A new poll undertaken by Workplace Options, an employee effectiveness and work-life services provider, has discovered that the majority of American workers are proponents of providing same-sex couples with employee-sponsored healthcare benefits, but also don’t believe that their employers offer them. The poll, which studied workplace perceptions toward homosexuals, revealed that 54 percent of respondents think that employers should offer health insurance to same-sex partners and spouses. But just about one-quarter of respondents reported working for an employer that offers benefits to same-sex partner while 38 percent said it does not and 36 percent were unsure.
“Most Americans believe employers should provide health insurance for same-sex partners, but only a small percentage of people polled said that their employers offer it,” Dean Debnam, chief executive officer of Workplace Options, said. “With things like the Affordable Care Act and a DOMA ruling on the horizon, now is a good time for companies to reevaluate their benefit offerings and make sure that employees understand them.”
Other telling data collected by the poll include:
• 47 percent of employees support same-sex marriage while 42 percent are opposed and 11 percent are unsure.
• 28 percent report having shifted their feelings for same-sex marriage over time.
• 51 percent said that their workplaces have anti-discrimination policies that cover homosexuals.
• 37 percent do not believe they have any homosexual coworkers.
• 60 percent think that their work culture is supportive of homosexuality.
“Regardless of the DOMA ruling, employers are going to have to start thinking more about what kind of culture they create for everyone, including gay and lesbian employees,” Debnam said. “This poll shows that many US workers support same-sex marriage and the benefits that come along with it. If employers want to attract and keep employees, they should create a work environment where everyone feels accepted.”