An article published today in the Daily Herald of Washington, a
large union is insisting that Boeing provide domestic partner benefits to represented
employees and that the package be afforded to all unmarried couples regardless of gender.
Boeing recently announced that it would offer domestic partner
benefits to non-union workers but only same-sex couples are eligible for the benefit. The
program is limited to health benefits.
Charles Bofferding, executive director for the Society of
Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, which represents some 23,000 Boeing
engineers and technical workers, hinted that talks broke down when Boeing asked that SPEEA
accept a benefit package that's now given to some non-represented Boeing workers.
Bofferding said that SPEEA wants not only medical coverage, but
bereavement, family leave and pensions plans for unmarried heterosexual couples and not
just same-sex couples. It's a matter of parity, union officials said.An article published today in Washington
Business Week reports that the Doyle Hotel Group plans to extend employee health insurance
benefits to cover unmarried domestic partners.
Enrollment began Nov. 1 for employees at the Doyle's three
properties in Washington. Hotel officials say the insurance will take effect in about 30
Previously, only legally married and single employees were eligible
for the hotel's health insurance coverage. Now, the benefits will be available for
homosexual and heterosexual couples living in committed relationships, and for their
The article says that at least one other major hotel company in the
Washington D.C. area -- Marriott International -- offers similar benefits to domestic
partners, but experts believe such insurance is rare in the industry.
Peter Hilary, regional vice president for the Doyle Hotel Group,
said the new package will be available at the Doyle Washington, Marriott Courtyard
Northwest and Doyle Normandy. Together, the hotels employ more than 220 people.
Hilary said the company is trying to create equality among its
"We offer it to married couples and we thought it was only
right to offer it to others who are in a committed, but not married, relationship,"
Hilary said. "And we want to create competitiveness in the open market."
The article says the insurance plan for all Doyle employees costs $5
for a single person and $10 per couple each week. Doyle pays $144 a month for each
employee's health and dental benefits package.
For married couples to be covered, the only documentation required
is a marriage certificate. However, under the new domestic partner policy, the insurance
company requires criteria such as utility bills and a lease with both names, Hilary said.
Gordon Lambourne, vice president of brand public relations for
Bethesda-based Marriott, said the benefits are offered systemwide to nearly 1,600 U.S.
properties representing more than 123,000 employees.
"We place a high value on diversity and, at the same time, meet
a critical need of our current and future work force," Lambourne said.
Marriott began offering its domestic partner benefits Jan. 2. The
plan is offered to both homosexual and heterosexual couples and requires partners to show
proof of the same address. It also requires partners be at least 18, share basic living
expenses and live together at least six months.
Marriott's plan includes full health and dental coverage. The
company also offers gap insurance for domestic partners who lose coverage temporarily.