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February 1, 2009


The web blog Queers United reported Sunday that the global shipping giant FedEx refused to provide equal family benefits to a legally married, same-sex couple.

According to HRC Back Story FedEx actually invoked the Defense of Marriage Act to justify why it wouldn’t provide benefits to the Massachusetts couple. As Back Story reported, FedEx’s tortured legal argument goes something like this:

We have a federally regulated health insurance plan and since the federal government defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman we are free to ignore your marriage in the provision of employee benefits.

What makes this an even more frustrating story is the fact that FedEx apparently lied to Fortune magazine in order to get a spot on Fortune's coveted "100 Best Companies to Work For In 2009." This listing is highly coveted by corporate recruiters who frequently use it to entice top talent to join their company.

To help determine company rankings, Fortune sent out a questionnaire that included questions about benefits, work-life and diversity, among other categories.

FedEx answered the question about offering domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples with a "Yes" and won the 90th position in the listing. But, according to HRC Back Story,

FedEx has never offered domestic partner benefits firm-wide. The only unit of the company that provides benefits to gay employees’ families is FedEx Office, formerly known as Kinko’s.


Kinko’s was already providing domestic partner benefits when FedEx acquired it in 2004. FedEx actually refused to extend the benefits to its other units. The fact that FedEx did not flat out cancel the benefits at Kinko’s is certainly no consolation to its thousands of other employees.

Many other top US companies of FedEx's size and stature have had no problem offering domestic partner benefits to same-sex couples throughout the country so why is FedEx trying so hard to deny those benefits to the rest of their gay employees?

The answer to that seems to be money. They simply don't want to pay for the additional coverages. They obviously calculated that since they already have the Fortune Magazine listing, why spend the additional funds when they can still reap the benefits of Fortune's prestigious listing?

If you want to express your feelings directly to FedEx, click here to go to their customer service form.

When the form opens just fill-in your name and email address and then skip the other boxes and scroll down to the comments section and enter what you want to say there. Then just click "Send Request" at the bottom and that's it.

I sent one saying, among other things, that I would never use FedEx again.