NEW YORK (December 9, 2010) — Today, McDermott Will & Emery LLP announced that, effective January 1, 2011, the Firm will join the ranks of organizations providing a tax gross-up payment for employees who are taxed on the value of medical, dental and vision benefits provided to their domestic partners. The gross-up will directly compensate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) employees for the additional federal tax they pay for such domestic partner health benefits.
“Recently, there has been a growing awareness about the tax inequities surrounding the higher federal tax assessed on domestic partner health benefits coverage for employees. McDermott is proud to be among the first in the legal industry to offer this important benefit to our LGBT employees in same-sex relationships,” commented Peter J. Sacripanti, Co-Chair of McDermott Will & Emery. "A tax gross-up eliminates the tax inequity faced by employees with same-sex domestic partners and is a progressive step designed to provide equal pay for equal work by gay and lesbian employees.”
“McDermott Will & Emery is committed to a culture that values and nurtures diversity,” added Jeffrey E. Stone, Co-Chair of McDermott Will & Emery. “The Firm understands that our culture enhances our ability to attract and retain exceptional talent to best serve our clients. It also helps McDermott bring the best, broadest and most innovative ideas and approaches to client service. Grossing up benefits for LGBT employees who pay for health insurance for their domestic partners is one powerful way that we can signal to our employees that we are committed to providing equal benefits regardless of their sexual orientation or the current state of the nation's tax laws."
As of July 2010, the Human Rights Campaign, one of the largest civil rights organizations working to achieve LGBT equality in the workplace, was only aware of four for-profit employers that grossed-up, and indicated that several more large business and law firms intended to implement the benefit in 2010. “With today’s decision, McDermott is helping to lead the marketplace in providing equal treatment to LGBT employees,” added Stone.
McDermott Will & Emery is a premier international law firm with a diversified business practice. Numbering more than 1,000 lawyers, we have offices in Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Düsseldorf, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan, Munich, New York, Orange County, Rome, San Diego, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. Extending our reach to Asia, we have a strategic alliance with MWE China Law Offices in Shanghai.