Civil Unions Legalized in Illinois; Implications for Employee Benefit Plans


The recent legalization of civil unions in Illinois raises implications for employee benefit plans. Employers should take action now to prepare for requests for benefit coverage from employees planning to enter to a civil union with a same-sex or opposite-sex partner once the law takes effect on June 1, 2011.

Employers in Illinois may soon experience an increase in requests for benefits coverage for civil union partners once a law legalizing civil unions for same-sex and opposite-sex partners takes effect June 1, 2011. Signed by Governor Quinn January 31, 2011, the law entitles civil union partners in Illinois to enjoy all of the legal rights and obligations that opposite-sex spouses are entitled to under Illinois law. In addition, Illinois will recognize as a civil union any same-sex marriage, civil union or substantially similar legal relationship entered into in other states. (Ten other states and the District of Columbia currently permit same-sex marriages, civil unions or spousal-equivalent domestic partnerships.)

Employers may want to review their employee benefit plans in preparation for requests for benefits coverage from employees who enter into a civil union. The most common requests for benefits for a civil union partner are likely to be coverage under an employer’s medical, dental and vision plans, and survivor annuity coverage under defined benefit pension plans.

Please see full article below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© McDermott Will & Emery | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


McDermott Will & Emery on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.