- The Supreme Court’s landmark ruling allowing same-sex marriage has raised a question for employers: Should they maintain domestic partner benefits?
- In Minnesota, two of the state's largest employers, Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota, have already phased out those benefits since the state legalized same-sex marriage in 2013, reports the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
- Nationwide, firms such as Delta Air Lines, Verizon and IBM have begun dropping them in some states. Now that same-sex marriage is a nationwide law, more companies are expected to follow suit, says the article.
Many employers are taking a wait-and-see approach. Following the recent Supreme Court ruling, companies that only offer domestic partner benefits to same-sex couples became the likeliest to end them, according to the article. They could be subject to reverse discrimination claims if they don’t, said Jen Cornell, a Minneapolis employment attorney with Nilan Johnson Lewis.
Cornell added that many companies will likely choose to rescind those benefits, especially since there could be higher costs to run both programs. “People look at the bottom line,” Cornell said. “In this era of health care offerings, people are contracting rather than expanding benefits.”
“It’s just too early to say,” said Molly Snyder, spokeswoman for Minneapolis-based Target Corp., to the Star Tribune. Target has offered domestic partner benefits since 1999.