Same-Sex Marriage

Same-sex marriage refers to marriage between two individuals of the same sex. Historically, such marriages have not been legally recognized. However, there has been a growing trend to expand marriage rights to... more +
Same-sex marriage refers to marriage between two individuals of the same sex. Historically, such marriages have not been legally recognized. However, there has been a growing trend to expand marriage rights to same-sex couples. The United States Supreme Court addressed aspects of this issue in Windsor v. United States and Hollingsworth v. Perry.  less -
News & Analysis as of

Employment Law: Sep 2014

California Enacts Paid Sick Leave - Why it matters: Employers in California must now provide three paid sick days per year for workers, pursuant to a new law going into effect on July 1, 2015. The controversial...more

What Employer Shared Responsibility Does Not Say

So much energy has been spent on what the final regulations on the employer shared responsibility tax and the related final reporting regulations (the “ESRR”), that some of the most significant considerations have been missed...more

Labor & Employment E - Note - September 2014

In This Issue: - More Workers Are Claiming 'Wage Theft' - Big Companies, States Urge High Court to Rule on Gay Marriage - Firms Continue to Increase Background Checks on Job Candidates - Obama...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

Supreme Court Takes Up Federal Right to Same-Sex Marriage

From the former capital of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia, comes the spark for a Supreme Court decision that could extend same-sex marriage to all fifty states within a year. On August 20, 2014, the Supreme...more

If I Was Married Out-Of-State Before Whitewood Legalized Same-Sex Marriage In Pennsylvania, When Is My Official “Date Of Change”...

It may be the case that, before your spouse can qualify under your employee benefit plan, your employer requires you to notify it of a change in marital status within a certain number of days after the marriage. It is always...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

How Has The Legalization Of Same-Sex Marriage In Pennsylvania Altered The Adoption Process For Same-Sex Couples?

“Any individual may become an adopting parent.” This statement, cited from Pennsylvania’s Adoption Act now rings true for same-sex married individuals seeking to adopt their spouse’s children through what is called a...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

The Expanding Ash Heap of History

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the historic United States Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The court overturned the precedent established in Plessy v. Ferguson, which upheld that...more

To Have and to Hold: Modern Family Formation and Application of Constitutional Principles

Recall the year 1868 and §1 of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution: “All persons born and naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and...more

Recent Court Cases Highlight the Difficult Questions Related to Medically Assisted Procreation in France

Law No.2013-404 dated May 17, 2013, (the Law) allowed same-sex couples to get married and to adopt children, through either the mutual adoption of a child or the adoption of the same-sex spouse’s biological or adopted child....more

Appellate Court Notes

SC18942, SC18993, SC18994 - Perry v. Perry - Attorney appointed for a minor child cannot appeal the trial court’s award of only a portion of her fees w/o trial court permission. But that same attorney has personal...more

If You Die Intestate (Without A Last Will And Testament), Will Your Same-Sex Spouse Be Considered A “Spouse” For Purposes Of...

Yes. One of the effects of the Whitewood decision is that same-sex spouses are considered a “spouse” for purposes of Pennsylvania’s intestate succession process. A person domiciled in Pennsylvania who dies without a will is...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

Update For Retirement Plans Post-Windsor

Now that some of the dust has settled on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor, employers who haven’t done so already should take immediate steps to review their retirement plan documents and administrative...more

Are out-of-country same-sex marriages (e.g., Canada) now recognized in Pennsylvania?

Seventeen countries have legalized marriage for same-sex couples nationwide (Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Denmark, France, Brazil, Uruguay, New Zealand,...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

California Legislative Update: July 2014

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law a number of bills that will impact the employer community. A brief summary of these new laws, along with links to the bills, can be found below....more

Protection from Sexual-Orientation Discrimination in Pennsylvania

In Whitewood v. Wolf, a federal judge struck down a Pennsylvania law that limited the definition of marriage to that between “one man and one woman.” In his momentous opinion, Judge Jones also declared that classifications...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

Designating Your Same-Sex Spouse as the Sole Beneficiary in Your Will

Estate planning can be a very stressful time for all married couples, especially when children and other relatives need to be considered. However, under normal circumstances, one need not be overly concerned with the...more

More Post-Windsor Tax Guidance: IRS Issues Letter Outlining Steps for Individuals to Obtain Tax Refunds for Same-Sex Spousal...

On June 27, 2014, the IRS published a letter outlining the steps taxpayers should take in order to obtain a refund for taxes paid on the value of employer-sponsored health coverage provided to an employee’s same-sex spouse....more

DOL Proposes to Amend FMLA Definition of “Spouse” to Include Same-Sex Marriages

The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed amending the regulatory definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act to expressly include individuals in same-sex marriages....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

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