Sunday, July 09, 2006

Gays at Globe told to marry or lose benefits

BostonHerald Memo to Boston Globe gay and lesbian Guild employees: Get married or lose your domestic partner benefits. Globe staffers have been told that health and dental benefits for gay employees’ domestic partners are being discontinued.

They will probably claim they are being discriminated against, but it is not true, because the Globe does not extend benefits to unmarried hetrosexual couples.
Gay couples who want to keep their benefits must marry by Jan. 1....
So if you are living in sin.....
Benefits for domestic partners were originally offered to gay employees because they couldn’t legally marry, said Ilene Robinson Sunshine, a lawyer at Sullivan & Worcester. Now that gay marriage is legal in Massachusetts companies that offer benefits to gay employees’ partners risk hearing cries of discrimination from unmarried straight couples. Such concerns played a role in the policy change at the Globe, said Steve Behenna, the newspaper’s compensation and benefits director. The Globe does not extend benefits to live-in partners of its heterosexual employees. Like many companies, it offered benefits to partners of gay employees because marriage was not an option for them. Now that gay marriage is an option in Massachusetts, Behenna said the paper could be more susceptible to claims of discrimination.Paul Holtzman, an attorney specializing in employment law at Krokidas & Bluestein, said you can expect more local companies to change their policies.

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