Thursday Freedom to Marry and Out & Equal Workplace Advocates released a new report estimating that the remaining patchwork of marriage laws for same-sex couples across the United States costs businesses in the private sector $1.3 billion every year. Over the next five years, the private sector is expected to spend $6.6 billion in order to accommodate laws that allow same-sex couples to marry in some states, but prohibit them from marrying in others.
“This authoritative report shows that marriage discrimination not only harms America’s families, but America’s businesses, imposing an unwieldy, expensive, and unnecessary burden on companies, employees, and the economy,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry. “American companies are forced to navigate different marriage laws in different states as they try to do right by their employees and consumers. The country urgently needs national resolution in favor of the freedom to marry — whether from the appellate courts or the Supreme Court — to eliminate this drain on business resources and provide full and equal respect for employees and their families in all 50 states.”
Wolfson will discuss the findings of the report Thursday afternoon at the Out & Equal Workplace Summit in San Francisco.
Among the other findings of the study:
Same-sex couples will soon have the freedom to marry in 35 states, representing nearly two-thirds of the American people, and are barred from marrying in the remaining 15. This disparity places an expensive burden on the U.S. private sector in all 50 states, which is borne most heavily in those that are home to large multi-state employers, specifically California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Georgia. The largest portion of the financial burden is comprised of administrative and compliance-driven costs associated with establishing and maintaining benefits policies and systems for same-sex couples in states with differing marriage laws.
“Today, 91 percent of Fortune 500 companies have non-discrimination policies for LGBT employees,” said Selisse Berry, Founder and CEO of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates. “Many of these businesses also recognize that equal access to benefits is required to attract top talent. But same-sex partner benefits often come with additional tax burdens. We are grateful for companies that mitigate this cost to LGBT employees. Given the fact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees can still be fired in more than half of US states based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, the role of businesses as leaders of change is more important than ever.”
An additional component of the burden is the taxation cost to the nation’s employers. The national tax burden resulting from inconsistent marriage laws fell dramatically to $27.5 million in 2014 from a peak of $93 million in 2012 as a result of the landmark US Supreme Court ruling in U.S. v. Windsor in June 2013, but benefits offered to same-sex couples in states without the freedom to marry still trigger a tax penalty for both employers and employees.
The report, titled “The Cost of Inconsistency: Quantifying the Economic Burden to American Business from the Patchwork Quilt of Marriage Laws,” was written by Marsh & McLennan Companies and its subsidiaries, Oliver Wyman and Mercer, and was commissioned by Freedom to Marry and Out & Equal. It surveyed 5,000 employers to analyze the economic impact of the varying marriage laws for same-sex couples across the 50 states on the private sector. In-depth interviews were conducted with a range of employers to understand their efforts to comply with changing legal requirements and establish competitive talent practices.
Article by The Seattle Lesbian.
The post Inconsistent Marriage Laws Cost Businesses $1.3 Billion Annually appeared first on The Next Family.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
By Laura King
Life can get busy. With work, kids, family commitments, friends, chores, and the general chaos of everyday life, it can be near impossible at times to sit down for a cup of tea, let alone squeeze in an hour of exercise regularly. However, all things are possible if you set your mind to them. Those that prioritize their fitness nearly...
With the passage of marriage equality last year, laws have been quickly changing across the United States. LGBT couples with or without children weren’t just given the right of marriage, they were provided new protections and benefits within their families. All of a sudden, LGBT couples and families had to figure out how to file jointly when it came to taxes, how to add...
By Alex Temblador
I recently wrote an article for The Next Family called, “Family-Friendly Films That Feature Adoption and Foster Care,” that shared wonderful family films with adoption or foster care story lines. My reasoning behind doing so was because every family deserves a chance to see similar families like theirs represented in various forms of entertainment.
The same can be said of other...