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Google to pay gay employees more than straight employees?

JustineCredible

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Yeah, sounds discriminatory...until you read why. (I'll admit, it's a terrible headline, but I didn't come up with it...so don't blame me)

Google to pay gay employees more than straight employees (ChicagoPride.com : Mountain View, CA News)

Mountain View, CA — Google plans to start paying gay employees more, as a way to compensate for an unfair tax structure that benefits straight people.

Currently, health insurance benefits Google provides to civil partners of gay employees are considered taxable income. The same benefits provided to spouses of straight employees are not taxed.

That means, effectively, that gay employees in civil unions lose approximately $1,069 per year, according to the New York Times.

So Google is planning to pay gay workers more to make up for the gap. The benefits will be paid retroactively to the beginning of the year.

Google's benefits -- including free lunch, five weeks maternity leave, and a doctor on site-- are legendary, and the company is constantly fielding ideas from workers on how those benefits should be expanded.

The gay pay raise was one of those ideas.

"We said, 'You're right, that doesn't seem fair,' so we looked into it," Laszlo Bock told the New York Times. "From that initial suggestion, we said, let's take a look at all the benefits we offer and see if we are being truly fair across the board."

Google employees 20,600 workers. Currently, 700 belong to the company's LGBT group, the "Gayglers."

Cisco, Kimpton Hotels and the Gates Foundation offer similar tax benefits for gay employees.
 

Hoplite

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Hmmm....it's an interesting concept and I applaud a private institution attempting to circumvent a societal blockade for a certain group of people, however I'm given pause when I consider that, while positive, this is a very token effort. This costs Google very little extra money and gains them great amounts of publicity and positive press and Google's "dont be a big, evil company" image is widely known to be false.

I doubt this was done for social justice reasons, but I'm glad it was done none the less. I do hope it's something that will catch on.
 

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Cool!! :mrgreen:
 

digsbe

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This is absolutely wrong and completely discriminatory. Gay benefits are taxed in civil unions because civil unions are not marriage, and thus do not recieve the legal benefits of such. Essentially, google wants to "legalize" gay marriage by giving homosexuals more money to offset costs that would be lowered if they were in a real marriage. This is not fair to other workers and is a discriminatory attempt at pushing for gay "rights." Shame on google.
 

CaptainCourtesy

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This is absolutely wrong and completely discriminatory. Gay benefits are taxed in civil unions because civil unions are not marriage, and thus do not recieve the legal benefits of such. Essentially, google wants to "legalize" gay marriage by giving homosexuals more money to offset costs that would be lowered if they were in a real marriage. This is not fair to other workers and is a discriminatory attempt at pushing for gay "rights." Shame on google.
So, would your solution be to alter government regulations and make THOSE regulations less discriminatory?
 

digsbe

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So, would your solution be to alter government regulations and make THOSE regulations less discriminatory?
Nope, it would be to keep things the same. I don't believe a homosexual union has the right to be called marriage and receive the same legal status because homosexuality does not fit the definition of marriage. But that's another debate.

Essentially what is going on is this: Google gives gays more money because they believe policies aren't fair (not because they earned it).
Straight people are paid less because they "unfairly" receive marital benefits and tax breaks.

This would be very similar to a company paying white people with college age children more money to help aid their white child go to college because black students can get some scholarships simply because of their race.
 
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CaptainCourtesy

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Nope, it would be to keep things the same. I don't believe a homosexual union has the right to be called marriage and receive the same legal status because homosexuality does not fit the definition of marriage. But that's another debate.
You are correct that it is for another debate, and completely incorrect that it does not meet the definition of marriage. It may not in YOUR opinion, but your opinion is not definitive.

Essentially what is going on is this: Google gives gays more money because they believe policies aren't fair (not because they earned it).
Straight people are paid less because they "unfairly" receive marital benefits and tax breaks.

This would be very similar to a company paying white people with college age children more money to help aid their white child go to college because black students can get some scholarships simply because of their race.
On the surface, what Google is doing, though very nice, seems discriminatory to me. Not sure if what they are doing violates any laws. Perhaps someone with more legal expertise than I could answer that question.
 

digsbe

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You are correct that it is for another debate, and completely incorrect that it does not meet the definition of marriage. It may not in YOUR opinion, but your opinion is not definitive.
It is when the legal definition does not recognize homosexual unions as marriage, or in cases where homosexual unions are banned from being recognized as marriage. One cannot extend marital benefits to a homosexual union based on opinion, they can only do it if the basis is set on the laws of that state.

On the surface, what Google is doing, though very nice, seems discriminatory to me. Not sure if what they are doing violates any laws. Perhaps someone with more legal expertise than I could answer that question.
I'm not sure if it violates any laws, but I do think it's unfair and a discriminatory action. I personally think it's more of a political gesture and not a nice one, because at the same time they are paying straight employees less for not being gay on the basis of "they already have their rights."
 

CaptainCourtesy

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It is when the legal definition does not recognize homosexual unions as marriage, or in cases where homosexual unions are banned from being recognized as marriage. One cannot extend marital benefits to a homosexual union based on opinion, they can only do it if the basis is set on the laws of that state.
If you are talking about the current legal definition, as in the law, I agree. But if you are talking about a logical definition, then you are absolutely incorrect.


I'm not sure if it violates any laws, but I do think it's unfair and a discriminatory action. I personally think it's more of a political gesture and not a nice one, because at the same time they are paying straight employees less for not being gay on the basis of "they already have their rights."
I see it as a kind, compensation-type gesture, but again, I'm not sure if it is entirely legal.
 

Orion

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I want to work for google... even though I have no skills they need.

I just... want to... be there.... o_O
 

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More? I think equitability should be considered and implemented. Paying them less is bigoted and immoral, but paying them more is going to an extreme, is it not? The stance should be apathetic and hence be treated the exact same.
 

Orion

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Google is balancing out a systemic bias with a solution. They wouldn't be offering gays more pay if the tax code were different. They are balancing out unequal opportunity in the tax code and I see no problem with that.
 

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Meh. :coffeepap





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Aunt Spiker

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This is absolutely wrong and completely discriminatory. Gay benefits are taxed in civil unions because civil unions are not marriage, and thus do not recieve the legal benefits of such. Essentially, google wants to "legalize" gay marriage by giving homosexuals more money to offset costs that would be lowered if they were in a real marriage. This is not fair to other workers and is a discriminatory attempt at pushing for gay "rights." Shame on google.
Well - don't forget that straight people can be in a civil union, as well, if they so choose. . . .but gay people can't get married no matter what.

Google can't make Congress vote for these people to get married, you know - Google can only direct the pay of it's employees.
 

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In essence this is a company saying that LGBT people are okay, and deserve equal rights. Which is cool, though I can't wait to see Pat Robertson scream bloody murder about this, and suggest all Christians stop using google, and use yahoo. :lamo
 

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does it also apply to straights in civil unions?
That's what I'm wondering as well. It's kind of tricky. Sure those other straight couples have the option to get married to obtain the benefits, but still. I think they may have unintentionally created one more inequality by trying to fix the first one. :lol:
 

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I hear the interviews where they demand proof are quite interesting.
 

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Why would a straight couple get a civil union in the first place?
 

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My question.

Does the pay increase apply to all gays or just the ones in civil unions.

While I dont see the big deal about it if only applies to the civil unions, what about the single gays... are they more valuable to the company than the single hetero sexual folks?

How about those dating, could any dating scenario be considered a "civil union" with gays while only just regular dating (thus not tax advantageous) to hetero sexual folks?

Seem like a lot of room for abuse.

How does one prove they are gay? Do they have to make out with a random gay dude/gal? Do they have to video tape themselves being anal buttsecks gay?
 

Goshin

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Why would a straight couple get a civil union in the first place?
These days quite a lot of straights "cohabit without benefit of marriage". In many states most of them would be considered "common law married", meaning they aren't really but are treated as such in the event of problems such as property/childrearing disputes or seperation.

How exactly this would apply to the tax issue, I have no idea. Can a common-law couple file taxes jointly?
 

kaya'08

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Marriage shouldn't have fiscal benefits anyway. THATS where the discrimination starts. If you can't afford to live with a spouse and afford a honeymoon or wedding dress, dont get married.
 

Goshin

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Marriage shouldn't have fiscal benefits anyway. THATS where the discrimination starts. If you can't afford to live with a spouse and afford a honeymoon or wedding dress, dont get married.

:shrug: Some people consider it an example of society choosing to reinforce and encourage a behavior that is a net-positive for society: namely the formation of families, a fundamental social building block used for the production and upbringing of children.

Perhaps it also makes tax stuff a little easier since couples filing jointly means fewer tax returns to process.

Personally I've never been fond of the government using the tax code in an attempt to manipulate behavior of any kind. If taxes were not so high, and tax codes so complex, would it really matter? Probably not so much, no.

Of course the real tax breaks actually come from having kids.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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These days quite a lot of straights "cohabit without benefit of marriage". In many states most of them would be considered "common law married", meaning they aren't really but are treated as such in the event of problems such as property/childrearing disputes or seperation.

How exactly this would apply to the tax issue, I have no idea. Can a common-law couple file taxes jointly?
If I'm not mistaken, most states have done away with common law marriages.
 
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