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

Points & Authorities - Winter 2016

Attention California Employers: New Employment Laws Affecting Your Business Take Effect on January 1, 2016 - In past years the Governor of California has enacted new laws related to employment that place additional...more

Can a Massachusetts Religious School Refuse to Employ a Worker in a Same-Sex Marriage?

In Barrett v. Fontbonne Academy, the Massachusetts Superior Court curtailed various statutory and constitutional defenses available to an employer affiliated with a religious institution that faces discrimination claims under...more

Employee Benefits Developments - January 2016

IRS Guidance Addresses Numerous ACA Issues Related to HRAs. Just before the New Year, the IRS issued Notice 2015-87 (Notice), addressing the application of Affordable Care Act (ACA) market reform rules to different...more

Religious Institutions Update: January 2016

Timely Topics - The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued on Dec. 17, 2015, a memorandum instructing its examiners not to conduct employment tax audits of churches without getting in touch with a high-ranking Treasury...more

IRS Guidance on Employee Benefits Implications of Supreme Court Obergefell Decision on Same-Sex Marriage

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued Notice 2015-86, which provides some additional clarification, in the form of questions and answers, on the treatment of same-sex spouses under tax-qualified retirement plans...more

Is a Qualified Retirement Plan Required to Apply Windsor Retroactively?

Following the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in U.S. v. Windsor (in which the Court held that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) was unconstitutional), one of the questions facing sponsors of...more

On A Collision Course? How Religious Entities Should Address The Legal Expansions Of Gay Marriage And Gender Identity Protections

By now you are no doubt aware that the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges legalized same-sex marriage across the country. The decision has caused religious institutions and schools to ask about their...more

Employment Law Navigator – Week in Review: January 2016

Last week, Cargill Meat Solutions terminated approximately 190 employees who failed to report to work for three consecutive days. The employees, who are Muslim, stayed away from work in protest over the meatpacking plant’s...more

Sexual-Orientation Discrimination: The Lessons for Most Employers Will Be Clear Even if Federal Law Remains Unsettled

Attitudes toward same sex relationships have experienced enormous change in recent years. Perhaps the most dramatic manifestation of this shift is the Supreme Court’s decision this June in Obergefell v. Hodges striking down...more

Employment Law 2015 - Year In Review

Employment law is a constantly changing legal landscape and the past year provided employers and employees with a great deal of food for thought. The following cases and decisions by courts, the National Labor Relations Board...more

IRS Provides Additional Guidance on Treatment of Same-Sex Marriages under Benefit Plans

In IRS Notice 2015-86, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provided guidance to sponsors and administrators of employee benefit plans regarding the application of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges to...more

Corporate E-Note - December 2015

In an article published in the November 2015 issue of North American Builders, Jason Nimmer provides insight on what it takes to successfully deliver manufacturing-related construction jobs in today’s fast-paced building...more

Health Care E-Note - December 2015

A little-noticed provision in the federal Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 calls for OSHA to increase its penalties to adjust for inflation for the first time since 1990. Please see full E-Note below for more...more

Potential Year-End Amendment Required for Cafeteria Plans

What you need to know: The IRS, in response to this summer’s US Supreme Court marriage-equality decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, issued guidance last week concerning the impact of Obergefell on qualified retirement plans...more

IRS Notice 2015-86 — The Limited Effect of Obergefell

Last week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2015-86, providing guidance on the application of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges to qualified retirement plans and health and welfare...more

Employers Need 2015 Year-End Planning to Meet Employee Reporting and Withholding Requirements

To avoid tax reporting and withholding penalties as 2015 draws to a close, employers need to properly plan and check their reporting for employees under non-qualified deferred compensation, fringe benefits, health benefits or...more

Prenuptial Agreement Considerations for Same-Sex Couples

Nearly everyone who is engaged to be married contemplates a prenuptial agreement at some point, even if only to acknowledge the possibility briefly and conclude that they are not a good candidate. Most young couples...more

IRS Issues Guidance on Application of Obergefell Decision to Benefit Plans

This past June, the United States Supreme Court held in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___, 135 S.Ct. 2584 (2015), that the Fourteenth Amendment (i) requires a state’s civil marriage laws to apply to same-sex couples on the...more

SCOVA Watch: Does Virginia’s spousal support termination statute encompass cohabitation of same-sex couples?

On November 10, 2015, the Supreme Court of Virginia granted an appeal in Luttrell v. Cucco, Record No. 150770. Although the granting of the case did not make the news (they rarely do!), this case has the potential to be a...more

When Same-Sex Marriage Ends, Ex-Spouse May Have Custody Rights

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Obergefell v Hodges, in which it ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires a state to license a marriage between two people...more

Labor And Employment E-Note - November 2015

A little-noticed provision in the federal Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 calls for OSHA to increase its penalties to adjust for inflation for the first time since 1990... Please see full E-Note below for more...more

2015 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List Health & Welfare

As 2015 comes to an end, we are pleased to present you with our traditional End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” Lists. Like last year, we are presenting our “To Do” Lists in three separate Employee Benefits Updates. Part 1 of...more

Five Months after Same-Sex Marriages Held Constitutional: Where Are the Courts Headed on the Unanswered Questions?

On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued its monumental decision in Obergefell, et al. v. Hodges, et al.; Case No. 14-556, holding that state bans of same-sex marriages are unconstitutional. Specifically, the...more

IRS Proposed Regs Redefine the Terms “Husband” and “Wife”

The Supreme Court has recently struck down state bans on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 US ___ (2015), after previously striking down the federal exclusion of same-sex couples from...more

Avoiding Discrimination Claims After Obergefell

In June 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its long-awaited opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, striking down bans on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional and legalizing same-sex marriage in every state (135 S....more

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