Palo Alto, Calif. – Facebook has joined a growing list of
companies that are compensating gay employees in domestic partnerships for the
extra taxes they have to pay as a result of disadvantages written into federal
law, The New York Times reported. On average, gay employees
registered as domestic partners in states that recognize such civil
relationships pay an average of around $1,069 more in taxes than a straight
married employee with similar coverage, The Times noted, citing research from
UCLA’s Williams Institute.

Facebook joins Google (NASD:  GOOG), Cisco (NASD:  CSCO), the Gates
Foundation, Kimpton Hotels, Bain & Company and others in offering to
equalize the benefits they offer to all employees.

The additional compensation is also taxable, so Facebook
said it will raise affected gay employees’ salaries slightly — to cover the
extra cost — while Bain said affected employees will receive a lump sum
reimbursement at the end of each year to account for the cost.

The Times
further notes that these companies are not offering the same benefit to
heterosexual couples in domestic partnerships — as they may choose to legally
marry and receive full benefits.

Meanwhile, even gay couples legally married in
some states do not receive federal recognition of their marriages, due to the 1996
Defense of Marriage Act.



Related Links:

(N.Y. Times)
(DMW previous coverage)