Florida Domestic Partner Benefits laws & HR compliance analysis

Florida Domestic Partner Benefits: What you need to know

Effective January 6, 2015, same-sex marriage is legal in Florida. The U.S. Supreme Court and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals denied requests by the state to stay a decision by a federal district that found the state’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional (Brenner v. Scott, 999 F. Supp. 2d 1278 (N.D. Fla. 2014)).
The U.S. Supreme Court 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, No. 14-556 (6/26/15)).
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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, but such exclusions may subject an employer to discrimination claims.
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 ...

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Florida Domestic Partner Benefits Resources

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