Employment Law Newsletter: Same-Sex Couples and Employee Benefits


The Resource (issue 61, spring 2015)

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor (2013), which ruled as unconstitutional part of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), has had an impact on a number of federal laws affecting eligibility requirements for administration of various employee benefits. In this issue of The Resource: A Legal Newsletter for Employers and Human Resource Professionals, L. Diane Tindall of the Wyrick Robbins Employment Law Group provides an overview of that impact as well as some guidance on how employers should adjust their policies and practices to comply with these changes as regards employees with same-sex spouses.

CLIENT ALERT: Self Reporting for Violations of Affordable Care Act Market Reforms

This issue of the newsletter also includes a Client Alert (p. 3) issued by the Wyrick Robbins Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group addressing the practice of employers’ reimbursement of employees’ premiums for individual health insurance. The IRS has viewed such reimbursement arrangements as violating certain “market reform” provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and thus triggering an employer excise tax. A recent Notice published by the IRS offers some relief for small employers who engage in this fairly common practice (this tax will not apply to reimbursements through June 2015). Mid-sized and large employers (and small employers after June 2015) are required to self-report such arrangements to the IRS.  For additional details, please see our previous Client Alert published in February 2015.