U.S. Supreme Court Decisions on Same-Sex Marriages Impact Employee Benefits


On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court (the “Court”) issued two decisions, finding that federal and California laws on same-sex marriages are unconstitutional. These decisions will have far-reaching and wide-ranging consequences on employee benefits programs. This Alert highlights some of the benefits-related issues employers will need to address in the very near future in light of the Court’s decisions.


Section 3 of DOMA Is Unconstitutional. In U.S. v. Windsor, the Court ruled that section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (“DOMA”) is unconstitutional because it does not provide equal protection rights under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Section 3 of DOMA amended federal law to exclude samesex partners from the terms “marriage” and “spouse” as used in over 1,000 federal laws and related regulations.

Please see full alert below for more information.

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

Topics:  COBRA, DOMA, Employee Benefits, Equal Protection, FMLA, Health Insurance, Hollingsworth v Perry, Proposition 8, Retirement Plan, Same-Sex Marriage, SCOTUS, Standing, US v Windsor

Published In: Civil Rights Updates, Constitutional Law Updates, Family Law Updates, Labor & Employment Updates, Tax Updates

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.

© Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck | 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 »