Same Sex Marriages Must be Recognized – What Does That Mean?


Now that the Supreme Court has found the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional, employers must immediately contact their benefits’ brokers (if any) and labor/employment attorneys to craft a plan to ensure compliance going forward.  Topics that should be addressed include:

  • Health care benefits for spouses of employees (previous disparate tax treatment should be discontinued),
  • Retirement plan provisions for spouses of employees,
  • COBRA, HIPAA, FMLA impacts, and
  • Retroactivity considerations.

While generally treating same-sex and opposite sex marriages equally in the above-referenced contexts should often be simple, concerns over failing to remember to do so or unique situational wrinkles remain.