Gardere's Michael Abbott Discusses Changes to Employee Benefits Following the 2013 DOMA Ruling

21 July 2014 News

On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, finding the federal interpretation that the terms "marriage" and "spouse" could apply only to heterosexual unions to be unconstitutional. On July 21, 2014, one year removed from this landmark decision, Human Resource Executive Online spoke with Gardere Partner Michael A. Abbott about the growing number of companies offering benefits to same-sex couples and ways in which they are choosing to relay the updated information to their workforce.

Mr. Abbott told the publication that he has seen many clients take a straightforward, keep-it-simple approach to notifying employees of benefits changes. "In terms of letting employees know what's going on with their benefits, I see a lot of emails, some using a Q & A format to address common questions employees are going to have about same-sex benefits," he says. "[Employers] know employees are going to have question about these things. Sending out emails addressing these questions helps you remain as transparent as possible."

The complete article can be found here.