Winston-Salem considers extending same-sex partner benefits to city employees

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Winston-Salem is considering a major policy change that would extend benefit coverage to domestic partners of LGBT city employees and their children.

This comes by request of several city council members, according to the draft proposal written by Winston-Salem City Attorney Angela Carmon.

If approved, same-sex domestic partners will have access to benefits that include medical and dental coverage, voluntary vision, voluntary long-term care and employee assistance.

This new policy would also allow same-sex couples leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. Domestic partners will have access to survivorship benefits and could be listed as a 401(k) beneficiary.

Winston-Salem says expanding benefits to same-sex domestic partners is in line with its goals of welcoming people from all walks of life as well as attracting and retaining a diverse workforce.

Similar policies have already been adopted by many of North Carolina’s biggest cities including Charlotte, Raleigh and Greensboro.

Winston-Salem says employees must meet several requirements set by the city in order to be eligible.

The proposal will be discussed by city leaders in committee this week but will need approval from city council.

If approved, the policy will take effect January 1, 2015.


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