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.  


Action Items 

  1. Have health plans reviewed for compliance. 
  2. Have appropriate personnel trained on health plan coverage. 
  3. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance. 


Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser. © 2022 ManagEase