Facebook to Compensate Employees for Unfair Benefits Tax on Same-Sex Couples
December 13, 2010 by Carolyn Simon, Deputy Director of Digital Media
Social media site Facebook announced last week that its United States-based employees who opt to cover their same-sex domestic partners under the company’s medical, dental or vision plans will be eligible for reimbursement to offset the additional federal tax liability incurred by receiving those benefits. With this announcement social media giant Facebook joins the small, but growing list of companies that reimburse LGBT employees for taxes on domestic partner health benefits.
Other companies – including Barclay’s, Google, Cisco Systems, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and law firm Morrison & Foerster – have also been following this trend. The practice of reimbursing employees for taxes on domestic partner health benefits, called grossing up, is important because under current federal law, same-sex couples face the unfair burden of having their health benefits taxed while married opposite-sex couples do not. HRC applauds Facebook for recognizing the challenges LGBT employees face and doing their part to address these inequities.