WASHINGTON, DC — Authored by McDermott Will & Emery Employee Benefits attorneys Joseph S. Adams and Todd A. Solomon, a just-released guide from Thompson Publishing Group®, Domestic Partner Benefits - An Employer’s Guide, helps plan sponsors investigate the advantages and pitfalls of offering pension and welfare benefits to employees’ domestic partners.
Nearly 3,000 employers now offer domestic partner benefits to their employees’ same-sex or opposite-sex partners. Providing domestic partner benefits is a growing, yet controversial, practice among organizations. For employers and plan administrators, this trend raises new questions and potential problems concerning pension and welfare plans.
A recent Vermont Supreme Court decision allows same-sex domestic partners to be provided the same benefits and protections afforded married couples, an option that could have significant implications for domestic partner benefits. In Hawaii, for example, the legislature, courts and voters have all played a role in shaping the issue.
This new, 74-page softbound book addresses such issues as:
- how federal, state and local laws and ordinances affect the provision of domestic partner benefits;
- how "domestic partner" should be defined;
- whether benefits should be offered only to same-sex domestic partners and what, if any, proof should be required to receive benefits; and
- what administrative issues, such as tax, payroll/withholding, FMLA, COBRA and HIPAA, are involved when offering domestic partner benefits.
The resource, which costs $79, also features an implementation strategy and model documents. To order, www.thompson.com or call 1-800-964-5815.