Same-Sex Marriage Employee Retirement Income Security Act

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

A Review of the Supreme Court’s 2014 - 2015 Term

During the United States Supreme Court’s 2014-2015 term, the Court departed from the pro-business reputation it had developed in labor and employment cases. This term, employees prevailed more often than not, including in...more

Obergefell v. Hodges – Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal in All 50 States

In 2013, the Supreme Court, in United States v. Windsor, struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) which defined marriage, for Federal purposes, as between one man and one woman. The Windsor ruling...more

Supreme Court Holds States Cannot Ban Same-Sex Marriage; All States Must Perform and Recognize Same-Sex Marriage

Executive Summary: The U.S. Supreme Court has held that marriage is a fundamental right, and states must perform and recognize same-sex marriage. See Obergefell v. Hodges (June 26, 2015). ...more

The U.S. Supreme Court Finds a Constitutional Right to Same-Sex Marriage: Implications for Employee Benefit Plan Sponsors

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a historic decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses require states to allow same-sex marriage and to...more

Same-Sex Marriage Bans As Sex Discrimination: The Potential Impact On Plan Sponsors And Employers

In last week’s oral argument on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans, Chief Justice Roberts asked the following question: Counsel, I’m not sure it’s necessary to get into sexual orientation to resolve the...more

Same-Sex Marriage Bans As Sex Discrimination: The potential impact on plan sponsors

In last week’s oral argument on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans, Chief Justice Roberts asked the following question: Counsel, I’m, I’m not sure it’s necessary to get into sexual orientation to resolve...more

The Supreme Court Weighs The Constitutionality Of Restricting Marriage To Opposite Sex Couples, And The Impact Their Decision May...

Background - Today, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument on two questions regarding the Constitutionality of state laws limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples. In 2013, the Supreme Court side-stepped the issue...more

Same-Sex Spouse Has No Standing to Assert COBRA Notice Claim

A New Jersey federal district court held (in an unpublished opinion) that a former plan participant’s same-sex spouse who never enrolled in the benefit plan did not have standing to assert a claim alleging that his spouse’s...more

Supreme Court Will Hear Same-Sex Marriage Issue

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in four same-sex marriage cases in April, potentially settling the divisive issue by the end of the current term. The justices will consider an appeal from the 6th Circuit decision...more

In Florida, Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage Will Impact Employers

On January 6, Florida became the 36th state to recognize same-sex marriage. This development came as the result of several recent state and federal court decisions finding Florida's ban on same-sex marriage an...more

Group health plans for same-sex spouses: Equal treatment required or not?

In our recent webinar, McAfee & Taft attorneys shared with you a number of ramifications from the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that effectively legalized same-sex marriage in Oklahoma. One of the key questions we...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

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

ERISA self-insured health plan not required to cover same sex spouses

In Roe v. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, No. 12–cv–04788 (NSR), 58 EBC 1077, 2014 WL 1760343 (S.D. N.Y. May 1, 2014), the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York held a self-insured health plan that...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

What Marriage Equality Means for Your Employee Benefits

A frequent headline in the news as of late has been “Federal Judge in State X finds same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional” and then shortly thereafter “Hundreds of couples marry in State X” complete with a picture of a...more

What's New Under the Defense of Marriage Act?

A major reason that employee benefits, such as employer- provided healthcare and retirement plans, exist is that they provide a tax-advantaged way for an employer to provide additional compensation to an employee, her spouse,...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

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

Monthly Benefits Update

As expected, the Department of the Treasury and the IRS (the “Agencies”) finalized the employer information reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) earlier this month. The final rules, which are...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - February 2014

The employee benefits issues to be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court continue to be of great significance to plan sponsors and fiduciaries. This month we review the Court's employee benefit decisions from 2013 and also...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - January 2014

This month we look at part three of our three part series on Class Actions. In part three, Robert Rachal and M. Todd Mobley address the role of experts in class certification post Wal-Mart and Comcast and how to use and...more

Improve Compliance Of Retirement And Group Health Plans In 2014

Retirement plan fiduciaries should consider the following best practices to improve their plan’s governance in 2014: (i) if fiduciary duties have been delegated, make certain that the delegations are in writing and are being...more

Year-End Health and Retirement Plan Guidance Grab Bag

Following Hawaii’s enactment of legislation recognizing same-sex marriage as of and after December 2, 2013 a number of additional pieces of guidance were also issued. Internal Revenue Service’s Frequently Asked Questions...more

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