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

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

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

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

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 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

Labor Dept. Proposes to Extend FMLA Protections To Eligible Employees In Same-Sex Marriages

A rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor would extend the protections of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to all eligible employees in legal same-sex marriages regardless of where they live. The FMLA allows...more

DOL’s Proposed Rule Redefines FMLA’s Definition of “Spouse” to Recognize “Place of Celebration”

On June 20, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a press release announcing a proposed rule extending the protections of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to all eligible employees in legal same-sex marriages...more

FMLA to Cover Same-Sex Couples

President Barack Obama announced recently that he is directing the Department of Labor to propose a rule making legally married, same-sex couples eligible for benefits under the Family and Medical Leave Act in all fifty...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

Lift of Prohibition on Same-Sex Marriages in Pennsylvania Provides New Estate Planning Opportunities

On May 20, 2014, in the case of Whitewood v. Wolf, Judge John E. Jones III of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania struck down Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriages. Like many of the rulings...more

Executive Briefing - May 2014

In This Issue: - ADA Reasonable Accommodation Requests: Avoid Rigid Policies and Consider Technology - IRS Issues Guidance on Qualified Plan Amendments Regarding Same Sex Spouses - OSHA to Refer Untimely...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

Whitewood v. Wolf Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage in Pennsylvania

In a decision handed down on May 20th, Federal District Judge John E. Jones III struck down Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage, concluding that "all couples deserve equal dignity in the realm of civil marriage."...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

Marriage Equality: Federal Judge Strikes Down Same-Sex Marriage Ban In Pennsylvania

The movement for marriage equality made significant headway in Pennsylvania this week, when the Honorable John E. Jones, issued an opinion striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage for constitutional reasons. The...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

Federal Judge Strikes Down Pennsylvania Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Resulting in Significant Impact on Employee Benefit Plans

On May 20, 2014, a federal judge in the case of Whitewood v. Wolf struck down both Pennsylvania's ban on marriage for same-sex couples and its prohibition against recognition of same-sex marriages legally entered into 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

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