Wednesday, March 27, 2013

More Reason Why Companies Should Care about DOMA Arguments

Listening to NPR yesterday, the coverage was heavily-centered around the two cases that are being tried before the Supreme Court--about Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). While there are people who feel strongly about the issue on both sides, the tide is turning towards people supporting marriage equality--not just in the general public and politics, but in the business world as well. And here are some reasons from NPR why you may want to follow this a bit more closely (hint: it's bad for business)
The Defense of Marriage Act prevents same-sex couples from getting medical coverage and other tax and retirement benefits that other employees receive for their spouses. And that complicates things for any business that employs people in any of the nine states and Washington, D.C., where same-sex couples are lawfully married.

"We're basically treating people differently," says Mark Roellig, general counsel at MassMutual Financial. He says DOMA forces his company to keep track of a dual system, and that costs time and money.

"You have to keep separate sets of books. You've got to continually be adjusting. And then also picking up the potential legal risk if you make a mistake," he says. "So it's ongoing administrative costs that are pretty significant."

His company does not want to discriminate, Roelling says. So MassMutual uses a workaround to give employees benefits for their same-sex spouses. But then DOMA forces those employees to pay more in taxes and MassMutual pays more, too.

Profit cuts are not the only reason businesses are complaining about the law — it's also about the work environment. Hannah Grove, executive vice president at State Street, a financial firm, says DOMA is hurting company's ability to create an inclusive atmosphere.

"In order to compete in today's global competitive environment, our employees are one of our greatest assets," Grove says...

...Overall, 278 employers signed on to oppose the Defense of Marriage Act. The number of companies that filed a brief arguing DOMA is good for business? Zero.

Just something to keep in mind...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Stat Counter