Equal Retirement

Feds Say Same-Sex Spouses Must Get Equal Employment Benefits In Every State

Yet another ripple from the Supreme Court ruling striking down DOMA: the Labor Department now says that same-sex married couples are entitled to the same employment benefits as straight married couples regardless of where they live. What this means is that your spouse can now participate in your company’s retirement plan, such as a 401K plans.

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez called the ruling a “historic step forward.” Previously, Perez had hedged on whether the ruling from the Labor Department, which regulates private retirement plans, would apply in states that hadn’t legalized marriage equality. The new ruling clears that up.

“By providing greater clarity on how the Supreme Court’s decision affects one of the laws we enforce, we are contributing to greater equality and greater protection for America’s working families,” EBSA Assistant Secretary Phyllis Borzi said.

There are still some changes that the Labor Department can make to ensure greater equality. Chief among them: rewriting the Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows employees to take time off from work to deal with family emergencies.

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  • GayTampaCowboy

    The FULL EQUALITY dominos continue to fall! I predict in less than 14 months (end of next year) this will ALL be over – that’s critical since the Presidential Election season will start in full force on Jan 1 2015.

  • Elloreigh

    Expect the State of Michigan to fight this.

  • LubbockGayMale

    Well, I expect Texas to be the last state to comply. Too many troglodytes and GOP voters, and who honors queers anyway? Depressing to live here, trust me.

  • Spike

    @LubbockGayMale: Just look to the Loving v Virgina S.Court ruling and which states were the last to repeal anti-miscegenation laws and that will tell you exactly which states will be the last to comply….and shock and awe, Texas was def. one of them.

  • Cam

    This is HUGE! Currently, a company could claim that one of their offices was in say…Michigan and therefore they had the option to use Michigan law when it came to gay couples, and therefore offer zero benefits.

    So this decision prevents that. Fantastic!

  • manjoguy

    I wish the feds would rule that under Obamacare all U.S. citizens are “equal”. Where’s the equality in national health care if so many people receive waivers/exemptions? Politicians get subsidies(when they can clearly afford it)? All those politicians, unions and “friends and hacks of the administration”?

  • Goforit

    @manjoguy: I had a flat tire last week. I don’t know how but it must have been Obama’s fault. Try again manjoguy. Maybe next time you can disguise your teabagger sentiments better.

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