Monday, March 7, 2016

LGBT Rights, Benefits, and Protections in the Workplace

by P. Delanna Padilla, Esq.

People's attitudes toward same-sex relationships has changed dramatically in recent years. In 2015, the law caught up with those changes. The Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that state laws could not ban same-sex marriages and that everyone has a constitutional right to marry. By extension, this ruling impacts employee benefits, such as FMLA, retirement plans, and medical insurance.

Employers need to consider revising their employee benefit plan documents to comply with current law.

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Expanding Title VII Protection to LGBTQ Workers

by Nicholas Michael Saleh, Esq.

On July 15, 2015, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity ("EEOC") ruled in a 3-2 decision that discrimination based on sexual orientation is covered by the prohibition on "sex"-based discrimination in the workplace contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"). See David Baldwin v. Dep't of Transportation, EEOC Appeal No. 0120133080 (July 15, 2015).

The decision follows three weeks after the Supreme Court's historic decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015).

Currently, Title VII does not expressly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation but, as foretold by Adair Buckner in her July 27, 2015 post Employers: Gear Up for Changes in Treatment of Same-Sex Spouses After Supreme Court Ruling, big changes in the law may be coming sooner than expected.

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Employers: Gear Up for Changes in Treatment of Same-Sex Spouses After Supreme Court Ruling

by Adair M. Buckner, Esq.

The United States Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling Friday, June 26, 2015, in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that the U.S. Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage. Read the Court's full opinion here.

Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that the 14th Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex, and that the U.S. Constitution does not permit states to bar same-sex couples from marriage. This ruling, coupled with the U. S. Supreme Court ruling in 2013 in United States v. Windsor, that the portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which denied recognition of marital status to couples of the same sex under federal law was unconstitutional, will mean broad changes in employment-related treatment of same-sex spouses.

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Monday, October 7, 2013

What Employers Need to Know About Recent Same-Sex Marriage Interpretations

by Sabrina Presnell Rockoff, Esq.

Any blog post that deals with both Internal Revenue Service and Department Of Labor rulings is bound to be, well, as one of my faithful readers would say, "On the dry side." But, not only does this post give North Carolina employers a lot of recent and important information, it uses the gem of a term "state of celebration"—what a great concept to appear in an IRS ruling, of all things! I'll come back to that thought by the end of the post…

A few months ago, I opined on how this year's Supreme Court rulings may affect employers.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Irreconcilable Differences Grounds Non-Existent for Civil Union Dissolution

by Joseph P Testa, J.S.C. (Ret) and Thomas Roberto, Esq.

Marriage equality is a heated topic of debate on all fronts: local, state, national and even global. New Jersey is one of many states that permits same-sex couples to enter into civil unions. Although the law that allows same-sex couples in New Jersey to enter into civil unions is relatively new, family law attorneys have seen a dramatic influx of actions for dissolution of civil unions and everything that comes under the dissolution umbrella. Interestingly, the New Jersey Statute that provides for dissolution of civil unions includes only fault-based grounds, omitting irreconcilable differences as a cause of action.


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