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Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage Officially the Tax Law of the Land

Effective tomorrow, September 2, 2016, new IRS final regulations will take effect which provide that for federal tax purposes, the terms “spouse,” “husband,” and “wife” mean an individual lawfully married to another...more

New Jersey Employer’s Fear of Employee’s “Ugly Divorce” Forms Basis of Marital Status Bias Claim

In Smith v. Millville Rescue Squad, (A-19-14, June 21, 2016), the New Jersey Supreme Court broadly interpreted the prohibition against marital status discrimination in the Law Against Discrimination (LAD) to protect a person...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Broadly Defines “Marital Status” Discrimination

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently interpreted the state’s antidiscrimination law in an expansive manner, concluding that a broad spectrum of individuals can file suit and claim that their employers unfairly discriminated...more

Unhappily, Ever After: NJ Supreme Court Rules Divorcing Employees Protected by NJLAD

Unfortunately, not all marriages are happily ever after. When divorce seems inevitable, losing your job as a result of a looming divorce is something no employee wants to worry about. On June 21, 2016, the New Jersey...more

SCOVA Watch: Three Takeaways From the Court’s Recent Ruling on Same-Sex Cohabitation

Last December, I previewed the case of Luttrell v. Cucco, which had, at that time, just been taken up by the Supreme Court of Virginia. There are a few notable lessons from the Court’s ruling that are useful reminders...more

A Closer Look Into Adoptions

The Process Adoption refers to the court process followed to create a legal parent-child relationship where one would not otherwise exist.  To initiate a legal adoption in New Jersey, you must first file a complaint with the...more

Supreme Court's Four-to-Four Decision in Hawkins v. Community Bank of Raymore Leaves Open Question About Application of Equal...

In its first evenly split vote since the death of Justice Scalia, the U.S. Supreme Court last week affirmed an Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Hawkins v. Community Bank of Raymore that spouses who guarantee...more

Federalism “On Fleek” or Fifty Separate Fiefdoms? State Chief Justice Says Obergefell Is Not the Law in Alabama

A recent, public clash between the highest legal authorities of the United States and one of its constituent states, Alabama, illustrates the promise and the problems of this country’s unique system of dual sovereigns, known...more

IRS Provides Additional Guidance on Treatment of Same-Sex Marriages under Benefit Plans

In IRS Notice 2015-86, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provided guidance to sponsors and administrators of employee benefit plans regarding the application of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges to...more

A New Challenge to Anti-Nepotism Rules Based on Marital Status Discrimination

In a newly filed lawsuit that has garnered some publicity, a Shelton high school teacher is suing the Shelton Public Schools over the imposition of an anti-nepotism rule which she claims constitutes marital status...more

Health Care Coverage for California Employers After Obergefell v. Hodges

After the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark marriage-equality decision this summer (Obergefell v. Hodges), we now have full equality between same-sex and opposite-sex spouses under federal and state law. That decision affects...more

Choosing Sides in a Divorce: Does it Apply to Employers Too? NJ Supreme Court Weighing Contours of “Marital Status” Discrimination

In a case reminiscent of the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode where Cheryl leaves Larry, forcing their friends to choose post-split allegiances (to Larry’s dismay, Ted Danson, the Funkhousers (Super Dave Osborne and Blossom) and...more

SCOVA Watch: Does Virginia’s spousal support termination statute encompass cohabitation of same-sex couples?

On November 10, 2015, the Supreme Court of Virginia granted an appeal in Luttrell v. Cucco, Record No. 150770. Although the granting of the case did not make the news (they rarely do!), this case has the potential to be a...more

Five Months after Same-Sex Marriages Held Constitutional: Where Are the Courts Headed on the Unanswered Questions?

On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued its monumental decision in Obergefell, et al. v. Hodges, et al.; Case No. 14-556, holding that state bans of same-sex marriages are unconstitutional. Specifically, the...more

IRS Proposed Regs Redefine the Terms “Husband” and “Wife”

The Supreme Court has recently struck down state bans on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 US ___ (2015), after previously striking down the federal exclusion of same-sex couples from...more

Civil Unions in NJ – What you Need to Know.

Same-sex couples now have the right to marry, and neither the federal nor any state government can deny anyone that right. On June 26, 2013 – a watershed moment in the history of the law and our nation – the U.S. Supreme...more

Lessons Employers Can Learn from Kentucky Clerk’s Same-Sex Marriage License Dispute

Almost every day the news carries an additional story about Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky clerk who has defied the Supreme Court by refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Kim Davis story may be...more

Parents Are Entitled to Due Process

IS IT TIME TO REIGN IN THE HEAVY HAND OF THE CHILD PROTECTION AND PERMANENCY AGENCY? (DCPP Formerly Known as DYFS) Society’s interest in the protection of children is a significant and legitimate interest of the State....more

Obergefell Ruling Reaffirms That Employees In Same-Sex Marriages Have FMLA Rights

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule defining “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) so that an eligible employee in a same-sex marriage is able to take FMLA leave to care...more

Employer Policies And Procedures That May Need To Be Updated In Light Of Obergefell

The U.S. Supreme Court, in Obergefell v. Hodges, ruled that same-sex marriage is a constitutionally-protected right which cannot be infringed upon through governmental action. Although private sector employers do not...more

The Impact Of Obergefell On Employee Benefits

Prior to the Obergefell decision, the U.S. Supreme Court, in U.S. v. Windsor, struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which mandated that federal laws only recognize opposite-sex marriages. As a result of...more

Obergefell Expands The Number Of Individuals Potentially Eligible To Apply For Immigration Benefits

Obergefell effectively expands the number of individuals who would be eligible to submit immigration applications on behalf of a same-sex spouse because same sex marriage is now legal across the country, rather than in a...more

Manatt on Medicaid: Impact of Obergefell v. Hodges on Healthcare Coverage for Same-Sex Couples

In a 5-4 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges released on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court held that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right guaranteed by the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution, expanding the right...more

Impact of the Same-Sex Marriage Decision on Employee Benefit Plans

In Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court held that states may not deny same-sex couples the right to marry, finding that doing so violates the Fourteenth Amendment. Writing for the five-justice majority, Justice Kennedy...more

Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples After Obergefell

Many areas of the law are left unanswered by Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell , but the fundamental question of whether same-sex individuals can marry has now been answered. There have traditionally been many obstacles...more

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