Defense of Marriage Act Same-Sex 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

Employers: How Do Your Retirement Plans Treat Same-Sex Unions?

IRS Issues Long Awaited Guidance on Application of US v. Windsor to Retirement Plans - New IRS guidance means that action is required by employers sponsoring qualified retirement plans if the terms of the plan are...more

Supreme Court Passively Clears the Way for Same-Sex Marriage

On October 6, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to review all seven same-sex marriage cases with petitions for certiorari pending before it. The Court’s refusal to hear the appeals means that the lower...more

It’s All Over But the Shouting! What Do Employers Do Now That Gay Marriage Is Effectively Legal Everywhere?

By denying cert in seven cases covering five states, the Supreme Court effectively legalized gay marriage in most, if not all of the United States....more

OCR Issues Guidance Relating to Same-Sex Marriages

The Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights recently published guidance to assist covered entities by explaining how the United States Supreme Court's decision regarding the Defense of Marriage Act...more

Business Associate Agreement September 22 Deadline; Same Sex Marriage Guidance Released

There are two important updates with respect to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). First, on September 17, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued guidance to...more

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

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

Same-Sex Spouses and 401(k) and Pension Plans - Does Your Plan Need to be Amended by December 31, 2014?

Same-Sex Spouses are Spouses for Qualified Plan Purposes - On July 26, 2013, in United States v. Windsor, the United States Supreme Court held that the prohibition against recognizing a same-sex spouse as a spouse for...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

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

Employee Benefits Issues in California Following the U.S. Supreme Court's Same-Sex Marriage Decisions [Video]

Teresa Renaker discusses the significant effects that the Supreme Court's decisions will have on employee benefits for same-sex married couples who live and work in California....more

DOL Proposes Rulemaking to Amend Definition of "Spouse" for FMLA

In 2013, the United States Supreme Court held, in U.S. v. Windsor, that the Defense of Marriage Act's limitation of "marriage" and "spouse" to heterosexual couples was unconstitutional. Thereafter, President Obama instructed...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

Recent Employee Benefits Developments

Amending Retirement Plans to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages Plan sponsors need to review retirement plan documents and operations to determine whether changes are needed in response to last year's Supreme Court decision in U.S....more

The CFPB issues guidance on ensuring equal treatment for same-sex married couples

On June 25, 2014, the CFPB issued guidance setting forth basic principles on the issue of equal treatment for legally-married same-sex couples. The CFPB noted that this guidance was issued in response to the decision in...more

DOL Issues Notice of Proposed FMLA Rule that Offers Equal Leave Rights to Same-Sex Spouses

On June 20, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). If adopted, employees in same-sex marriages...more

Same-Sex Marriage Recognized as Valid in Non-Recognition State for Purposes of Interpreting the Bankruptcy Code

As a result of two Federal trial court decisions issued May 19, 2014 and May 20, 2014, Oregon and Pennsylvania became the 18th and 19th states where gay and lesbian couples can legally marry. In these decisions, U.S....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

eTrends - Proposed Rule Would Revise FMLA’s Definition of “Spouse”

The United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) has proposed a rule to revise the definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”) to afford same-sex married couples the same rights as heterosexual...more

Ripples of Windsor: DOL Seeking to Expand the FMLA’s Definition of “Spouse”

Last June, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) as unconstitutional in United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. 12 (2013). The Supremes ruled that section 3 of DOMA...more

U.S. Department of Labor Proposes to Change Rule Regarding Who Is a Same-Sex Spouse under the FMLA

On Friday, June 20, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced its intention to change the regulatory definition of who is a “spouse” for purposes of the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). The impetus for the...more

Same-sex marriage and the FMLA: What you need to know

As most of you have heard by now, the U.S. Department of Labor has provided a “sneak preview” of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the definition of “spouse” in the Family and Medical Leave Act. The proposed changes would...more

DOMA, One Year After Marriage Ruling

It hardly seems like it's been an entire year since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a huge portion of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which precluded the federal government from recognizing the legally valid...more

FMLA Benefits May Be Extended for Same-Sex Spouses

Under current law, an eligible employee may take leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to care for a same-sex spouse only if they reside in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage. If the employee lives in a state...more

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