Author: Beth P. Zoller, XpertHR Legal Editor

On May 14, 2013 Minnesota became the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage. +2013 Bill Text MN H.B. 1054.

Effective August 1, 2013, all marriages in Minnesota will be designated as civil marriages - a civil contract between two consenting persons - and gender will be removed from Minnesota's definition of eligible partners to a marriage. Further, same-sex couples who have been married in other states will be recognized as married under the new law.

Although the new law does not specifically mention leave or benefits for same-sex married couples, Minnesota employers may be affected. Employers should also keep a close watch on the Defense of Marriage Act, which the Supreme Court is expected to rule on this year, as this decision could also have a significant impact on benefits, nondiscrimination, employee leaves and payroll.

Additional Resources

How to Prevent Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation