Find the Right Employee Benefits Attorneys

"Employment benefits" are any tangible benefits, other than money, offered to employees as compensation for the work they do. These benefits include health insurance, employer-paid pension plans, and matching contributions to employee retirement accounts. There are many laws that affect how employee benefits are distributed, who they must benefit, and whether or not they are taxed.

For example, one issue on the forefront of several legal and public policy debates currently occurring in the country is employment benefits for same-sex domestic spouses or domestic partners.

LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor, , Attorney at Law

Finding the Right Employee Benefits Attorney

Many employers offer benefits to the spouses of employees. The most common such benefit is health insurance. However, only a minority of states offers legal domestic partnership arrangements for same-sex couples, and even fewer recognize marriage for same-sex couples. Furthermore, under the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal government is prohibited from recognizing same-sex marriages, even if the state of the couple's residence does recognize them. Still, some employers will offer health insurance benefits to a same-sex partner of an employee, even if the state they're in does not provide any recognition for such unions. They typically require proof that the partners are in a long-term relationship before providing the benefits, however. Usually, proof that they live together, and are not married to other people, is sufficient. Read more

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Under federal law, health insurance benefits provided by employers to spouses of employees are not subject to federal income tax. However, benefits offered to same-sex spouses or domestic partners are taxed, because the federal government, under the Defense of Marriage Act, does not recognize same-sex partners as "spouses," and those benefits are therefore not actually spousal benefits, as far as the federal government is concerned. While the constitutionality of DOMA is in question, and currently under review by the federal courts, it appears unlikely that it will be repealed any time soon.

For that reason, employee benefits law can be pretty complicated for some employees. If you or your partner are in a dispute with an employer regarding employment benefits, you should not hesitate to seek the advice of an employment lawyer. For information regarding Social Security and Disability Benefits that you may be entitled to please refer to Disability-Advisor.org


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