Category Archives: Family Law

employer  employee dictionary definition

The Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage: Employer Next Steps

What should employers be thinking about in the benefits arena now that the US Supreme Court has ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that all states must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and fully recognize same-sex marriages lawfully performed out of state? We suggest that employers consider whether the following plan design changes, health plan …

Read more »

Wedding and engagement rings

Same-Sex Marriage Equality: What Employers Need to Know After Obergefell

Same-sex couples have a Constitutional right to marry and have their marriages recognized nationwide. In a 5-to-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that states are required to license a marriage between two people of the same sex under the Fourteenth Amendment. Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (2015). As a result, same-sex couples may now legally …

Read more »

U.S. Supreme Court Finds a Constitutional Right to Same-Sex Marriage: Implications for Employee Benefit Plan Sponsors

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a historic decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses require states to allow same-sex marriage and to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.  The decision comes exactly two years to the day from the Court’s decision …

Read more »

Same-Sex Divorces in New Jersey

On September 27, 2013, in a landmark case for the state, Garden State Equality v. Dow, New Jersey Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobsonruled that the state must allow same-sex couples to marry. While Governor Chris Christie immediately stated that his administration would be appealing the ruling, he eventually withdrew his appeal, and the first same-sex …

Read more »

DOL Issues Final Rule Amending FMLA Definition of “Spouse” to Include Same-Sex Marriages

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued a final rule amending the regulatory definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).  We earlier reported on the DOL’s proposed rule to this effect, which is now final and will become effective on March 27, 2015. The amendment changes the definition of “spouse” to …

Read more »

Same Sex Marriage and Tax Law…A Rough Landscape

Another tax season is upon us, and the hardships of complying with another annual tax return filing requirement affects most of us. However, for same sex couples, the hardships are further exacerbated by the different tax laws at the state level. At the time this post is published, same-sex marriage bans remain in place in …

Read more »

Oregon’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional, Judge Rules

  Oregon’s prohibition on same-sex marriage conflicts with the United States Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection, newly appointed U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane has held in a case filed on behalf of four couples in Multnomah County. Geiger v. Kitzhaber, No. 6:13-cv-01834-MC (May 19, 2014). Judge McShane explained the measure discriminates against same-sex couples. …

Read more »

Wisconsin Federal Court Recognizes Same-Sex Marriage: How Does This Affect the Administration of an Employer’s Employee Benefits?

On Friday, June 6, 2014, Judge Crabb of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin issued a decision finding that Wisconsin’s constitutional amendment recognizing marriages only between men and women violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Unlike several other federal judges who have considered the issue, Judge Crabb did …

Read more »

Keeping Current – Recent Changes in Employment Laws

Is your FMLA policy up to date? The federal Family Medical Leave Act regulations were revised in 2013, primarily to expand the circumstances under which employees can take military leaves. For example, leave is now available to care for covered veterans and for service members or veterans who aggravated an existing illness or injury while on active …

Read more »

Same Sex Marriages: Are You Filing Your Taxes Properly?

  In late 2013, I met with my first same sex couple clients since the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last year.  If you recall, DOMA  was the federal law barring the federal government from recognizing same sex marriages legalized by states.  It was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court as …

Read more »