Walmart will begin to offer domestic partnership benefits for same-sex couples. They have not announced this quite yet, but the largest private employer in the nation plans to do so according to documents leaked to Towleroad.
Benefits for same-sex couples will be largely the same as for opposite-sex couples, which largely means the same meager “medical, dental, vision, life insurance, discount cards, family leave, 401K, and critical illness and accident insurance” that the company already offers.
The document states that “We operate in 50 states, hundreds of municipalities, and Puerto Rico, and as clarified under the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) each of these states are developing different definitions of marriage, domestic partner, civil union, etc. By developing a single definition for all Walmart associates in the U.S. and Puerto Rico we are able to ensure consistency for associates in various markets.”
They go on to say “In order to remain competitive in terms of attracting and retaining great talent to our company, we’re extending our benefits package to include domestic partners.”
Walmart informed their LGBT employees group of the changes this past Monday.
Walmart employs 1.3 million in the United States and 2.2 million worldwide. They are now the largest company to acknowledge LGBT rights as being good for business.
The company has come under heavy criticism for how they treat their employees. Recently, they saw profits drop significantly even as other companies- which treat their employees better- were profiting in the slowly improving economy.
Walmart has also been criticized not only for how badly they treat their employees and how badly they pay them, but also for the fact that they offer very little in the way of benefits, and that those benefits often force the children of employees onto government programs, thus draining much needed funds from the state, local and federal coffers.