Same-sex marriages in Oregon became lawful following a federal district court decision that struck down as unconstitutional the state's ban on same-sex marriage (Geiger v. Kitzhaber, No. 6:13-cv-01834-MC (5/19/14)). The decision also requires legal recognition of same-sex marriages legally performed in other jurisdictions.
Self-funded health insurance plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) are subject to federal law. The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down as unconstitutional Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage as only between a man and a woman (United States v. Windsor, 133 S.Ct. 2675 (2013)). The ruling requires equal treatment under federal law of spouses in legally recognized same-sex and opposite-sex marriages. Therefore, employee benefits regulated by federal law such as ERISA and federal income tax law must provide equally for those in same-sex and opposite-sex marriages.
Fully insured health plans are subject to state laws. Employers offering employees state-regulated coverage are required to offer coverage to employees' same-sex spouses on the same terms offered to employees' opposite-sex spouses. Likewise, health plans sponsored by state public sector employers are subject to state law and are required to cover same-sex spouses on the same basis as opposite-sex spouses.
Leave. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid family and medical leave to an eligible employee who needs to care for a spouse with a serious health condition. Employers in Oregon are required to provide an employee in a same-sex marriage with ...