Pride month is as great a time as any for an employer to revisit its benefit programs and policies to ensure that the benefits being offered not only comply with the dynamic legal landscape, but also align with the employer’s intention on LGBTQIA+ inclusivity and equality. Certain practices or benefit policies may seem neutral on their face, but operate in a potentially discriminatory manner. A few examples may include benefit plan eligibility, health plan fertility and transgender services:
Benefit Plan Eligibility
Our benefit plans only extend benefits to spouses, not domestic partners. Isn’t this OK since all states now recognize same sex marriage?
Maybe. While the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision struck down all state bans on same-sex marriage and ruled that marriage is guaranteed to same sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause, certain plan sponsors/employers have continued to allow domestic partner coverage for health and other welfare benefits.
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