Massachusetts Domestic Partner Benefits laws & HR compliance analysis

Massachusetts Domestic Partner Benefits: What you need to know

In 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that state laws excluding same-sex couples from marriage violate the state constitution, allowing same-sex couples to marry in Massachusetts (Goodridge v. Dep't of Pub. Health, 440 Mass. 309 (Mass. 2003)). Same-sex couples residing in Massachusetts have been able to marry since May 17, 2004, and those who reside outside the state have been able to marry in Massachusetts since July 31, 2008.
The U.S. Supreme Court subsequently issued a decision legalizing same-sex marriages 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)).
Effect on employers. Employers in Massachusetts are required to provide the same benefits, such as health insurance, to employees in same-sex marriages as provided to employees in opposite-sex marriages. Employees with same-sex spouses are entitled to family leave benefits and deductions provided for under state tax laws.
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Spouses in a same-sex marriage have all rights and benefits as spouses in an opposite-sex marriage. Spouses in same-sex marriages, therefore, are entitled to family leave benefits, deductions provided for under state laws, and public assistance benefits.
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 ...

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Massachusetts Domestic Partner Benefits Resources

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