Defense of Marriage Act Marriage

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is a United States federal statute enacted in 1996 which defines marriage as a union exclusively between a man and woman for the purposes of federal programs and benefits. In... more +
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is a United States federal statute enacted in 1996 which defines marriage as a union exclusively between a man and woman for the purposes of federal programs and benefits. In addition, DOMA provides that individual states are not required to recognize marriages between gays and lesbians who are legally married in other states. less -
News & Analysis as of

Update on Same-Sex Employee Benefits

In recent months employers around the country, have been scrambling to keep up with developments with respect to the evolving rights of employees in same-sex relationships. This articles touches on some recent guidance in...more

DOL Wants FMLA to Cover Same-Sex Couples

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is seeking to extend coverage of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to same-sex couples following a Supreme Court ruling that federal benefits cannot be limited based on a...more

CFPB Issues Guidance On Ensuring Equal Treatment For Married Same-Sex Couples

On July 8, the CFPB released guidance designed to ensure equal treatment for legally married same-sex couples in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013). ...more

DOL Seeks to Extend FMLA Rights Relating to Same-Sex Spouses

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a notice of proposed rulemaking on June 27, 2014, announcing a proposal that would expand the definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to include all...more

Obama Administration Announces Proposed Rule Extending FMLA Leave Rights for Same-Sex Couples

President Obama plans to announce today a proposed rule that would allow an employee to take FMLA leave to care for a same-sex spouse, regardless of whether the employee lives in a state that recognizes their marital status. ...more

IRS Issues Guidance on Qualified Plan Amendments Regarding Same Sex Spouses

Employers have been considering the impact on benefit programs, including the qualified retirement plans, of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision recognizing the validity of same sex marriages. In September, 2013, the IRS issued...more

Exclusion of Coverage for Same-Sex Spouses Did Not Interfere with Protected Rights under ERISA

In Roe v. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, a federal district court addressed the issue of whether a self-funded health plan could include language that denied dependent coverage to same-sex spouses without violating Section...more

Despite Windsor, Federal Court Rejects Challenge to a Self-Insured ERISA Health Plan’s Denial of Coverage for Same-Sex Spouses

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in US v. Windsor, the requirement that an ERISA health plan provide health coverage for same-sex spouses has often hinged on whether an employee benefit plan was insured or...more

U.S. Judge Strikes Down Same-Sex Marriage Ban in Pennsylvania

Today, a U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania nullified Pennsylvania’s Marriage Laws, holding that they violate the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If the ruling stands...more

New IRS Guidance on Same-Sex Marriages and Retirement Plans Requires Action by Employers

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) have issued Notice 2014-9 (the “Notice”) and related Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) providing much anticipated guidance on the application of the Supreme...more

Federal Judge Strikes Down Pennsylvania Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Earlier today, Harrisburg-based Federal District Court Judge John E. Jones, III, struck down Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage. In this landmark ruling, Jones concluded that "same-sex couples who seek to marry in...more

ERISA: Self-Funded Benefit Plans May Not Have To Cover Same-Sex Spouses?

You already know that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibited recognition of same-sex marriages, was declared unconstitutional. United States v. Windsor, 133 S.Ct. 2675 (2013)....more

Whitewood v. Wolf: Navigating the Sea of Change for Marriage Equality

It has been a momentous year for marriage equality in our country. The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark June 2013 decisions overturning the Defense of Marriage Act and upholding the ruling on Proposition 8’s unconstitutionality...more

IRS Releases Further Guidance for Retirement Plans on Treatment of Same-Sex Spouses

In IRS Notice 2014-19 and accompanying FAQs, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued long-awaited guidance addressing the treatment of same-sex spouses under qualified retirement plans such as 401(k) and defined benefit...more

Post-DOMA, IRS and CMS issue further guidance regarding same-sex spouses

Last September, three months after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in United States v. Windsor, the IRS issued some much-anticipated guidance regarding the treatment of same-sex spouses. For employers who...more

IRS Issues Windsor Guidance for Qualified Retirement Plans

On April 4, 2014, the IRS released Notice 2014-19, providing guidance on the application of United States v. Windsor to qualified retirement plans. The Notice is the third significant piece of guidance issued by the IRS on...more

Hot Employment Topics For 2014 Part II: After The Defense Of Marriage Act? Implications For Employee Benefits

This is the second of a seven-part series describing "Hot Employment Topics for 2014." Part II focuses upon "The Aftermath of the Demise of the Defense of Marriage Act." The United States Supreme Court in 2013 struck...more

2013 Employment Law Growing Pains

Every year there are developments in employment law that challenge accepted norms of practice and require creative workable solutions. In particular 2013 had several areas that caused some of these “growing pains,” including...more

End Game in the Fight Over Same Sex Marriage? [Video]

Mar. 1, 2014 -- New York Law School Professor Arthur Leonard talks about how the current round of litigation could be the beginning of the end of the legal battle to allow same sex couples to get married. Leonard also...more

Same Sex Marriages: Are You Filing Your Taxes Properly?

In late 2013, I met with my first same sex couple clients since the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last year. If you recall, DOMA was the federal law barring the federal government from...more

Windsor and Hollingsworth: Shifting Tides in the Battle for Marriage Equality

Of all of the Supreme Court decisions in recent years, few have drawn more public interest (or outcry, depending on an individual’s political school of thought) than United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry and few...more

IRS Publishes Post-Windsor Guidance in Notice 2014-1

A significant amount of confusion remains for employee benefit plan sponsors regarding the impact of the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Windsor and its holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act...more

IRS Answers Some Outstanding Questions For Same Sex Spouses

Since the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Windsor holding the Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA") to be unconstitutional, and the related guidance issued thereafter by the Internal Revenue Service certain questions...more

High Net Worth Family Tax Report, Vol. 8. No. 4 -- December 2013

IRS Explains Federal Tax Consequences of Windsor Case Regarding Same-Sex Marriages - In our last report (Vol. 8, No. 3, September 2013), we told you about the recent Windsor case, in which the Supreme Court held...more

IRS Provides Some Guidance on Federal Tax Matters for Same-Sex Marriage

Earlier this year, in the case of U.S. v. Windsor, the US Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Under Section 3 of DOMA, the definitions of "marriage" and "spouse" had been limited to a...more

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