CAR TALK: Big Three Automakers To Offer Same Sex Benefits

June 8, 2000 ( The nation's Big Three automakers will offer health care coverage to same-sex domestic partners of eligible employees. DaimlerChrysler, Ford and General Motors are following through on their agreement to consider the issue as part of last fall's contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers and other labor unions.

Specifics of coverage and administration vary by company, but each expects coverage to be available by August 1. Cost estimates have reportedly been based on assumptions that about 1% of the American workforce is assumed to be homosexual.

According to the joint press release, employees will be required to show their domestic partner relationship meets eligibility requirements, including:

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  • being of the same sex and
  • having shared a “committed relationship” for a minimum of six months.

Opposite sex domestic partners are not eligible.

According to the 2000 Society for Human Resource Management Benefits Survey, 10% of HR professionals say their organizations offer domestic partner benefits. Twenty-one percent of those with more than 5,000 employees currently offer those benefits, while only 5% of employers with less than 100 employees are so inclined.