Human Rights Campaign Foundation Guide Advises Employers on Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses

by HRC Staff

"Marriage for Same-Sex Couples: Considerations for Employers" Aims to Assist Fair-Minded Employers in Providing Equal Benefits to Workers

WASHINGTON-The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights group, today released a guide advising employers on how to address marriage for same-sex couples in their spousal and partner benefits packages. Among the topics covered in "Marriage for Same-Sex Couples: Considerations for Employers" are taxation of health benefits, complications due to varied degrees of legal recognition of same-sex couples, and the impact of marriage equality in California and Massachusetts.

"There's never been a more crucial time to educate employers on the far-reaching implications of increased legal recognition of same-sex couples," said HRC Foundation Workplace Project Director Daryl Herrschaft. "Inconsistent federal and state laws concerning marriage for same-sex couples are a significant challenge to employers seeking to ensure that all workers receive equal benefits. This year, we have created guidelines for these employers in states with and without marriage equality."

As of July 31, 2008, both California and Massachusetts offer full marriage rights to same-sex couples, and neither state requires to be permanent residents in order to marry there. New York, which does not have a statewide law or constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman, has taken steps to recognize same-sex spouses married in other states. As a result, employers across the country must assess their employee benefits with respect to same-sex spouses.

"This report is a must-read for benefits administrators, human resource professionals, managers and business leaders," said Samir Luther, senior manager of the HRC Foundation Workplace Project. "In coming years, the most successful businesses will be those that do the right thing by offering equal benefits to all their employees."

The guide can be accessed here:

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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