Program Schedule

12 pm ET Introduction


Part I: The Legal Backdrop

  • •   The Windsor decision
  • –  Overview and analysis
  • –  What the Court didn't decide (constitutionality of state bans; Section 2 of DOMA regarding same sex marriages from other states)
  • •   Subsequent state cases (recent Ohio decision requiring recognition of out-of-state marriages, recent Michigan decision on non-university domestic partner benefits)
  • •   Important questions left outstanding
  • –  State of celebration vs. state of residence for purposes of federal benefits and other issues (tax, Social Security, etc.)
  • –  Constitutionality of state bans
  • –  "Level of scrutiny" for discrimination based on sexual orientation

Part II: Benefits on Campus

  • •   Pre-Windsor overview
  • –  Before and after: same-sex spouses v. domestic partners
  • •   Public v. private institutions
  • –  Public/governmental plans v. ERISA-covered plans
  • •   Health and welfare plans
  • –  Tax treatment group health plan coverage
  • –  Tax rules under cafeteria plans: premiums, FSAs, HRAs, HSAs
  • –  HIPAA special enrollment rights
  • –  COBRA coverage
  • –  FMLA rights
  • –  ACA employer shared responsibility provisions
  • •   Tax-qualified retirement plans
  • –  Qualified joint and survivor annuities (ERISA plans)
  • –  Spousal consent: elections, QPSAs, loans, beneficiaries (ERISA plans)
  • –  ERISA disclosure requirements (ERISA plans)
  • –  Qualified domestic relations orders: recognition, tax treatment
  • –  Hardship withdrawals
  • –  Distributions to beneficiaries
  • –  Defined Benefit 415(b) Limit
  • •   Other college/university considerations
  • –  Tuition benefits for spouses/dependents
  • –  University health services for spouses/dependents
  • •   Open issues
  • –  State laws – state of celebration v. state of residence
  • –  Retroactivity: administrative issues

Questions and Answers

    Part III: Immigration Issues with Foreign Students, Faculty and Staff

    • •   BIA Caselaw: Zeleniak
    • •   Other relationships (civil partnerships, stable partners)?
    • •   What is happening at the agencies?
    • –  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
    • –  Department of State
    • –  Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)
    • –  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
    • •   How should campuses now handle immigration benefits?
    • •   What if granting benefits violates school's rules or beliefs?
    • •   What if granting benefits violates staff members' religion or beliefs?
    • •   What about other issues: cultural taboos: US and international students?

    Part IV: Colleges & Universities in States with Constitutional Bans on Same-Sex Marriage

    • •   Can public institutions grant benefits to same-sex couples despite state constitutional restrictions on marriage or providing marriage-like status/benefits to same-sex couples?
    • •   Are these restrictions themselves now vulnerable post-Windsor?
    • •   Statements by attorneys general (Georgia) and legal challenges (Michigan)
    • •   Various practical methods for providing benefits in such states

    Questions and Answers