by Jack Mayne
Oâ€™Reilly Auto Parts has agreed to provide healthcare coverage to same-sex spouses of its employees in Washington and other states recognizing marriage equality, effective April 1 (read our previous coverage here).
This comes after a consumer complained to the Washington attorney generalâ€™s office which then started an investigation to determine if Oâ€™Reilly was refusing to provide the healthcare benefits to same-sex spouses that it provides for opposite-sex spouses.
The four south King County stores are at:
- 15500 First Ave. South, Burien
- 21105 International Blvd., SeaTac
- 9627 17th Ave. South, White Center
- 11610 Des Moines Memorial Drive in Boulevard Park
Oâ€™Reilly is based in Springfield, Mo., and operates a chain of retail auto parts stores across the country with approximately 147 stores and 2,194 employees in Washington state.
â€œThis is great news for all Oâ€™Reilly employees and their families,â€ said Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson
. â€œIf a business provides benefits to opposite-sex spouses, it must provide the same benefits to same-sex spouses.â€
Fergusonâ€™s office said Oâ€™Reilly had failed to provide a complete response to an investigative demand and had refused to produce any documents related to its decision not to provide benefits. Because of the refusal, the attorney generalâ€™s office filed a petition in King County Superior Court to enforce demand.
Oâ€™Reilly is a Fortune 500 company. It is a publicly traded auto parts company based out of Missouri. The company has approximately 4,166 stores in 42 states. It has 147 stores and employs 2,194 people in Washington State. Todayâ€™s policy change will apply nationwide, impacting all employees who are legally married.
The investigation sought to determine whether Oâ€™Reilly violated the Washington State Consumer Protection Act, which prohibits unfair or deceptive business practices.
With Oâ€™Reillyâ€™s change of practice, the attorney general will close the investigation.]]>