Alabama Domestic Partner Benefits laws & HR compliance analysis

Alabama Domestic Partner Benefits: What you need to know

Same-sex marriages in Alabama became lawful on February 9, 2015, after a federal district court ruled that Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional (Searcy v. Strange, 81 F. Supp. 3d 1285 (S.D. Ala. 2015)). The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the state’s request to delay same-sex marriage in Alabama pending appeal.
The U.S. Supreme Court subsequently issued a decision in June 2015 legalizing same-sex marriage in all states and requiring all states to recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other jurisdictions (Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S.Ct. 2584 (2015)).
Reciprocity. Same-sex and opposite-sex marriages legally performed in other jurisdictions are recognized as legal marriages in Alabama.
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Effective January 1, 2017, Alabama no longer permits a couple to enter into a common-law marriage (HB332). Common-law marriages established before that date remain legally recognized marriages.
Self-funded employee benefit plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) are subject to federal law. The U.S. Supreme Court 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 generally must provide equally for those in same-sex and opposite-sex marriages. There may be narrow exceptions under ERISA that permit self-funded plans to exclude coverage for employees’ same-sex spouses, ...

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Alabama Domestic Partner Benefits Resources

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