Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Tim Garrett analyzes the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges and its effect on workplace issues. In June 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that the right to marry is a fundamental right guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution, regardless of the gender of the intended spouse. This right has implications for benefits coverage to employees and spouses. In the article, Tim suggests that one of unintended consequences of the Obergefell ruling is how employers deal with benefits coverage in situations involving employees with domestic partners. As Tim points out in the article, “there is an unintended consequence unfolding after Obergefell. Given that same-sex marriage is now a fundamental right, there is a less compelling argument (some might argue no compelling argument) for employers to provide benefits for relationships that are less formal than marriage.”
This second article is part of a three-part series on the topic of how the culture war in America is playing out in the workplace. The full article, “Recent Developments Create Unexpected — and Perhaps Unintended – Consequences,” was published by InsideCounsel on October 19, 2015 and is available online.