Walmart to Offer Benefits to Same-Sex Partners, Leaked Memo Reveals

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Anglo male shift manager at Walmart is ready to greet customers at grand opening of new store in Austin, Texas, USA.
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According to a leaked memo, Walmart (WMT) will soon begin offering full benefits to their employees' domestic partners -- including those in same-sex relationships or marriages.

JoeMyGod, an LGBT news site, obtained a memo sent to Walmart management outlining the new policy.

"We will cover domestic partners in the medical, dental, vision, life, critical illness and accident plans," reads the memo about the retailer's 2014 benefits package. "This means Walmart will offer these benefits to an associate's same- or opposite-sex spouse or unmarried partner."

The news is likely to cheer Walmart's various critics on the left. But the memo makes clear that the change doesn't come from any particular commitment to gay rights.

"It's a business decision, not a moral or political decision," it reads. "We operate in 50 states, hundreds of municipalities and Puerto Rico, and as clarified under the Supreme Court's decision to strike down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), each of these states are developing different definitions of marriage, domestic partner, civil union, etc.
By developing a single definition for all Walmart associates in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, we are able to ensure consistency for associates across our markets."

That makes sense: In the face of a growing hodgepodge of local laws dictating who does and doesn't receive benefits for their domestic partners, and with Affordable Care Act provisions soon to mandate health insurance coverage for full-time employees, an across-the-board policy that encompasses the broadest legal standard is the simplest way for a large national firm to go.

Of course, the new policy still only applies to the partners of those Walmart employees who actually get full benefits. As Reuters explains, only around half of Walmart employees are currently covered by its health plans, and the retailer's part-time workers need to work there at least a year and average 30 hours a week to qualify.

Still, this is a big win for the domestic partners and same-sex spouses of Walmart's eligible employees. And as the company notes in its memo, it will help the retailer stay competitive when it comes to attracting employees.

"Given the diverse world we live in today, a comprehensive benefit package that includes domestic partner benefits appeals to the contemporary workforce," the memo reads.

Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at Matt.Brownell@teamaol.com, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.


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ga7smi

most reputable companies have been doing that for years

August 28 2013 at 2:44 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Drego

.Yet more deception by Wally World. The benefits will be offered ONLY to employees with more than 30 hours of work each week. The overwhelming majority of their workers are part time and would not qualify straight or gay. And it is doubtful that with most of its employees, now living on food stamps and government paid health care, could come up with the monthly premiums. WalMart DID NOT say the coverage would be free to employees. Strange how the media eats up all the "misinformation" that spews out of this greedy uncaring monopolist empire.

August 28 2013 at 12:29 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
utuwle

what benfits do they give anyone.i guess they think under paying you is a benfit

August 27 2013 at 11:55 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to utuwle's comment
ED

UNDERPAYING????? The last time I was in one of their stores, I was hard pressed to find an employee that was worth minimum wage.

August 28 2013 at 10:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
redwingirish

Yet ANOTHER reason NOT to go to walmart!

August 27 2013 at 10:28 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to redwingirish's comment
Frankie

I don't shop there because they donate to republicans.

August 28 2013 at 5:23 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Frankie's comment
ED

What does that matter? You need to get over yourself.

August 28 2013 at 10:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down
14687971

I dont see Chick-fil-a doing this!

August 27 2013 at 8:30 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

Find Jesus before it's too late.

August 27 2013 at 8:00 PM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to betty_brock's comment
Redwing2K

Yes please do and tossing a few coins in a collection plate is not gonna cut it....now will it Betty? Tic toc Betty time is running short....

August 28 2013 at 12:27 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

What kind of "benefits" I wonder.

August 27 2013 at 7:59 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
William

They better offer it to differant sex partneres or they are discriminating against them.

August 27 2013 at 7:43 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to William's comment
ED

How would that be determined? Are you a lawyer? If not, then you have no idea what discrimination is.

August 28 2013 at 10:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jcduyal

A whole new entitlement avenue has been opened. Pretty soon everybody will be such "partners" , including our military, all for those benefits.

August 27 2013 at 6:41 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jcduyal's comment
ga7smi

been that way for years - get a real job and read the benefits package they give you

August 28 2013 at 2:46 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
John

Createidea... What exactly is a sin?

August 27 2013 at 6:30 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to John's comment