NU may extend benefits to same-sex couples
October 28th, 2011
Omaha, NE – The University of Nebraska Board of Regents is considering expanding benefits to same-sex couples today.
In an email to University employees, NU President J.B. Milliken said he is presenting the proposal to the Regents because the University is in a “global marketplace for talent” and not providing benefits to same-sex couples puts NU at a “competitive disadvantage.” Most importantly, he said, providing equitable benefits is “the right thing to do.”
“Every other Big Ten university provides partner benefits,” Milliken said, as well as a majority of NU’s peer institutions. “ I think it’s time for the University of Nebraska to do the same.” He added anecdotal evidence suggests the University has already lost faculty, or potential faculty, because such benefits were not provided.
The proposal would create an “Employee Plus One” category that would allow unmarried employees to receive coverage for another person who shares their household and with whom they have a “financially interdependent” relationship. The new category would extend to both opposite-sex and same-sex partners, as well as dependent children. Currently, the University provides benefits only to married partners.
Milliken is presenting the proposal before the NU Board of Regents in Lincoln today. The Regents will discuss the issue, but will not vote on it today. The earliest they could vote would be December 8. If approved, Milliken said benefits would be available July 1, 2012.