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Minn. employers must pay comp benefits to surviving same-sex spouses


While gay couples rushed to wed in Minnesota, the state’s Department of Labor and Industry said Thursday that employers are now responsible for paying workers compensation benefits to legally married, surviving same-sex spouses.

Receiving benefits, however, requires a couple to be legally married at the time of injury.

“Although the law makes employers responsible for these benefits, some existing workers compensation insurance policies might contain exclusions,” DLI said in a statement. “We recommend that employers check with their workers compensation insurance carrier to make sure that they have the coverage they need.”

Additionally, under the state’s work comp law, the children of a member of a same-sex couple become the stepchildren of the other member of the couple when the two legally marry, the DLI said.

“The dependent stepchildren resulting from a same-sex Minnesota marriage are entitled to the same workers compensation benefits as the dependent stepchildren resulting from a heterosexual Minnesota marriage,” the statement added.

News reports say gay couples began tying the knot early Thursday morning in Minnesota which, along with Rhode Island, became one of the latest states to legalize same-sex marriage.