Domestic Partnership Benefits Now Required in City of Madison Contracts

June 12, 2012

The City of Madison Common Council recently passed a measure requiring city contractors to provide the same benefits to employees with domestic partners as those provided to employees with spouses. These benefits include all types of insurance coverage, family leave, sick leave, moving expenses, or any other fringe benefits offered to employees. If the contractor is unable to provide the benefit, after making a reasonable effort, the contractor must instead pay the employee the cash equivalent.

Section 39.07 of the General Ordinances generally applies to service and financial contracts over $25,000 and public works contracts subject to bid. Some exclusions apply, including city contractors whose employees are under a collective bargaining agreement in effect before July 1, 2012.

A same sex couple who share a common residence may apply for formal domestic partnership status. Under Wisconsin law, domestic partners enjoy many of the same rights as spouses, including property rights, inheritance, family/medical leave, health care decision-making, and insurance benefits.

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