OPM urges patience in the wake of DOMA ruling
- By Adam Mazmanian
- Jun 26, 2013
The Office of Personnel Management is urging federal employees to be patient while it addresses the impact of the June 26 Supreme Court decision in U.S. vs. Windsor overturning the Defense of Marriage Act.
Elaine Kaplan, acting director of OPM, praised the ruling and said, "For the federal government as an employer, it will impact benefits for our married gay and lesbian employees, annuitants, and their families."
A Congressional Research Service report issued in February estimates that there are 34,000 federal employees in same-sex relationships. The Obama administration has already taken steps to extend some partner benefits to federal employees in same-sex relationships, such as travel and relocation reimbursement, credit union membership and some childcare and leave benefits.
Kaplan said, "In the coming days, OPM will be working closely with the Department of Justice and other agencies to provide additional guidance for federal human resources professionals, benefits officers, and our employees and annuitants. While we recognize that our married gay and lesbian employees have already waited too long for this day, we ask for their continued patience as we take the steps necessary to review the Supreme Court's decision and implement it."
Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents 150,000 federal workers said in a statement, "Federal employees should not have to wait any longer to be treated fairly under the law."
Updates to the policy will be posted on the OPM website when they become available.
Adam Mazmanian is FCW's executive editor. Connect with him on Twitter: @thisismaz.