What Employee Benefits Are Mandatory?

Some small employers may wonder what employee benefits they’re legally required to provide. Believe it or not, the only legally required benefit employers are obligated to maintain is workers’ compensation insurance — or be self-insured. And there’s no such requirement for independent contractors. However, to protect against potential exposure for work-related accidents involving contractors and other third parties, you should maintain liability insurance.

In practice, however, benefits become a matter of marketplace competition, part of a total compensation package to attract and retain employees. Once you offer certain benefits, a set of legal obligations ensues. The variety and generosity of benefits typically depends on the size of the business, its resources, and its bargaining power in the benefits arena. For more information on typical benefit packages for small businesses and emerging companies, see Standard Benefit and Employment Packages for Emerging Companies.


The information here does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you have a legal problem, consult an attorney in your area concerning your particular situation and facts. Nothing presented on this site establishes or should be construed as establishing an attorney-client relationship between you and Gregory A. Bonfiglio or the law firm of Morrison and Foerster LLP.