Thursday, December 5, 2013

'BNSF does not get to judge what marriage is': railroad relents on gay spousal benefits after National Railway Labor Conference Governing Committee reaches railway accord following lawsuit

Basketball and Bill O'Reilly: a UP employee
on a company treadmill at the Omaha HQ
BNSF, a Berkshire-Hathaway company (HRC score: 0) headquartered in Ft. Worth, had refused to extend health benefits to legal spouses of gay employees, prompting a lawsuit. From the World-Herald:
Union employees of major U.S. railways will be able to get medical coverage for their same-sex spouses Jan. 1, a labor coalition said Wednesday, the day after a lawsuit over such benefits was filed against BNSF Railway...
     “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."

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