Main | Thursday, December 05, 2013

WA Railroad Relents On Spousal Benefits

One day after two gay couples filed their lawsuit, Washington state's BNSF Railway has agreed to provide spousal benefits to same-sex couples. Interestingly, the agreement includes other rail companies that bargain collectively with unions.
The dispute has been fast-moving. Wednesday afternoon, the rail company coalition that bargains with the 13 major unions representing rail workers said coverage would be available to same-sex spouses come January. “The nation’s largest freight carriers will provide dependent health care coverage to eligible same-sex spouses of covered railroad employees effective Jan. 1, 2014,” the National Railway Labor Conference said. “While this is not a benefit required by law or under current collective bargaining agreements, the railroads agreed with labor to provide this benefit in light of recent changes allowing same-sex couples to access the same federal tax benefits provided to other married couples.”
(Tipped by JMG reader Matthew)

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