Friday, August 29, 2014

California man sues Little Caesars for denying health benefits for his legal spouse

A California man is suing pizza company Little Caesars (crappy pizza anyway) because he was denied health benefits for his husband - a benefit that every other legally married employee receives.

The Advocate has the details:

Frank Bernard started working as a manager for the pizza chain in March and became eligible for benefits after 90 days, reports Courthouse News Service. However, the company declined to insure his husband, Carl.

He complained multiple times to Little Caesars Enterprises and its parent company, Ilitch Holdings, both based in Michigan, and he was told company policy is not to offer benefits to same-sex spouses. He received a letter from human resources explaining the company’s definition of spouse for benefits purposes: “Spouse means the one person to whom you are legally married under the laws of the state in which you reside, including a common law spouse, and who is the opposite gender from you.”

In a marriage equality state like California, if employers offer benefits to opposite-sex spouses, they generally have to offer them to legally married same-sex spouses as well, noted Bernard and his attorney, Gloria Allred. But Ilitch Holdings officials told Bernard that since the company is based in Michigan, where same-sex couples do not have marriage rights, it did not have to offer the benefits.

Watch the report from Los Angeles ABC affiliate KABC:

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