Employers Must Pay Workers’ Comp Benefits to Minnesota’s Surviving Same-Sex Spouses

On August 1st, Minnesota’s gay couples rushed to wed, according to the Department of Labor and Industry. They said this because it has resulted in employers now being responsible for paying to same-sex surviving spouses the workers compensation Minnesota workers and their families are entitled to receive when the covered spouse was injured or killed on the job.

In order to receive benefits, a couple must be legally married at the time the injury occurred.

Although the law makes the employers responsible for paying the benefits, there are some workers compensation insurance policies that may have exclusions. This is why it is important for employers to check with their workers compensation insurance to ensure they have the required coverage.

Also in accordance to the new work comp law, the children of same-sex couples become the stepchildren of the other member of the couple when the marriage is legal, states the Department of Labor and industry.

The dependent stepchildren that are the result of a same-sex marriage in Minnesota are entitled to the same workers compensation benefits as the dependent stepchildren in a heterosexual marriage in Minnesota. In other words, stepchildren are stepchildren no matter the sex of the other parent.

News reports stated that gay couples began getting married early in the morning on August 1st in Minnesota, making it one of the newest states along with Rhode Island to legalize gay marriage.

This latest change in workers compensation makes for a major change in Minnesota’s employment law.