Thursday, September 19, 2013

US Labor Dept. & Gay Marriage

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced new guidance for gay & lesbian couples regarding the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor which struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that denied federal benefits to legally married gay couples. The department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration has released guidance plans, plan sponsors, fiduciaries, participants & beneficiaries on the decision’s impact on the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. The release states that in general the terms “spouse” & “marriage” in Title I of ERISA & in related department regulations should be read to include gay & lesbian couples legally married in any state or foreign jurisdiction that recognizes gay marriages regardless of where they currently live. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez stated, “This decision represents a historic step toward equality for all American families & I have directed the department’s agency heads to ensure that they are implementing the decision in a way that provides maximum protection for workers & their families. The department plans to issue additional guidance in the coming months as we continue to consult with the Department of Justice & other federal agencies to implement the decision.” Assistant Secretary for Employee Benefits Security Phyllis C. Borzi added, “By providing greater clarity on how the Supreme Court’s decision affects one of the laws we enforce, we are contributing to greater equality & greater protection for America’s working families.”
For More Info: dol.gov
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