Delta Air Lines Gets Employee Domestic Partner Benefits in Line for Tax Season
Delta Air Lines lifts the burden of federal and state health care benefit taxes for employees with same-sex partners in registered domestic partnerships
by Heather Cassell
Just in time for filing taxes, Delta Air Lines takes over tax burdens of its LGBT employees’ married or in registered domestic partnerships health benefits package.
The new policy effective immediately is retroactive to January 1 of this year, according to an April 2 news release from the Atlanta-based Delta.
Delta serves more than 170 million customers each year and is ranked No. 1 among business travelers in the Business Travel News Annual Airline survey for four consecutive years among other honors.
Delta’s announcement also comes before the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on and decide whether same-sex marriage bans are prohibited by the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. A ruling is due by the end of June.
Delta also recently participated in a brief urging the Court to support marriage equality.
“While this issue remains unsettled on a national level, Delta’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and respect is rooted deeply in the airline’s values and culture,” says Joanne Smith, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Delta, in the release. “By providing equality in this critically important area of benefit costs for employees with same-sex domestic partners, we will continue to build a great place to work.”
Under the new policy, Delta employees who carry their partners on their health care plans will no longer be responsible for any federal or state income or payroll taxed associated with their coverage.
The new policy will result in parity of the cost of health care coverage between same-sex domestic partners and employees in legally recognized marriages regardless of U.S. location.
Globally, Delta is committed to maintaining and supporting a culture of inclusion. As the largest employer in Georgia and one of the largest employers in Minnesota, Delta extends domestic partner benefits to its employees, including health, dental and life insurance, as well as pension and flight benefits.
Throughout the years, Delta and its employees have continued to build and expand its strong relationship with the LGBT community around the world. Delta supports regional Pride events in cities nationwide including Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York City and Seattle with hundreds of employees marching to raise money and awareness for HIV/AIDS. Delta continues to be a proud underwriter of the GLAAD Media Awards and Platinum sponsor for the Atlanta HRC Dinner. Delta is the official airline of amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, one of the most recognized and important organizations fighting the AIDS epidemic worldwide. Additionally, Delta employees actively support and participate in DEEN, the Delta Employee Equality Network, a voluntary organization committed to making Delta the best place to work by promoting inclusion, respect for differences, equal opportunity and diversity in the workplace.
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