Alaska: Death Benefits Must Be Made Available to the Deceased Employee's Same-Sex Partner in Spite of Alaska's Marriage Amendment

Alaska: Death Benefits Must Be Made Available to the Deceased Employee's Same-Sex Partner in Spite of Alaska's Marriage Amendment

The Supreme Court of Alaska has ruled that the state’s workers’ compensation death benefits statute, Alaska Stat. § 23.30.215 is unconstitutional to the extent that it bars a deceased worker's same-sex partner from recovering survivors benefits while allowing such benefits to a deceased worker’s “widow or widower.” The ruling comes in the face of both the Marriage Amendment to the Alaska Constitution–which defines marriage as “only between one man and one woman”–and  Alaska Statute 25.05.013(b), which provides that a “same-sex relationship may not be recognized by the state as being entitled to the benefits of marriage.”

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is a leading commentator and expert on the law of workers’ compensation.

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to lexis.com.

See Harris v. Millennium Hotel, 2014 Alas. LEXIS 149 (July 25, 2014) [2014 Alas. LEXIS 149 (July 25, 2014)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 96.02 [96.02]

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see http://www.workcompwriter.com/alaska-same-sex-partner-of-deceased-worker-entitled-to-death-benefits-in-spite-of-states-marriage-amendment/

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.

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