to their employees. Examples include worker’s compensation insurance, unemployment insurance and, under some state and local laws, paid sick leave. What are the employee benefits legally required by law? These includes:

The employee benefits that are required by law, are typically benefits that are considered absolute necessities for ensuring the health and safety of employees. That is why these benefits are standard across all states and industries and are enforced by laws that were created by the U.S. Department of Labor, to ensure that all employers are giving their employees access to them. Of course, there are always exceptions and regulations that vary from state to state, which is why it is important for all employers to be sure that they are following the legal requirements for their specific location. However, generally speaking, the following are employee benefits that are usually mandatory, no matter where your business is located in the U.S. Therefore, these legally required benefits provide workers and their families with retirement income and medical care, that mitigate economic hardship, resulting from loss of work and disability, and it covers liabilities, resulting from workplace injuries and illnesses.

Non-mandated employee benefits not required by law, are at the discretion of the employer. These can include benefits, such as paid vacation time, contributions to retirement saving plans, education assistance, wellness programs, and childcare assistance. However, federal law still affects discretionary benefits such as vacation leave in many states, and employers must be aware and adhere to these laws (Dessler, G. 2016). In my own opinion, I suggest that part of student’s loan should be waived, or no interest should be charged on them. These particular problems have kept many students depressed, frustrated and they continue to pay the debt till lifetime. While benefits such as paid time off, health insurance, and 401(k) plans are highly sought-after, basic benefits can also be invaluable for employees. So, employers should ensure that your business, its meeting, and its obligations are to provide assistance and compensation by way of Social Security, Medicare, unemployment, and workers’ compensation insurance. As made plain by the information listed above, employees are entitled to a variety of benefits which employers are required to offer by law.

It is required or mandated by U.S. Law that the following benefits be legally offered to employees:

  1. Workers Compensation Insurance – which varies by state
  2. Health Insurance as indicated by the Affordable Care Act – health insurance even after the loss of a job there should be Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).
  3. Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – provides 12 weeks of unpaid leave for qualified employees working for employers outlined by FMLA.
  4. Payment of the employer part of Social Security and Medicare Taxes – as well as withholding and payment on behalf of the employee for the employee portion of both taxes.
  5. Unemployment Insurance – This varies from state to state.
  6. Time off for and/or reinstatement after military service – a requirement under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Right Act (USERRA).
  7. Time off to vote or jury duty – varies from state to state but they are all similar.

Health insurance can be waived if your spouse has health insurance, and the partner is covered under their spouse’s insurance. There will be need to provide proof that insurance is being provided such as providing an insurance waiver. Employees usually decline their health benefits is because their partner could provide a better health coverage and sometimes at a lower cost. Other reasons healthcare insurance is declined is because the employee is insured by their parent’s insurance.


Employers should provide severance pay when they terminate an employee unexpectedly. The termination was on the employer’s terms not the employees. When an employee resigns, the employee is expected to provide a two-week notice.



Dessler, G. (2016). Human resource management, 15/e (15th ed.). Pearson Education.

Human Resources. (n.d.). Which employee benefits are legally required, and which are optional?