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FedEx to expand health coverage to include same-sex partners

FedEx to expand health coverage to include same-sex partners

Shipping giant FedEx announced Tuesday it will begin offering health insurance to same-sex domestic partners.

The benefit won’t become available until January 1, 2012, and while the company has yet to finalize many of the details, it has announced the expansion of its benefits program nonetheless.

The Memphis-based shipper had been coming under pressure from LGBT employees and advocacy groups to expand its health-benefits package during an annual review process.

“Several of our employees have been asking for the benefit and, because we knew the economy has improved, we’re able to expand our benefits,” said Sandra Munoz, a company spokesperson.

FedEx said it will take time to add the benefit to a package that was cut to deal with the recession, referring to the 2012 effective date. It will be extended to all 225,000 domestic employees.

The company has been offering such benefits to employees in California (where its required by law) and at the FedEx Office locations for several years.

But a lack of across-the-board coverage for same-sex partners had led to poor rankings in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. In 2007, Diversity Inc. removed FedEx from its list of the Top 50 Companies for Diversity due to the company’s failing to offer insurance coverage to same-sex partners.

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