Gay marriage ruling leaves U.S. firms unclear on spousal benefits

Gay marriage ruling leaves U.S. firms unclear on spousal benefits

The Supreme Court was definitive in its decision to legalize gay marriage nationwide, but what is far from clear is whether U.S. companies must offer corporate benefits to same-sex spouses.

Many large and mid-sized employers are self-insured, which means their benefits are governed by a 1974 act that has no language on preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act allows companies to bypass differing state laws that complicate healthcare options for employees spread out across the country.

 

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