California Labor &
Employment Law Blog

Oct. 12 2009

California Will Recognize Rights of Same-Sex Couples Married Outside California

Topics: New Laws & Legislation

Yesterday Governor Schwarzenegger signed SB 54 into law, granting same-sex coupleslegally married outside ofCalifornia the same basic rights, benefitsand obligations as married couples living in California. This new law ameliorates some of the effects of the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage that was passed in November 2008 and later upheld by the California Supreme Court. SB 54 amends Section 308 of the California Family Code toprovide that California will recognize same-sex marriages validly contracted outside ofCalifornia, by ensuring thatthese same-sex couples will have the same rights, protections and benefits, and shall be subject to the same responsibilities, duties and obligations under law asmarried couples—with the sole exception of having the designation of “marriage” in California.

For California employers, this means that same-sex coupleslegally married outside of California willneed to be afforded the same rights and benefits asregistered domestic partners (in 2003, Californiaenacted a law affording registereddomesticpartners manyofthe same rights and benefitsas married couples). This includes, of course, access tofamily healthinsurance plans and the ability to use certain types of leaveto attend to the illness of a partner.

To view the textof SB 54, click here.

About CDF

For over 20 years, CDF has distinguished itself as one of the top employment, labor and immigration firms in California, representing employers in single-plaintiff and class action lawsuits and advising employers on related legal compliance and risk avoidance. We cover the state, with five locations from Sacramento to San Diego.

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About the Editor

Robin Largent has a regular presence in California state and federal courts and has been lead defense counsel and appellate counsel for large and small California employers in litigation (and arbitration) ranging from individual discrimination and harassment claims to complex wage and hour representative and class actions. She also leads the firm’s appellate practice, having substantial experience and success handling appeals, writ petitions, and amicus briefs in both state and federal court on issues such as class certification (particularly in the wage and hour arena), manageability and due process concerns associated with class action trials, exempt/non-exempt misclassification issues, meal and rest break compliance, trade secret/unfair competition matters, and the scope of federal court jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act.
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