Gay Marriage : Redrafting the Employee Handbook
Apr 28, 2015
With the change to same sex marriage, employers may need to revisit their workplace policies and procedures to make sure that they are in compliance with current state of the law. Employers need to look at their policies where they offer benefits to spouses such as Family Medical Leave Act, benefits, health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, things like that where a spouse is receiving a benefit from the company. Those same benefits need to be offered to spouses of same sex marriages. Additionally, employers should look to their equal employment opportunity statement and make sure that it includes sexual orientation and gender identity.
While these causes of action are not necessarily protected under federal or state laws right now, we anticipate that they will be in the future and there is municipality ordinances that prohibit this type of discrimination. Employers need to have a mechanism in place for employees to complain about things that they believe to be discrimination, whether it’s based on sexual orientation, gender identity or any other protected characteristic under applicable law. That way, if an employee feels that he or she is being discriminated against, then the employer can look to investigate potential claim and take corrective action.
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