Bank of America announced it will begin reimbursing the additional taxes its employees with same-sex partners pay on health care, the New York Times reports.
Might this be the first phase of Bank of America’s post-$5 fee, positive PR push?
Under federal law, health insurance that employers provide for an employee’s domestic partner is taxed as income. In contrast, married couples are not taxed on the health insurance for a spouse, and they are able to have healthcare-related expenses taken out of their pre-tax income.
BofA joins Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas in the list of prominent financial institutions that have implemented the policy, although the NYT notes that the number of financial firms is scant compared to other companies who taken up the cause. They’ve got a handy chart that tracks big companies’ progress in implementing this policy.
According to the chart, Morgan Stanley, Capital One and Moody’s are reported as currently reviewing a similar strategy.
BofA is only covering same-sex domestic partners in its new initiative, because heterosexual couples are able to get married to receive the benefit.
This move may help garner some positive publicity for BofA, which has recently come under fire and increasing scrutiny for a series of controversial events – including the implementation of a $5 debit card fee, a six-day website outage and massive layoffs.