Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Metropolitan Water District employees get DP benefits

Metropolitan Water District employees get DP benefits
Copyright by The Chicago Free Press
APril 25, 2007

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago announced last week that it would offer domestic partnership benefits for both same-sex and opposite-sex unmarried domestic partners.

The agency’s Board of Commissioners unanimously passed the resolution April 19, according to Comm. Debra Shore.

“I’m just delighted. We’re now joining sister agencies in the cities and the counties in offering these kinds of benefits,” Shore said.

MWRD has about 2100 employees. Shore said she would not know how many would be taking advantage of the benefits until the agency’s next open enrollment period beginning July 1.

“I do know from my staff, though, that in a recent new employee’s orientation, somebody asked about that,” she added.

Domestic partners who have lived together for a year and can provide documentation demonstrating responsibility for each other’s common welfare, among other requirements, are eligible for the benefits. Children of the domestic partner are not covered unless the employee has legally adopted them.

Shore, who is the first openly gay countywide official, took office in December and almost immediately brought up the idea of introducing the benefits.

“I’m just proud of being able to help,” she said. “This helps (us) attract and retain our highly qualified employees who make this agency work.”


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