Shriners Hospitals extending health benefits nationwide to same- - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Shriners Hospitals extending health benefits nationwide to same-sex spouses

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After being contacted by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO), Shriners Hospitals for Children agreed that it will extend health benefits to same-sex spouses of its employees nationwide in states recognizing marriage equality. After being contacted by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO), Shriners Hospitals for Children agreed that it will extend health benefits to same-sex spouses of its employees nationwide in states recognizing marriage equality.
SPOKANE, Wash. - Shriners Hospitals for Children will now extend health benefits to same-sex spouses for its employees nationwide in states that recognize same-sex marriage. 


The benefits policy will begin January 1, 2015. 


The announcement came after the Washington State Attorney General's Office received a complaint from a Shriners employee in September stating that the hospital was not giving benefits to the employee's same-sex spouse. Within two weeks of the Attorney General's Office contacting Shriners, the hospital agreed to make health benefits available to the same-sex employees of not only its Spokane hospital, but all of its 19 hospital across the United States. 


Since same-sex marriage is legal in Washington, Attorney General Bob Ferguson said he is now working to ensure all Washington employers are aware of their responsibilities to provide equal health care benefits to those with same-sex spouses. 


Shriners Hospital isn't the first company the Attorney General's Office has investigated for the same issue. In March 2014, the AGO launched an investigation into O'Reilly Auto Parts to try and determine if they refused healthcare benefits to same-sex spouses in Washington. The company later announced it was changing its policy to cover all legal spouses, regardless of sexual orientation. That policy now applies nationwide to all O'Reilly employees who are legally married. 

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