In light of last week’s US Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, some of the large employers offering domestic partner benefits may decide to reevaluate their benefits offerings. The original intent of domestic partner benefits was to provide coverage to same-sex spouses who did not have a legal right to marry. With that issue removed by the Court, employers may decide to stop offering domestic partner benefits and eliminate the administrative burdens associated with the offering. However, employers should consider carefully their organizational culture, attraction/retention strategies, and the end date for offering domestic partner benefits -- after which couples will essentially be required to marry or lose coverage. Keep in mind that it’s the couples who prefer not to marry -- same-sex or opposite-sex -- who stand to lose the most.
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