Google to pay gay employees more than straight employees

Thu. July 1, 2010 12:30 AM by News Staff

google participated in chicago's pride parade

photo credit // anthony meade
Mountain View, CA - Google plans to start paying gay employees more, as a way to compensate for an unfair tax structure that benefits straight people.

Currently, health insurance benefits Google provides to civil partners of gay employees are considered taxable income. The same benefits provided to spouses of straight employees are not taxed.

That means, effectively, that gay employees in civil unions lose approximately $1,069 per year, according to the New York Times.

So Google is planning to pay gay workers more to make up for the gap. The benefits will be paid retroactively to the beginning of the year.

Google's benefits -- including free lunch, five weeks maternity leave, and a doctor on site-- are legendary, and the company is constantly fielding ideas from workers on how those benefits should be expanded.

The gay pay raise was one of those ideas.

"We said, 'You're right, that doesn't seem fair,' so we looked into it," Laszlo Bock told the New York Times. "From that initial suggestion, we said, let's take a look at all the benefits we offer and see if we are being truly fair across the board."

Google employees 20,600 workers. Currently, 700 belong to the company's LGBT group, the "Gayglers."

Cisco, Kimpton Hotels and the Gates Foundation offer similar tax benefits for gay employees.