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Same-Sex Ruling Means Employers Should Make Benefits ‘Gender Irrelevant'


Mike Abcarian was quoted in the Dallas Business Journal on June 26, 2015. The article “Same-sex Ruling Means Employers Should Make Benefits ‘Gender Irrelevant’” discussed why the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage will have broad implications for Texas employers’ benefits programs and policies and retirement plans, among other workplace facets.

Mike called it a watershed ruling. The first thing employers should do is consider what changes are warranted to their policies regarding benefit and retirement plans as well as leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, he said.

“Those plans have been set up generally under the husband-and-wife, man-woman model, with restrictions or disallowances for anyone not under the traditionally model,” Mike said in an interview. “With this Supreme Court ruling, terms in plans like 'husband' and 'wife' have to really become gender irrelevant.”

Mike said some businesses and employers will adapt to the Supreme Court ruling with ease, while others will struggle with it.

“It’s a big issue for employers,” he said. “It will be easier for some to deal with than for others — either mechanically or philosophically or morally. But when the Supreme Court speaks, we’re all required to listen and obey.”

To read the full article, please visit the Dallas Business Journal.

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