Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald issued the following statement regarding his decision to extend same-sex benefits for 11 existing county employees. New hires, however,"will be required to follow the same policy regarding how and when benefits are offered to partners and families.”
As reported in this week's issue, the earlier deadline caused consternation among LGBT advocates, who felt it didn't allow employees enough time to make wedding or other arrangements.
Fitzgerald Statement on Same Sex Benefits Offered by Allegheny County
PITTSBURGH — Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald issued the following statement today regarding same sex benefits offered by Allegheny County:
“One of my first official actions as County Executive was to offer same sex benefits to our employees — a fact of which I am very proud. Because same sex couples did not have the same option to formalize their relationship through marriage as opposite sex couples did, offering these benefits put those employees and their families on equal footing with their fellow employees.
“Now that same sex marriage is legal in Pennsylvania, I believe that it is important to continue to keep our employees on equal footing and that means requiring proof of marriage for coverage of a spouse, partner and/or family members.
“The July 31, 2014 date that was originally set is too aggressive. Working through the Human Resources Department, the eleven employees currently receiving same sex partner benefits will have until June 30, 2015 to make the personal decision regarding whether to marry and formalize their relationship. All new county employees, however, will be required to follow the same policy regarding how and when benefits are offered to partners and families.”