Walmart Will Begin Offering Same-Sex Domestic Partnership Benefits At The Start of 2014

Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer with over 1.3 million employees in the United States, will reportedly begin offering domestic partnership benefits for same-sex couples, according to an internal memo obtained by Towleroad.

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An “associate’s same- or opposite-sex spouse or to an unmarried partner, whether of the same or opposite gender” would be entitled to the following benefits in all 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico: medical, dental, vision, life insurance, discount cards, family leave, 401K, and critical illness and accident insurance.

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The memo explains:

We operate in 50 states, hundreds of municipalities, and Puerto Rico, and as clarified under the Supreme Court’s decision regarding 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 in various markets.

In order to remain competitive in terms of attracting and retaining great talent to our company, we’re extending our benefits package to include domestic partners.

With over 2.2 million worldwide employees, Walmart is the latest company to recognize that LGBT equality is good for business and is also a possible byproduct of the the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.

Walmart associates were informed of the policy change Monday, by its LGBT employees group, Walmart PRIDE (Promoting, Respect, Inclusion, Diversity & Equity).

[Image Source: Towleroad]