Benefits for Same-Sex Partners

HR Resource
May 17, 2012 — 1,592 views  
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Employee benefits are important enticements for employers. The ability to leverage a company or organization's size toward lower premiums and smaller deductibles makes it easy for many businesses to offer additional compensation on top of salaries. What makes benefits even more alluring is the possibility that they can be extended to a worker's entire family rather than simply herself.

Most companies that offer benefits have already made the choice to provide coverage to family members or already decided that this extension isn't worthwhile. However, an important trend that most organizations won't be able to ignore for much longer is the possibility of same-sex benefits.

While only a handful of states have recognized gay marriage, quite a few more allow state workers to extend medical coverage and other kinds of employee benefits to same-sex partners. Therefore, private organizations in Virginia, New York, Hawaii, Oregon, California, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, Washington, Iowa, New Mexico, Washington D.C., New Jersey, Montana, Alaska, Illinois, Arizona, Wisconsin and Maryland might want to follow the example of their public-sector counterparts and offer same-sex benefits. Employers should consider the makeup of local populations and the needs of their own workforces before determining if this kind of coverage would be helpful. 

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