Effects of Same-Sex Marriage on Employee Benefits

more+
less-

On May 15, 2008, the California Supreme Court held that same-sex couples have the same right to be married as opposite-sex couples under the California Constitution. Same-sex marriages began on June 15, 2008.[1] In addition, Massachusetts and Connecticut perform same-sex marriages, and the State of New York recognizes marriages between same-sex couples that have taken place elsewhere. The remaining states are divided between those with laws prohibiting the recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states, and those which may recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Although the California Supreme Court decision is groundbreaking in many ways, existing California law provided for equality for same-sex couples in many of the same areas under domestic partnership laws. The California decision does not require that employers offer any particular benefits; it does, however, due to its conflict with the federal Defense of Marriage Act (?DOMA?), require employers to consider the definitions of ?spouse? and similar terms in their employee benefit plans and clarify the definitions to avoid fiduciary liability and IRS disqualification issues.

This article discusses some of the challenges in the arena of employee benefits under ERISA[2] and the Internal Revenue Code. This article focuses on California marriages but is equally applicable to Massachusetts and Connecticut unions, as well as to employers in any jurisdictions that employ individuals who have been married elsewhere.

Please see full newsletter for more information.

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

Written by:

Published In:

Tax

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.

© Morrison & Foerster LLP | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* 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.
×
Loading...
×
×