West Virginia Hospital Conciliates a Charge of Sex Discrimination for Denying Spousal Medical Benefits to Same Sex Spouse

Friday, October 28, 2016
Mon General Hospital has agreed to conciliate a charge of sex discrimination filed by its employee, Kathy McIntire, alleging that she was denied spousal medical benefits for the sole reason that she is a female married to another female.

At the time, McIntire was seeking spousal coverage for her wife while working in the Morgantown, W.V., medical facility, but Mon General's policy provided for spousal medical coverage only to opposite-sex spouses. As a result, McIntire and her wife sustained losses when they had to pay for medical care and services that would have been covered had McIntire's wife been eligible for consideration as a beneficiary under Mon General's benefits policy.

Prior to conciliation, EEOC found that a violation had occurred, and that Mon General's conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits any discrimination that occurs on the basis of sex. The parties were able to reach a voluntary settlement through EEOC's conciliation process.

In addition to $8,900 in monetary relief to McIntire, the conciliation agreement, which will be in effect for one year, requires Mon General to affirm and communicate to its employees that it has eliminated its former policy and instituted a new policy that includes making same-sex spouses eligible for employer-sponsored benefits. Mon General will also provide a report semi-annually to EEOC regarding any employees who have requested employer-sponsored benefits for their same sex spouse, and whether or not such requests were granted.
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