Another one of those "didn't see anyone else do a diary about it so I suppose it's up to me items."
Reuters is reporting that a suit has been filed against Little Caesar's Pizza and their parent company, Ilitch Enterprises (which also owns the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Red Wings). The suit was brought by Frank Bernard, a former employee, a gay man who was and is legally married in the State of California, because the company refused to extend health insurance benefits to his spouse. The couple was married during the initial window of opportunity prior to the passage of Prop 8 and accuses the defendants of discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.
The interesting part is this:
[The suit] cites a letter Little Caesars presented Bernard explaining a benefits policy that defined "spouse" as "the one person to whom you are legally married under the laws of the state in which you reside, including common law spouse, and who is the opposite gender from you."
The company has a corporate presence in California as their regional headquarters is located in Orange County, which means they have to comply with state employment law. I can't see the case taking very long to resolve as it is a manifest violation of state law. California's anti-discrimination laws are among the most robust in the nation. Unlike federal anti-discrimination statutes they cover both sexual orientation and gender identity. I don't know how anyone might react to this but I'm rather shocked that the company would actually put the above in writing. Little Caesar's may want to fire their corporate attorneys due to gross incompetence.
Meanwhile, while I'm not inclined to patronize chain pizza stores to begin with (the stand-alones and the locals invariably make better pizza or else they disappear), if I needed an additional reason to stay away from Little Caesar's this one would work well for me. I guess I won't be rooting for the Tigers or Red Wings either.