No More Benefits for You

This just seems wrong. Either the company covers domestic partners or it doesn’t. I don’t believe that the inability to register as domestic partners should have any affect upon existing benefits coverage for a couple whose relationship was previously deemed valid.

Essentially, a gay couple moved from New Jersey, a state that recognizes gay unions to Idaho, a state that doesn’t (despite the fact one of their State Representatives, Nicole LeFavour, is gay). Because the couple could not register their partnership within the state of Idaho, the company dropped the employee’s partner’s insurance, citing the “Constitutional Amendment” aka The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Now I know that many companies require that employees provide proof that they registered their domestic partnership when they first apply for benefits, which this couple appears to have done. What seems odd to me is that the company is now rescinding the benefits because they moved to a state that doesn’t recognize same-sex unions. I’m sure that if they were able to (and if they had known), the couple would have immediately registered so as to protect their benefits. But why punish them for something they are not able to do?

Yes, it was their choice to move to Idaho and evidently they did not realize that the partner would lose his benefits, but I just don’t understand why the company feels that they need to make this particular stand, particularly since the partner is a 9/11 survivor who is suffering the residual effects of that horrible, horrible day.

Then again, I don’t necessarily understand why people are against gay marriage. But I’m just a New York-born bleeding heart liberal living in San Francisco. A lot doesn’t make sense to me.

One Reply to “No More Benefits for You”

  1. This was an extremely poor choice for Konica to make. Offering domestic partner benefits only where the law requires the company to do so is a very bad idea. No matter the politics or majority opinion of the shareholders / senior management on gay rights, it’s time they get their heads out of the sand and realize it’s 2008 and there are a ton of gay/lesbian/bisexual people out there and that includes their customer base and talent pool. Tick them off at your own peril.

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