Agenda Item SA
June 28, 2016
June 24, 2016
Robert H. Drummer, Senior Legislative
Bill 16-16, Personnel
Benefits for Domestic Partner of Employee
Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee recommendation (3 - 0): enact
the Bill with amendments.
Bill 16-16, Personnel - Benefits for Domestic Partner of Employee - Repeal, sponsored by
Lead Sponsor Councilmember Leventhal and Co-sponsor Councilmember Katz, was introduced
on April 19,2016. A public hearing was held on May 3 and a Government Operations and Fiscal
Policy Committee worksession was held on June 23.
Bill 16-16 would repeal the law requiring the County to provide domestic partner benefits
to eligible County employees.
Bill 28-99, Personnel Benefits for Employee's Domestic Partner, enacted on November
30, 1999 and signed into law on December 3, 1999, extended health and insurance benefits to a
same-sex domestic partner of an employee. According to the legislative history, sponsors and
supporters of Bill 28-99 argued that the law was needed to correct an inequity in benefits provided
to gay and lesbian County employees, compared to other employees. They argued that it is unfair
to provide benefits for an employee's spouse but not for the partner of an employee in a long-term,
committed, same-sex relationship. This benefits inequity conflicted with the County's
longstanding law and policies against discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Bill 28-99 was
a civil rights law introduced by Councilmembers Berlage, Subin, Andrews, and Silverman that
was enacted outside of the collective bargaining process.
Bill2S-01, Personnel- Retirement - Amendments, extended opposite sex domestic partner
benefits to members of the police bargaining unit on November 1, 2001. Bill 30-10, Personnel
Equal Benefits - Fire and Rescue Employees, extended opposite sex domestic partner benefits to
The County first prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation in 1984.