West Virginia Domestic Partner Benefits laws & HR compliance analysis

West Virginia Domestic Partner Benefits: What you need to know

Same-sex marriages in West Virginia became lawful after the governor and the state's attorney general declined to continue defending the state's ban on same-sex marriage. The announcement followed the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to review a ruling by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals affirming the unconstitutionality of a state law banning same-sex marriage. A federal district court in West Virginia subsequently ruled that West Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional (McGee v. Cole, No. 3:13-24068 (S.D.W.Va. 2014)).
Reciprocity. Same-sex and opposite-sex marriages legally performed in other jurisdictions are recognized as legal marriages in West Virginia.
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 ...

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West Virginia Domestic Partner Benefits Resources

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