Domestic Partner Benefits
What is a domestic partnership? The term "domestic partnership"
generally refers to an unmarried couple, either of the same or opposite sex.
The laws in some states now permit same-sex marriage, civil unions, or domestic
partnerships for same-sex or opposite-sex couples. An employer's policy decisions
regarding these relationships will be shaped by state and federal laws, business
needs, and a desire for an inclusive corporate culture. Policy decisions most
often arise in the context of extending existing health insurance and other
benefits to domestic partners.
Although benefits may not be required by law, many employers
voluntarily offer benefits such as family and medical leave covering same-sex
spouses, civil union partners, and domestic partners. This trend is driven
by several factors, including changing demographics, the desire to be fair,
workplace diversity, and the need to improve employee morale. There are a
number of legal ramifications, including tax issues, to consider if an organization
intends to offer benefits to domestic partners.
Summary for [Your State]