Delaware same-sex marriage changes take effect July 1

June 17, 2013 0 COMMENTS

The amendment to the Delaware Domestic Relations Act legalizing same-sex marriage goes into effect July 1. Under the law, the same rights, benefits, protections, and legal responsibilities apply to married same-sex couples and married opposite-sex couples.

In 2012, Delaware’s Civil Union Equality Act (CUEA) established that civil unions are to be treated as marriages under state law, so employers shouldn’t see much change as a result of the legalization of same-sex marriages. One exception is if your business provides marriage-related services (for instance, a facility that rents out rooms for wedding receptions). In that case, if you refuse to provide marriage-related services to same-sex couples, you could be subject to a discrimination claim under the Delaware Equal Accommodations Law.

read more…

Colorado civil union law takes effect May 1

April 25, 2013 0 COMMENTS

by Rebecca Hudson

Colorado’s new civil union law goes into effect May 1, meaning Colorado joins eight other states that permit civil unions or have similar laws that recognize them. Nine other states and Washington, D.C., allow same-sex marriage.

Under the Colorado Civil Union Act, the state will recognize civil unions entered into by same-sex and opposite-sex couples, granting rights afforded to traditionally married couples. But unlike a marriage, a civil union doesn’t provide federal protections or responsibilities. For example, under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), federal programs define marriage as “between one man and one woman.” If a Colorado employer remains governed by federal law, any benefits it offers won’t be extended to partners in a civil union.

read more…

Colorado civil union law means change for employers

March 25, 2013 0 COMMENTS

The Colorado Civil Union Act, which takes effect May 1, requires changes in employer-provided insurance plans and makes changes to the state’s workers’ compensation law.

Effective for plans issued, delivered, or renewed on or after January 1, 2014, a party to a civil union may cover his or her partner as a dependent. Employers providing insurance through fully insured plans must offer the same coverage for an employee’s civil union partner that it provides for an employee’s spouse. Unless an employee can claim a civil union partner as an IRS-eligible dependent, the employee must pay federal taxes on the fair market value of group healthcare benefits provided for the partner through a private employer.

The Civil Union Act also affects workers’ compensation by making survivor benefits and wage payments that are available to spouses also available to civil union partners.

read more…

Delaware Becomes Seventh State to Approve Same-Sex Civil Unions

April 15, 2011 0 COMMENTS

by Lauren A. Moak and Adria B. Martinelli

Beginning January 1, 2012, Delaware will allow same-sex civil unions and also will recognize similar unions performed in other states. Yesterday, the Delaware House of Representatives approved Senate Bill 30, a bill that establishes and recognizes same-sex civil unions while also requiring that the word “marriage” where it appears in the Delaware Code be interpreted to mean “marriage or civil union.”

read more…