Supreme Court of the United States Defense of Marriage Act

The United States Supreme Court is the highest court of the United States and is charged with interpreting federal law, including the United States Constitution. The Court's docket is largely discretionary... more +
The United States Supreme Court is the highest court of the United States and is charged with interpreting federal law, including the United States Constitution. The Court's docket is largely discretionary with only a limited number of cases granted review each term.  The Court is comprised of one chief justice and eight associate justices, who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate to hold lifetime positions. less -
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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

What Is The Status Of Domestic Partnership Benefits On A Federal Level Post-Windsor?

Before the United States Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) in United States v. Windsor, the federal definition of “marriage” was limited to that between a man and a woman. For that reason,...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 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

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

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

DOL Proposes To Amend FMLA’s Definition of ‘Spouse’

A year after the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed to amend its regulations under the Family and Medical Leave Act...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

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

IRS Provides Guidance on Retroactivity of DOMA Decision for Qualified Retirement Plans

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued Notice 2014-19 and related answers to FAQs, which give plan sponsors additional guidance on how the Supreme Court's decision last June in U.S. v. Windsor applies...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

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

"Insights" Newsletter - Spring 2014

In this issue: - Supply Chain Finance as the "New Normal" - Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Implements Regulations for Covered Mortgage Loans - Arbitration Guidelines - Navigating Foreclosure...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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