Google to Pay Tax for Gay Employee Benefits

Company making up for fed taxes on domestic partner benefits

By Jessica Greene
|  Thursday, Jul 1, 2010  |  Updated 12:17 PM PDT
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A Silicon Valley company famous, in part, for offering outrageously good benefits is straightening out a disparity among their employees.

Starting Thursday, Google will adjust paychecks for its gay and lesbian employees who opt for domestic partner benefits to cover for a tax those employees have to pay, the New York Times reports.

As it is now, Mountain View-based Google offers benefits to the spouses or partners of both straight and gay employees. However, the married straight employees don't get taxed on those extra benefits -- but the gay employees do as part of the federal laws.

The pay raise will be retroactive to the beginning of 2010 and will apply only to employees in the U.S. Heterosexual employees with long-term partners won't see the pay adjustment, because they could marry and therefore get the tax break if they wished.

Google is not the first company to make such a move on behalf of their gay employees, the Times points out,  but experts say it could inspire other Silicon Valley firms to follow suit.

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