Publix Supermarkets announced Wednesday
that it would begin offering group health and other insurance to
spouses of gay workers.
“Publix is expanding spouse coverage
effective Jan. 1, 2015,” a spokesperson told First
Coast News, “to associates who are married in any state
where same-sex marriages are legal, regardless of the associates'
state of residence.”
“Regardless of how long ago they were
legally married, associates who are affected by this change can elect
to enroll their legal same-sex spouses during a special enrollment
period Jan. 1 – 30, 2015,” the spokesperson added.
Publix owns 1,095 stores in 6 Southern
states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South
Carolina and Tennessee. Three of those states, Alabama, Georgia and
Tennessee, do not allow gay couples to marry.
A federal judge's ruling declaring
Florida's 2008 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting
marriage to heterosexual unions unconstitutional takes effect
Tuesday. The ruling, if upheld on appeal, would also affect Alabama
“It's good business for us to offer
benefits to all employees, not just those in the states that
recognize it,” Maria Brouse, director of media relations at Publix,
The supermarket chain has 180,000
employees and offers benefits to full and part-time employees who
work at least 1,500 hours a year.