Adam Dupuis's picture

Walmart Settles Same-Sex Spousal Health Care Court Case.

Walmart, a place I go to cry, "why did I come in here?"  We of course need to choose the Target way, but then again is Walmart that bad?  I mean it did get a perfect score just 6 months ago.

Walmart (wmt, -1.55%) got its highest grade yet from an LBGT rights advocacy group thanks to moves like adding insurance coverage for transgender workers this year.

The discount retailer, the largest company in the Fortune 500, got a perfect 100 score from Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, the group's annual ranking released on Monday of companies' workplace protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. - fortune.com

If the score could go higher it might just do so after yesterday's finish to a long battle over same-sex spousal health care coverage.

A federal court judge finalized a $7.5 million settlement over a health care battle between Walmart and current and former employees. The claim was that the superstore was denying health benefits to same-sex spouses of workers.

The legal battle extends back to 1999 when a Massachusetts woman said she repeatedly tried to add her wife to her Walmart-sponsored insurance plan. Her attempts were blocked since the company said they did not insure same-sex spouses. The organization officially changed its policy in 2014, one year after DOMA was struck down in 2013, but by then the main LGBT family in the court case had compiled $150,000 in medical bills. 

Walmart and the plaintiff reached a settlement [PDF] in April that would pay out a total of $7.5 million to the whole plaintiff class. The judge in the case approved the settlement on Monday.

Once the attorneys have been paid, the more than 300 or so plaintiffs will split the remaining $5.5 million.

“This was a carefully crafted and sensible resolution of a complex matter, and it reflects well on the parties from both sides,” he said from the bench on Monday.

Walmart also said it’s happy that both sides could reach a resolution. “We will continue to not distinguish between same and opposite sex spouses when it comes to the benefits we offer under our health insurance plan,” Sally Welborn, senior vice president for the company, said in a statement. - consumerist.com

Do you have same-sex spousal coverage at your work?

Have you had to battle at your workplace to have similar rights as your heterosexual and married coworkers?

 

h/t: consumerist.com