What the DOMA and Proposition 8 Rulings Mean for Employers
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What the DOMA and Proposition 8 Rulings Mean for Employers

SHRM's Public Policy Webcast Series

What the DOMA and Proposition 8 Rulings

Mean for Employers

William Helfand, shareholder, Chamberlain Hrdlicka

August 2013 (available through July 31, 2014)   

Program length: 90 minutes

Recertification Credits: 1.5*

Program fee:
SHRM members: $99; nonmembers: $139 - Register now

In June 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court held the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional to the extent it discriminates against some lawfully married individuals. The Court also refused to hear the case challenging the California Supreme Court’s reversal of California's Proposition 8 ballot initiative, which sought to prohibit homosexual marriage in that state. Employers and employees alike are confused about the impact of these rulings, and with good reason. Thirteen states and the District of Columbia currently or will soon recognize same-sex marriages. For employers with operations in these jurisdictions, the Court's decision means benefits plans must treat all lawfully married employees equally, including how they handle eligibility, taxation and the continuation of benefits under COBRA. Lawfully married partners are also covered by the FMLA. Even immigration status will likely be affected by this ruling.

In other states that don't recognize same-sex marriage, there's confusion about how overturning DOMA will affect them. What rules must employers follow if they have operations in multiple states? What is their obligation if a gay employee gets married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage?

In this program, William Helfand will review the Court's decision, outline the real impact on your workplace today and look at what's on the horizon as courts and legislatures wrestle with the issue of same-sex marriage.

About the Presenter: William Helfand is a partner in the law firm Chamberlain Hrdlicka, based in Houston. He leads the firm’s labor, employment and civil rights litigation group and also handles commercial and other large-scale litigation. Mr. Helfand's practice focuses on the defense of both public and private employers throughout Texas and the United States. He has achieved considerable success in the defense of labor and employment cases of all types, as well as significant success in commercial litigation matters through both trial and arbitration. He is actively involved in labor, employment and civil rights and governmental liability training as well as training employers and managers, governmental officials and employees. Mr. Helfand is frequently interviewed by various media and he speaks frequently on these topics to peer and professional groups such as the Texas State Bar, the Texas Municipal League and the Texas Council Risk Management Fund. In addition, he has served as an adjunct instructor for Sam Houston State University’s law enforcement and corrections management professional development programs.

Program fee:

SHRM members: $99; nonmembers: $139 - Register now

*Recertification Credit

Viewing this entire presentation, either as a live event or archived, counts for 1.5 credit hours toward PHR/SPHR recertification from the Human Resource Certification Institute. Note: You are responsible for tracking your participation in this event.