Maryland: Religious Employer Health Plan Coverage Must Include Same Sex Spouses
All Employers with MD Employees
August 3, 2022
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In Doe v. Catholic Relief Servs., a Maryland federal district court stated that a religious employer violated Title VII by revoking health coverage for an employee’s same-sex spouse. In relying on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, the court stated that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.
There, a gay man was told during hiring that he could enroll his husband in the employer’s health plan, which he successfully did. The employer, a Catholic social services agency, did not permit gay spouse coverage in their health plan, eventually caught the error, and removed coverage for the spouse. Ultimately, the federal court stated that there was no religious organization exemption from Title VII’s prohibition against discrimination based on characteristics other than religion.
- Have health plans reviewed for compliance.
- Have appropriate personnel trained on health plan coverage.
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