One of the most important advantages of marriage is that you get an opportunity to share the employment benefits of your spouse like insurance and health. However, same-sex couples have struggled to take advantage of the various benefits. Forget the benefits, they have even struggled to get the right to marry.
However, due to the various recent movements, many jurisdictions have started accepting same-sex marriages.
As an employer, you must be wondering whether you have to provide them with the same benefits as received by a heterosexual couple. However, there are still many jurisdictions which are vague in this regard. The decision of the Supreme Court in the US Vs Windsor Case opened the possibility of legalization of gay marriages. However, states have power as well. Not all of them have legalized same-sex marriages. That is why there is so much confusion.
States and Marriage Laws
Another question which arises in the mind is whether the LGBT community will be considered as a protected class. If they are considered as a protected class, then they will be safeguarded against anti-discrimination laws.
Laws which violate the rights of the protected classes often get overturned. However, sexual preference is not usually considered as a determinant for deciding protected class. Recently, a law which declared same-sex marriage illegal was declared as unconstitutional by the federal courts.
But many states have not accepted the decision. So basically, the question is whether they should be considered as similar to heterosexual couples and what an employer should do. The answer is quite simple.
It completely depends on the state where you operate. Some states will require you to provide them with the same benefits. In the case of some states, there is no such compulsion. In instances where you operate in multiple states, you should follow the jurisdiction of that state which offers the maximum protection to LGBT communities.
You will also find that most of the Fortune 500 companies have also started offering same-sex couples equal rights and benefits. And in case you operate in just one state, then you have to worry about the jurisdiction of that state only.
However, you also have to keep an eye on the various laws which will come related to LGBT community. There is a high chance that laws in the future will require you to offer equal rights to the LGBT community. In case you want to know more about the legal requirements, you can contact a labor attorney and they will be able to help you out in this regard.