Little Caesars Pizza refuses benefits to legally married gay couples

iBlazed

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Original poster
Feb 27, 2014
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Interesting, on which planet is Little Caesars under the impression they have the legal right to do this in California? They may still be able to do it in their backward headquarters state of Michigan, but the time on that is limited as well. The best legal team in the country can't even help them here. And, quite frankly, they should be ashamed of themselves as a company.

(Reuters) - A former trainee manager at Little Caesars pizza in California sued the company for discrimination on Wednesday, accusing the Detroit-based chain of denying employees health insurance benefits for their legally wed same-sex spouses.

The lawsuit was brought in state Superior Court in Orange County, regional headquarters for the nation's third-largest pizza chain, by Frank Bernard, 47, who said he quit his job after Little Caesars refused to extend coverage to his husband of six years.

"I didn't want anything special, I just wanted the same benefits package as heterosexual couples," Bernard said at a news conference in Los Angeles.

The lawsuit names Little Caesars Enterprises and its parent company, Ilitch Holdings, as defendants, accusing them of discriminating against Bernard on the basis of his sexual orientation, in violation of California law.

It cites a letter Little Caesars presented Bernard explaining a benefits policy that defined "spouse" as "the one person to whom you are legally married under the laws of the state in which you reside, including common law spouse, and who is the opposite gender from you."

The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages and a court order requiring the company to treat gay and straight married workers equally in providing employment benefits.

Neither Little Caesars nor Ilitch Holdings responded to requests for comment on the case.
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iBlazed

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Original poster
Feb 27, 2014
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He should love his freedom and leave.

First one to say it! And no, I don't believe that.
He already did, he found employment at another chain that had no problem providing benefits to his partner. However, he should still make the effort to tear Little Caesars apart limb from limb in the court of law, and he should make it as public as he possibly can. Hope he gets tons of money from it too.
 

Southern Dad

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May 23, 2010
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I don't see why Little Caesars cares whom he is married to... It's pretty simple if they are legally married, and the marriage is recognized by the state that they are in, extend the benefits. Eventually, all states will recognize homosexual marriages, just like any other marriages.
 

shinji

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Mar 18, 2007
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Interesting, on which planet is Little Caesars under the impression they have the legal right to do this in California? They may still be able to do it in their backward headquarters state of Ohio, but the time on that is limited as well. The best legal team in the country can't even help them here. And, quite frankly, they should be ashamed of themselves as a company.



Link
Hopefully he wins, but it's actually not that cut and dry because Little Caesars runs a self-insured group plan, which is subject to different regulations:

As a result, experts say self-insured employers generally still have discretionary authority to define eligibility for spousal coverage as they see fit, regardless of state marriage laws.

“There is no clear requirement under ERISA that says a self-insured plan has to cover same-sex spouses or same-sex partners of any kind, nor is there any prohibition in the law against defining 'marriage' for the purposes of eligibility as a one-man-one-woman arrangement,” said Todd Solomon, a Chicago-based partner at McDermott Will & Emery L.L.P. “The question is: once you do that, what kinds of potential legal claims are you subjecting yourself to?”
http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20140829/NEWS03/140829836

So it's not like Little Caesars didn't know the law, but it'll be interesting to see how far the case goes and if the law gets changed as a result.
 

thehustleman

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2013
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Wow that's messed up.

I'm recently converted to being pro same sex marriage (although I'm not one to think that my way of thinking is superior to the person that's against it, just a difference of opinion) but it sounds like they have a right to insure who they want.

Is it right? Nope

And I honestly think it shouldn't matter, but they do.

Make it public and call it a day
 

Technarchy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2012
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Sounds like legal trouble.

You don't just get to ignore someone's legal marriage. To even try...on what grounds?

"Oh you married a Japanese girl in Japan. NOT VALID!!!"

Wouldn't fly in any scenario. Shouldn't fly in this one either.
 

APlotdevice

macrumors 68040
Sep 3, 2011
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I'm still struggling getting states to recognize my marriage to my cat.
Unless we're talking about some sort of hyper intelligent mutant cat which has self-awareness and sufficient knowledge to give consent, that is in no way equivalent.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
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I'm still struggling getting states to recognize my marriage to my cat.
Marriage in its modern sense doesn't typically involve a subservient relationship. The same is not true for anyone who lives with a cat.
 

The Doctor11

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Dec 15, 2013
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I dont get it. Why the **** would any one ****ing care if someone else is gay? Why? Does it really ****ing concern you? No? Didn't think so.

I'm hungry for pizza now though :D
 

Southern Dad

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May 23, 2010
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Little Caesar's apparently elects not to recognize a marriage that the State of California recognizes. If this goes to court, I'd be interested to hear what possible defense they could have. While that piece of law that Shinji quoted may get them out of trouble legally, what could this do to their business? Can Little Caesars afford to be known as anti-gay?

This is a choice that their company is making that could bury them. I think the stockholders should oust the person at the top of HR/Benefits, settle with this couple and make sure that it never happens in their business again.

What happens if someone travels overseas where polygamy is legal and returns to the USA? Will those marriages be legal? Will companies have to provide benefits to them? They recognize other marriages from overseas.

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I'm hungry for pizza now though :D
And only $5 for a large! Remember, when Little Caesars first started you had to buy two pizzas. "Pizza, Pizza"
 

pdjudd

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Jun 19, 2007
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What happens if someone travels overseas where polygamy is legal and returns to the USA? Will those marriages be legal? Will companies have to provide benefits to them? They recognize other marriages from overseas
I don’t think even the government recognizes polygamous marriages as they currently exist today on a federal level so that wouldn’t even apply probably unless we were talking about a state where it was legal (I don’t know if it is still legal in any states anymore).

My take on it is that if it is a marriage recognized by the federal government (the state would be a bonus), it should be covered under interstate commerce rules. The company exists in multiple states, it should recognize laws in other states
 

SLC Flyfishing

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Nov 19, 2007
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Unless we're talking about some sort of hyper intelligent mutant cat which has self-awareness and sufficient knowledge to give consent, that is in no way equivalent.
On a separate but related topic; unless we're talking about some sort of hyper intelligent mutant cat which has self-awareness and sufficient knowledge to give consent, should the owner be arrested for kidnapping? Seeing as how the car never agreed to go to and live at his place at all, but is forced to do so regardless.
 

Southern Dad

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May 23, 2010
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Shady Dale, Georgia
On a separate but related topic; unless we're talking about some sort of hyper intelligent mutant cat which has self-awareness and sufficient knowledge to give consent, should the owner be arrested for kidnapping? Seeing as how the car never agreed to go to and live at his place at all, but is forced to do so regardless.
Catnapping?
 

malman89

macrumors 68000
May 29, 2011
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Michigan
Interesting, on which planet is Little Caesars under the impression they have the legal right to do this in California? They may still be able to do it in their backward headquarters state of Ohio, but the time on that is limited as well. The best legal team in the country can't even help them here. And, quite frankly, they should be ashamed of themselves as a company.



Link
Since when was Detroit in Ohio? If you're going to make smart aleck remarks, at least try and be smart about it.

...accusing the Detroit-based chain...
Anyways, Little Caesars is clearly in the wrong and are going to get a huge PR backlash from this case, but the people buying their pizza won't care. Most people paying $5 for a whole pizza aren't going to put social justice issues ahead of cheap food.
 

Solomani

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Sep 25, 2012
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Anyways, Little Caesars is clearly in the wrong and are going to get a huge PR backlash from this case, but the people buying their pizza won't care. Most people paying $5 for a whole pizza aren't going to put social justice issues ahead of cheap food.
True.

Little Caesar's caters to cheapskates, the people who want to save a few dollars so they can eat (unhealthy) cheap pizza. These people are not exactly the vanguard of society who go about trying to make the world a better place. They won't give a crap about social progress or social justice. They could care less if Little Caesar's funded ISIS or the KKK. As long as they get their super-cheap pizza, it's all good.
 

iBlazed

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Original poster
Feb 27, 2014
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Since when was Detroit in Ohio? If you're going to make smart aleck remarks, at least try and be smart about it.
True. Not sure what made me think Little Caesars was Ohio based. I'll fix that. Point still stands though, different state, identical socially backward unconstitutional marriage amendment.
 

zin

macrumors 6502
May 5, 2010
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United Kingdom
Well did the cat give consent to be taken home, or didn't it?
I have a dog so I'm obviously vastly under qualified to answer your question, but so far, after over a decade, my dog has yet to run away. He has plenty of chances to escape but my guess is he wants to stay here.

I guess I have my dog's consent to keep it in my house. The next step is obviously finding a way to get its consent to marry me without bribing it with dog treats.

Because, you know, the point (if any) you are making makes total sense. You are definitely asking the important questions.