Search Site
Menu
21 Main Street, Suite 352, Court Plaza South | Hackensack, New Jersey 07601
Call For Consultation 551-245-8894

Same-Sex Marriage Must Be Recognized by New Jersey Employers

New Jersey began to recognize same-sex marriages in October 2013 based on a unanimous decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court. Marriage can have major financial implications — largely for the better — for the couple and their dependents. Just a look at how it affects employee benefits helps illustrate this point.

Employers who provide health insurance to employees, for example, previously had the option of not recognizing civil unions on matters of employee benefits. Also, if health insurance benefits were extended to same-sex partners in civil unions, it came with an added price tag: federal and state governments regarded it as extra income, requiring either the employer or the recipient couple (often both) to pay taxes on that benefit.

Interestingly, the U.S. Department of Labor has ruled that the state in which a same-sex couple works or resides really isn’t relevant anyway, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision supporting the constitutionality of gay marriage in June 2013. What matters is whether the couple is legally married in any one of the jurisdictions that allow same-sex marriages, which now include New Jersey. This means the following:

  • Same-sex married couples who live and work in New Jersey are eligible for all employee benefits that opposite-sex married couples have enjoyed for years.
  • Same-sex married couples who were married in another state — either before or after the New Jersey law took effect — are entitled to the same employee benefits.
  • Same-sex couples married in New Jersey or another jurisdiction that allows gay marriage are to be treated the same as opposite-sex couples, regardless of where they live or work. This is a key federal provision that effectively extends rights and benefits to couples living in Pennsylvania, for example, where gay marriage is currently banned.

There are other employee benefits, such as inheritance transfers of retirement funds, that now are protected from federal and state taxation. Speak with an attorney if your employer is denying you these benefits.

 

 

Neil  H.  Deutsch Attorney Photo
Neil H. Deutsch
Retired

About Neil H. Deutsch has been practicing law for over 35 years and is known as a skilled negotiator in employment and discrimination law. He believes in a bottom-line approach of risk analysis and cost effectiveness for his clients. "Case evaluation is something we take seriously," says Mr. Deutsch who seeks top net dollar for…

Bruce  L.  Atkins Attorney Photo
Bruce L. Atkins
Senior Partner

About Bruce L. Atkins is regarded as one of New Jersey’s premier practitioners of employment and civil litigation. He has been selected to the New Jersey Super Lawyers prestigious list every year since 2005.  This honor, bestowed upon a recipient by the votes of his peers, is a powerful nod to the skill Mr. Atkins…

Adam  J.  Kleinfeldt Attorney Photo
Adam J. Kleinfeldt
Partner

About Adam J. Kleinfeldt joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in March of 2015.  He primarily represents individuals in employment litigations such as discrimination, retaliation, and whistle blowing matters.  He has extensive experience in all phases of the litigation process. Adam has obtained significant results for some of his clients, including a $525,000 jury verdict…

Diane  Englander  Peyser Attorney Photo
Diane Englander Peyser
Attorney

About Diane Englander Peyser joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in September 2018 where she represents employees in wrongful termination, retaliation, harassment, and discrimination matters. Prior to joining Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C., Diane represented clients in all aspects of employment law on behalf of employees involving unemployment appeals, claims of sexual harassment, LGBT discrimination,…

Debra M. McGarvey Attorney Photo
Debra M. McGarvey
Attorney

About Debra M. McGarvey joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in December 2019. She has extensive experience defending employees and employers in state and federal court in employment litigation matters. She has represented clients on various issues arising out of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA),…

AWARDS & AFFILIATIONS
Reviews and Ratings
  • google
    5.0/5.0

    I would gladly recommend Debra because of her attention to detail and her willingness to go out of her way to educate clients about how to achieve the best possible outcomes. She is a great advocate and a pleasure to work with.

    Read more

    Joe Fleischer

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. is simply the BEST legal organization to have on your side and work with. Period! The entire organization worked as an extremely efficient, accurate, responsive and in a VERY professional manner at all times. Absol...

    Read more

    JEFF LECHOWICZ

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    I spoke to Diane Peyser who helped me clearly understand how to navigate my very difficult situation. Her expertise was exemplary, and her ability to help calm my concerns was excellent. My blood pressure literally went down after speaking with her...

    Read more

    Debra Quiat

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    I would strongly recommend the legal service of Neil Deutsch and staff. I interviewed three law firms before deciding on Deutsch Atkins for my Employment Discrimination case against a large multi-national employer. Neil was very responsive and availa...

    Read more

    Peter C

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    I retained Bruce Atkins for an employment related matter. Bruce and his entire team are honest, professional, responsive, and knowledgeable. He really takes the time to guide his clients through a tough situation, and explain all avenues. He certain...

    Read more

    Danielle Devincenzo

See all reviews
Contact us

Quick Contact Form