Benefits for Married, Same-Sex Employees Comes to the Panhandle

When it comes to employee benefits, federal organizations in the Panhandle are now recognizing same-sex marriages.

This past June, the Supreme Court struck down the provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act that denied federal benefits to legally married, same-sex couples.

The B&W Pantex Plant in Amarillo, the United States Postal Service and Social Security offices throughout Texas are now offering benefits to legally married, same-sex employees.

Pantex said it is complying with a new guidance from the Department of Labor. The guidance states that legally married, same-sex couples enjoy the same federal rights as other married couples when it comes to pensions, 401Ks, health plans and other employee benefits.

Even though Texas does not recognize same-sex unions, employees can present legal marriage licences from any of the other 14 states that do.

Employers are not required to recognize benefit rights for "marriage-like" relationships, such as domestic partnerships and civil unions.

A 2013 poll conducted by the Equality Texas Foundation found that 65 percent of Texas voters support extending domestic partnership benefits to government and public university employees.

Madison Alewel - NewsChannel10