The Human Rights Campaign lauded last month's introduction of
the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act – a bill that
would strengthen the federal government's ability as the nation's
largest employer to remain competitive with corporate America. The bill
would grant federal employees who are in committed same- and
opposite-sex couples access to employee benefits such as health
insurance and retirement programs. It was introduced by Congressman
Barney Frank (D-Mass.) with 52 co-sponsors.
"Corporate America is leaving the federal government in its
dust," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "If the federal government
wants to attract and retain the best employees they will adopt the equal
benefits practices of the country's largest and most successful
Thirty-nine of Fortune 50 companies offer domestic partner
benefits to employee's same-sex partners. In fact, the number of
Fortune 500 companies offering domestic partner benefits has increased
tenfold since 1995. This includes iconic brands such as the 'big three'
automakers, IBM, Microsoft, Walt Disney, Citigroup, AOL Time Warner, and
American Airlines. Nationwide, over 8,500 companies offer these
benefits – an increase in 13% just over the past year.
"In a competitive job market, the nation's largest employer
cannot afford to sacrifice quality employees by not offering equal pay
for equal work," said Solmonese. "We commend Congressman Frank for
introducing this important legislation and urge the Congress to follow
America's business leaders and enact these critical policies."
A 1999 Society of Human Resources Management and Commerce
Clearing House survey found domestic partnership benefits to be one of
the top three recruiting incentives among all employees.
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