New York state employers should review benefit plans carefully now that the state has adopted a law that lets same-sex couples wed.
Labor lawyers at Proskauer Rose L.L.P., New York, delivered that warning in a client alert on the New York Marriage Equality Act.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., signed the bill creating the act into law in June. When the act takes effect July 24, New York will become the sixth state to let same-sex couples marry.
But many employers in New York state have self-insured health plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), and federal law will continue to apply to those health plans, according to Roberta Chevlowe, a senior counsel at Proskauer Rose who helped work on the alert.
The new act “does not require employers to treat same-sex spouses as ‘spouses’ for purposes of self-funded benefit plans,” the Proskauer Rose lawyers say.