Workers Still Denied Benefits after Civil Union Bill

July 9, 2007 ( - United Parcel Service (UPS) is denying benefits to same-sex couples in civil unions in New Jersey, saying the state's law does not treat civil unions the same as marriages.

The Newark Star Ledger reports that UPS does provide health benefits to married couples, including same-sex married couples in Massachusetts. The company informed one female employee by letter that if New Jersey had legalized gay marriage, her partner could have been covered under the health plan as a spouse.

Employees of the company feel misled as the law was touted as allowing for same-sex couples in a civil union to have the same rights in the state as married couples (See Garden State Lawmakers Pass Civil Unions Bill ). Assemblyman Wilfredo Caraballo, who sponsored the civil union law, said, “We made it clear through the language and the intent that when it came to issues like this, we fully expected civil-unioned couples would be covered,” according to the Star Ledger.

The company said the state’s decision to recognize same-sex relationships as civil unions, rather than marriages, has its hands tied.