News & Analysis as of

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

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

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

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

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

Post-DOMA, IRS and CMS issue further guidance regarding same-sex spouses

Last September, three months after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in United States v. Windsor, the IRS issued some much-anticipated guidance regarding the treatment of same-sex spouses. For employers who...more

IRS Issues Windsor Guidance for Qualified Retirement Plans

On April 4, 2014, the IRS released Notice 2014-19, providing guidance on the application of United States v. Windsor to qualified retirement plans. The Notice is the third significant piece of guidance issued by the IRS on...more

Hot Employment Topics For 2014 Part II: After The Defense Of Marriage Act? Implications For Employee Benefits

This is the second of a seven-part series describing "Hot Employment Topics for 2014." Part II focuses upon "The Aftermath of the Demise of the Defense of Marriage Act." The United States Supreme Court in 2013 struck...more

2013 Employment Law Growing Pains

Every year there are developments in employment law that challenge accepted norms of practice and require creative workable solutions. In particular 2013 had several areas that caused some of these “growing pains,” including...more

Same Sex Marriages: Are You Filing Your Taxes Properly?

In late 2013, I met with my first same sex couple clients since the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last year. If you recall, DOMA was the federal law barring the federal government from...more

Windsor and Hollingsworth: Shifting Tides in the Battle for Marriage Equality

Of all of the Supreme Court decisions in recent years, few have drawn more public interest (or outcry, depending on an individual’s political school of thought) than United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry and few...more

IRS Publishes Post-Windsor Guidance in Notice 2014-1

A significant amount of confusion remains for employee benefit plan sponsors regarding the impact of the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Windsor and its holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act...more

IRS Answers Some Outstanding Questions For Same Sex Spouses

Since the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Windsor holding the Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA") to be unconstitutional, and the related guidance issued thereafter by the Internal Revenue Service certain questions...more

High Net Worth Family Tax Report, Vol. 8. No. 4 -- December 2013

IRS Explains Federal Tax Consequences of Windsor Case Regarding Same-Sex Marriages - In our last report (Vol. 8, No. 3, September 2013), we told you about the recent Windsor case, in which the Supreme Court held...more

IRS Provides Some Guidance on Federal Tax Matters for Same-Sex Marriage

Earlier this year, in the case of U.S. v. Windsor, the US Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Under Section 3 of DOMA, the definitions of "marriage" and "spouse" had been limited to a...more

Virginia Department of Taxation Will Not Recognize Joint Returns for Same-Sex Couples After Windsor

The Virginia Department of Taxation recently announced that same-sex couples married in another state must file separate Virginia income tax returns even though they file a federal return as a married couple....more

Marriage and Taxes in 2013

Two significant events in 2013 underscored the nexus of marriage and taxes that make it possible for many couples to radically simplify their estate planning. ...more

Benefits Update, No. 4, November 2013: The World Post-Windsor: Rethinking Benefit And Leave Policies For Same-Sex Spouses

Following a highly-publicized U.S. Supreme Court decision and subsequent guidance from both the Labor Department (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), employers need to rethink how they treat same-sex spouses under...more

Same-Sex Marriage in Illinois

With same-sex marriages to begin in the state of Illinois next year, employers should expect an increase in requests for spousal benefit coverage from employees who have legally married their same-sex partners. The new law...more

USCIS Begins Approving Green Card Applications for Same-Sex Married Couples

A California professor was one of the first binational couples to have their marriage recognized by federal immigration officials. Although Tom Knutson and his partner Phan Datthuyawat have been together for more than 20...more

Tax Department Prohibits Joint Filing for Married Same Sex Couples in Ohio

The Ohio Department of Taxation (the "Department") has issued guidance that it will require married same-sex couples who file joint federal income tax returns to file Ohio income tax returns using a "single" filing status. On...more

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