Business
In Business, The Advocate brings readers the latest news regarding developments in the LGBT business world. Find out the happenings of gay business leaders that are moving the Invisible Hand in the United States and around the world like Apple's Tim Cook, American Eagle's Robert Hanson, and 3M Unitek's Mary Jo Abler. Learn tips from the pros about managing the business affairs of day-to-day life for the present and future. Prepare for retirement and learn how changing laws regarding same-sex marriage, partnership, and adoption affects financial planning.
Nows the Time
February 08 2011 5:00 AM ET

Now's the Time

Rose Greene

Curiously, economic downturns can be a window of opportunity to convert your retirement savings from a traditional to a Roth IRA.

Tax Error Hurts Yales Gay Employees
January 12 2011 3:30 PM ET

Tax Error Hurts Yale's Gay Employees

Advocate.com Editors

Employees who utilize Yale University's domestic-partner health benefits will have to double up on their taxes this year because of a payroll error related to the federal government's resistance to recognizing same-sex couples.

Gay Chicago Schools CEO Leaving
November 04 2010 7:05 PM ET

Gay Chicago Schools CEO Leaving

Advocate.com Editors

The Chicago school system's first gay CEO has announced he's resigning.

HRC Top Rated
September 21 2010 11:55 AM ET

The Best Companies in the U.S.

Advocate.com Editors

Cisco — Since first scoring 100% on the HRC Corporate Equality Index in 2004, Cisco has risen to the top of many diversity lists and currently ranks fifth on the International Business Equality index. Cisco also compensates employees for taxes and costs they pay on health care benefits for their same-sex partners.

Out and Equal
September 21 2010 12:55 AM ET

Out & Equal

Advocate.com Editors

Out and Equal

Toyota
September 21 2010 12:50 AM ET

Toyota

Advocate Contributors

Toyota

Wells Fargo Advisors
September 21 2010 12:45 AM ET

Wells Fargo Advisors

Advocate Contributors

Wells Fargo Advisors

American Airlines
September 21 2010 12:40 AM ET

American Airlines

Advocate Contributors

American Airlines

Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants
September 21 2010 12:35 AM ET

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

Advocate Contributors

Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants

AAA
September 21 2010 12:30 AM ET

AAA

Advocate Contributors

AAA

Bank of America
September 21 2010 12:25 AM ET

Bank of America

Advocate Contributors

Bank of America

Intel
September 21 2010 12:20 AM ET

Intel

Advocate Contributors

Intel

Best Companies of 2010 The Case For a Raise
September 21 2010 12:00 AM ET

 Best Companies of 2010: The Case For a Raise

admin

 It’s no longer enough for many gay consumers that the businesses they work for (or buy from) have a perfect record in their support of gay employees and customers. Target Corp., for example, has a rating of 100 in the most recent Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, an annual report evaluating how some of the nation’s largest companies treat their LGBT employees. But when news broke this summer that the company had donated $150,000 to a political action committee that supported an antigay Minnesota gubernatorial candidate, Target faced Facebook-organized boycotts and protests nationwide.News of that Target donation is not only forcing gay activists, like those at HRC, to rethink how they evaluate a company’s gay-friendliness, it’s coming at the same time some other corporations are rethinking what it really means to be pro-gay. A growing number of these companies are coming to the same conclusion as gay people themselves: It’s not enough just to make the grade. So these equality-minded corporations are coming up with new envelope-pushing strategies to support their gay employees and, in turn, make themselves more attractive to gay consumers.One of the emerging tactics is simple: equal pay for equal work. It’s not exactly a revolutionary concept, yet it is not a reality, even today. Women’s and minority rights advocacy groups have fought against income disparity for decades. But look past the biggest LGBT news headlines of the year and you’ll find that equal pay is becoming a mantra for many gay workers and their employers. Progressive entities from Google to the Gates Foundation aren’t waiting for Congress to remedy the antigay discrimination that may be costing you thousands of dollars a year.The problem stems from Internal Revenue Service regulations that have long exempted married heterosexual employees from paying federal tax on health care benefits for their spouses and dependents. But because the federal government doesn’t recognize same-sex relationships, gay employees are taxed on what’s called “fair market value” of any coverage extended to their partners or spouses. In other words, even if you work for a gay-friendly Fortune 500 company with a 100 rating on the HRC Corporate Equality Index, Uncle Sam is going to take a bigger bite out of your paycheck than your straight coworker’s. And the hit is not insignificant. According to a 2007 report by the Williams Institute, a sexual orientation law and policy research center at the University of California, Los Angeles, gay workers who cover their partners’ health benefits pay an average of $1,069 more in income and payroll taxes than employees with opposite-sex spouses. Even same-sex couples living in states such as Wisconsin and Maine, which have some form of legal recognition for committed gay relationships, are liable for additional state taxes. Generally, states with marriage equality exempt married gay couples from additional tax, though some, such as Vermont, have yet to update their tax codes to reflect state law.A bill to end the unfair federal tax for gay couples was passed by the House earlier this year but failed to make it into the health care reform measure passed by Congress in March (the bill is still being considered, although its fate is anything but clear). Outcry after Capitol Hill tossed aside the tax inequity issue failed to gain much traction among gay activists and watchdog groups in the face of other hot-button gay issues this year, namely the fight over repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and the challenge to California’s Proposition 8. “Tax issues are a topic that defies easy explanation and rationale,” explains Bob Witeck, an LGBT marketing consultant and partner in Witeck-Combs Communications.

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