Mercer Insights

Mercer Think
Words. Pictures. Insights.
Mercer/Think blog transforms the latest Mercer research into powerful pictures that show you what's important, instantly.

Patchwork of US Marriage Laws Burdens Businesses, Families

For American businesses, inconsistent marriage laws impose a significant economic burden – specifically, a $1.3 billion annual cost. As marriage confers a host of legal and social privileges, the irregular landscape generates a host of administrative and compliance requirements for employers who must establish and maintain multiple benefits policies and HR-related systems that apply to same-sex couples who live under the patchwork quilt. A new report, The Cost of Inconsistency, from Marsh & McLennan Companies and its subsidiaries Mercer and Oliver Wyman, in partnership with Freedom to Marry and Out & Equal, shows how it is experienced by private-sector US businesses and families.

“Freedom to marry for same-sex couples has expanded to 33 states with recent actions by the Supreme Court, and could shortly expand to more,” says Katie Kopansky from Oliver Wyman. “But more than one-third of same-sex couples still reside in states where they are denied the freedom to marry. Recent rulings leave the question of national freedom to marry unsettled, and same-sex couples face unequal treatment depending on the state in which they live or work.”

Learn more about administrative and compliance requirements for employers.

Download the full report, The Cost of Inconsistency.