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Frequently Asked Questions about Domestic Partner Benefits

Filed under: Workplace

What was the first employer to offer domestic partner benefits?

The Village Voice, a New York City weekly, became the first employer to offer domestic partner benefits to its lesbian and gay employees in 1982. By 1990, there were fewer than two dozen U.S. employers that offered "spousal equivalent" benefits to their gay employees' partners. In 1992, Lotus Development Corp. became the first publicly traded company to offer such benefits. (Lotus is now a division of IBM.)

Does the HRC Workplace Project track policies of auto/home insurance companies, gym/fitness centers or car rental companies regarding discounts for domestic partners?

Currently, HRC Workplace Project only tracks policies that are relevant to an employer's workplace, not the products that it sells. HRC Workplace Project is aware of a few companies that are beginning to tailor some their products for domestic partners. These include Allstate, Better World Club, Farmer's Insurance, GEICO (car insurance), John Hancock Co., Hartford Insurance Co., State Farm, and California State Automobile Association (the northern California AAA affiliate.) Please contact the companies or your local agents for more information. You can also try the list of insurance companies that write policies covering health benefits for domestic partners. It is possible that some of these companies have tailored other products for domestic partners. You can find the list on the San Francisco Human Rights Commission's website here.