For your employees who are not married, but are still in a committed relationship, you could consider offering domestic partner benefits. This was a much popular choice before same-sex marriage was legalized by the U.S. Supreme Court. However, there are still certain circumstances where it may be beneficial.
Before you can decide if you should offer this to your employees, you need to learn a bit more about this particular employee benefit. What constitutes a domestic partner? What are the benefits that this type of program can give your employee? Are there particular issues you have to be concerned about? What legal ramifications do you have to consider? Find out what you need to know about this type of employee benefit by reading below.
A domestic partner is someone to whom your employee is not married, but they live with. There may or may not be children in the household as well. As an employer, you can set limitations as to what an eligible partnership looks like. Commonly, a domestic partner is someone who is:
While you can set some limitations, many of the limitations for these types of benefits will be set by the state in which you live.
This type of benefit program is very beneficial for your employees in this type of relationship. It can help them get health insurance for their domestic partner at a cheaper cost. It can also include:
These types of benefits provide comfort to your employees and can help them feel more connected to their place of work. In certain states, it may also give your employee a tax break. However, this is not always the case. Certain states require employees participating in this type of program to still pay taxes on the income used for these benefits.
As an employer, you may be concerned with the added cost that this type of program would bring. However, many of the employee benefits from this program are on the cheap end. Even the health insurance for a domestic partner will likely be cheaper than you expect it to be.
One major issue with this type of plan is that the rules that govern the programs are not uniform. That means that if you have a business in multiple states, you will have to do a lot of research to make sure you fully understand your legal obligations in each state. This can take up precious time and cost you extra money in legal fees.
To that end, you have to make sure that you are aware of any and all legal ramifications. You should work closely with an attorney who will be able to help you better understand what you are agreeing to when you offer this type of program. He or she will be able to give you advice based on the current domestic partnership plans. He or she will also be able to make sure you fully understand your obligations as an employer. Do you have to offer this type of program? What benefits do you have to offer as a part of this plan? A knowledgeable attorney will be able to answer all of these questions.
If you are considering offering a domestic partner benefit plan, talk with an attorney to make sure you know what a domestic partner is, the benefits you will be able to offer your employees, and the legal ramifications and other issues you will have to know about. Carefully consider all of your options before you choose what course of action you want to pursue.Click to view more Human Resources Legal Disclaimer
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