extends benefits to domestic partners
The University will extend its benefits package to include same-sex
domestic partners of its employees beginning Jan. 1, 2000.
The move is in response to increased competition for higher education
faculty and staff, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resource Services
Darlene Lewis said, noting that nearly all of the Universitys
peer institutions have adopted such a policy.
The University sees this as an enhancement of our employee benefits
package, Lewis said. It is intended to help us to continue
to recruit and retain talented faculty and staff.
The policy gives to same-sex domestic partners and their dependent
children the same benefits coverage that is currently extended to the
spouse and dependent children of all Vanderbilt employees. These benefits
include: health, dental, life and accident insurance coverage; consideration
in leave and other policies that include family, education assistance
benefits; family activities at the Universitys recreation facilities;
access to the Universitys libraries and eligibility for enrollment
in the Vanderbilt Child Care Center. In some cases, the benefits will
University sees this as an enhancement of our employee benefits package.
It is intended to help us to continue to recruit and retain talented
faculty and staff.
Darlene Lewis, Associate Vice Chancellor for
Human Resource Services
The University has investigated the experience of other institutions
that have adopted a same-sex domestic partner policy and has found that
the policy has had a minimal financial impact on the institutions, Lewis
Under the Domestic Partner Benefit Policy, an eligible employee who
seeks benefits for a domestic partner must establish they are of the
same sex, not related by blood, at least 21 years of age, not legally
married to anyone or in another domestic partnership, and are currently
in a committed relationship of six months or more duration and
reside in a common household sharing joint responsibility for the household.
Before seeking benefits for a domestic partner or a dependent of a
domestic partner, an employee must complete and register a statement
of domestic partnership with the Office of the Associate Vice
Chancellor for Human Resource Services. If the employee and domestic
partner end their relationship, they must file within 30 days a statement
of termination of domestic partnership and notify the associate
vice chancellor. A 12-month waiting period must elapse before a staff
or faculty member can enroll a new domestic partner.
The policy applies only to same-sex domestic partners because opposite-sex
couples have the opportunity to marry and, therefore, become eligible
for benefits. However, same-sex partners dont have that choice
and have no way to qualify for benefits without this policy, Lewis said.