The largest private employer in Memphis will now offer health care benefits to same-sex domestic partners, reports The Commercial Appeal.
"FedEx will offer health insurance benefits for same-sex domestic partners starting Jan. 1, 2012. The shipping giant, which already offers the benefits in California and to FedEx Office employees, said the change comes at the request of employees. 'Employees have been asking for the benefit,' said spokeswoman Sandra Munoz. It won't go into effect sooner because FedEx needs time to rebuild benefits that were cut as part of a belt-tightening to help weather the recession, Munoz added. Munoz said details will be worked out before employees get the option of choosing the benefit during health insurance enrollment in the fall of 2011. The benefit will not apply to heterosexual domestic partners"
Adds FOX13: "A company spokeswoman said it will take time for FedEx to add the benefit to a package that was cut to deal with the recession. It will be extended to all 225,000 domestic employees. Here in Memphis, that means about 30,000 people."
Will Batts, the executive director of the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center, adds that the benefits would only make Memphis competitive with better-educated employees."'One of the things we've learned about cities is that the more diverse they are the more they attract creative people, the more they attract people that are innovative and motivated to improve their communities,' said Batts. A creative class would only help to move Memphis to another level, he added."