The Star-Ledger, whose editorial page has urged private and public sector employment benefit equality for same sex couples, is not offering those health benefits to partners of employees considering retirement under their buy out plan, according to sources familiar with the employee buyout offer. The Star-Ledger has been a strong advocate of marriage equality and domestic partnerships, and offered domestic partner benefits before the current state law was in effect.
Sources say that the state's largest newspaper, which may be forced to sell or close its door by January if they can't get enough employees to agree to a buyout and gain concessions from two labor unions, is looking at invoking the Employment Retirement Income Security Act, a federal law that allows self-insured companies to avoid offering benefits to partners of retired employees.
Star-Ledger retirement benefits do extend to spouses and children.
Garden State Equality contacted the Star-Ledger this week to launch a protest of this policy. Instead, the newspaper had their attorney, Eric Adler, respond with a statement that the Star-Ledger "does not offer retiree health care benefits to any domestic partners, whether heterosexual or same-sex."