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Hospitals and Health Insurers Prodded on Same-Sex and Transgender Issues

In separate actions yesterday, CMS and the New York State insurance regulatory authority took steps to (a) assure equal treatment of same-sex spouses by hospitals and (b) insurance coverage of medically necessary transgender...more

Implementing Regulation B Spousal Signature Provisions

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act and its implementing rule, Regulation B, prohibit any creditor from discriminating based on sex or marital status, among other protected statuses. All the federal banking agencies are involved...more

Eighth Circuit Finds Guarantors Not Afforded Protections under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act

The application of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) to spousal guaranties is a developing area of law, resulting in a number of recent appellate opinions. One opinion from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, Hawkins...more

Sixth Circuit Creates Circuit Split on Same-Sex Marriage; Tees Up Issue for Possible Supreme Court Review

Yesterday afternoon, in DeBoer v. Snyder, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an eagerly-awaited opinion, upholding laws in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and Tennessee banning same-sex marriage. The court held that laws...more

Sixth Circuit decision bucks trend on same-sex marriage

As you all know, the last several weeks and months have seen an unmistakable trend in federal court decisions paving the way for same-sex marriage in a majority of states. But just when it appeared that same-sex marriage...more

Impact of Supreme Court’s Recent Actions on Employee Benefits

Did the Supreme Court legalize same-sex marriage? On October 6, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States denied review of seven petitions challenging federal court of appeal rulings in the Fourth, Seventh, and...more

How Does Arizona Same Sex Marriage Impact HR?

On Friday October 17, 2014, same sex marriages became legal in Arizona. What are the changes that Arizona employers and their HR professionals need to be aware of? 1. The definition of spouse in employee manuals and...more

Ash and Amber are Getting Married! (Judge Sedwick says so)

This is the wedding announcement to the world that our kind, smiling, infinitely patient IT person Ash is getting married. She and Amber have been together seven years and they had the wedding planned anyway, in San Diego,...more

OCR Issues Guidance on Application of HIPAA Privacy Rule after Windsor

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional in United States v. Windsor prompted many businesses to review and revise their employee benefit plans. However, the...more

Employment Law: Sep 2014

California Enacts Paid Sick Leave - Why it matters: Employers in California must now provide three paid sick days per year for workers, pursuant to a new law going into effect on July 1, 2015. The controversial...more

If I Was Married Out-Of-State Before Whitewood Legalized Same-Sex Marriage In Pennsylvania, When Is My Official “Date Of Change”...

It may be the case that, before your spouse can qualify under your employee benefit plan, your employer requires you to notify it of a change in marital status within a certain number of days after the marriage. It is always...more

Developments Impacting Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses

As federal and state agencies and courts further examine the implications of the Supreme Court of the United States’ ruling on same-sex marriage in U.S. v. Windsor, the laws and regulations governing employee benefits for...more

How Has The Legalization Of Same-Sex Marriage In Pennsylvania Altered The Adoption Process For Same-Sex Couples?

“Any individual may become an adopting parent.” This statement, cited from Pennsylvania’s Adoption Act now rings true for same-sex married individuals seeking to adopt their spouse’s children through what is called a...more

The Expanding Ash Heap of History

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the historic United States Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The court overturned the precedent established in Plessy v. Ferguson, which upheld that...more

To Have and to Hold: Modern Family Formation and Application of Constitutional Principles

Recall the year 1868 and §1 of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution: “All persons born and naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and...more

Recent Court Cases Highlight the Difficult Questions Related to Medically Assisted Procreation in France

Law No.2013-404 dated May 17, 2013, (the Law) allowed same-sex couples to get married and to adopt children, through either the mutual adoption of a child or the adoption of the same-sex spouse’s biological or adopted child....more

What Is The Status Of Domestic Partnership Benefits On A Federal Level Post-Windsor?

Before the United States Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) in United States v. Windsor, the federal definition of “marriage” was limited to that between a man and a woman. For that reason,...more

If You Die Intestate (Without A Last Will And Testament), Will Your Same-Sex Spouse Be Considered A “Spouse” For Purposes Of...

Yes. One of the effects of the Whitewood decision is that same-sex spouses are considered a “spouse” for purposes of Pennsylvania’s intestate succession process. A person domiciled in Pennsylvania who dies without a will is...more

Does the recognition of same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania have any effect on immigration visa petitions for Pennsylvania citizens?

Immigration visas, unlike marriage recognitions, are regulated by the federal government, not the individual states. This means that the Pennsylvania Whitewood decision, albeit groundbreaking on a state level, has no effect...more

Are out-of-country same-sex marriages (e.g., Canada) now recognized in Pennsylvania?

Seventeen countries have legalized marriage for same-sex couples nationwide (Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Denmark, France, Brazil, Uruguay, New Zealand,...more

State Tax Implications of Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Decision Rejecting Virginia’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban

On Monday, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit invalidated Virginia’s prohibition on same-sex marriages. Bostic v. Schaefer, Docket No. 14-1167 (4th Cir. July 28, 2014). The Fourth Circuit includes Virginia, Maryland,...more

California Legislative Update: July 2014

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law a number of bills that will impact the employer community. A brief summary of these new laws, along with links to the bills, can be found below....more

Designating Your Same-Sex Spouse as the Sole Beneficiary in Your Will

Estate planning can be a very stressful time for all married couples, especially when children and other relatives need to be considered. However, under normal circumstances, one need not be overly concerned with the...more

More Post-Windsor Tax Guidance: IRS Issues Letter Outlining Steps for Individuals to Obtain Tax Refunds for Same-Sex Spousal...

On June 27, 2014, the IRS published a letter outlining the steps taxpayers should take in order to obtain a refund for taxes paid on the value of employer-sponsored health coverage provided to an employee’s same-sex spouse....more

DOL Proposes to Amend FMLA Definition of “Spouse” to Include Same-Sex Marriages

The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed amending the regulatory definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act to expressly include individuals in same-sex marriages....more

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