Benefits come to Emory employees in a variety of ways. Sometimes
they are lobbied for. Other times they come about with a simple
A new offer for Emory employees to join AAA at a discounted rate
is an example of the latter. Representatives of the auto club contacted
the Emory Employee Discount Program last month and offered up a
Emory employees could join AAA for 14 months and be charged for
the 12-month rate of $56. They also would receive the full list
of member benefits as well as some special gifts—a travel
atlas and hotel directory, to name two—upon signing up.
“We haven’t really advertised this much, but word has
been getting around,” said Heather Green, who helps administrate
the employee discount program, which is operated out of the purchasing
office. Green said the information about the AAA discount available
to Emory employees will be posted to the program’s website
later this month.
That website lists the many deals for which Emory employees are
eligible simply because of where they work. They range from hotel
discounts to special bank accounts to lower costs on film developing.
Students also can receive these discounts.
To sign up for the discounted AAA membership, contact Nancy Kaye
In time for this fall’s open enrollment, Human Resources rolled
out another new benefit for employees and their families—long-term
care insurance. Provided by UnumProvident, the benefit offered between
$1,000 and $6,000 of monthly long-term/nursing home monthly benefits
for eligible participants.
Unlike other University benefits, however, long-term care was not
of-fered to same-sex domestic partners on the grounds that doing
so would violate Georgia law.
Upon being informed of the situation, the President’s Commission
on LGBT Concerns took action. In late October, the commission sent
a four-page memo to University administrators.asking for contacts
at Unum, specifically anyone who determined that long-term care
coverage could not be offered to domestic partners, and copies of
the cited law preventing insurance extension.
In the memo, the commission cited a 1999 decision by Fulton County
Superior Court Judge Wendy Shoob ruling against Georgia Insurance
Commissioner John Oxendine, who
had issued a directive stating insurance coverage of same-sex domestic
partners was contrary to Georgia law and public policy.
Shoob called his refusal to approve domestic partner coverage for
Atlanta city employees “in excess of his statutory authority,
arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of direction and not in accordance
with the law.”
After receipt of the memo, Human Resources approached Unum again
to press the issue. HR invited commission chair Kathy McKee to attend
a conference call that included benefits director Mary Smith and
McKee again was told that the long-term care policy had not been
approved to cover same-sex domestic partners in Georgia, but exceptions
could be granted, and Unum could apply for one.
That’s what happened. Unum was granted an exception, and under
that exception, domestic partners now are eligible for long-term
“It was something that wasn’t right,” McKee said.
“We felt very strongly about it and needed to see if something
could be done.”
“Our intent all along was to offer this benefit to SSDPs,”
said Alice Miller, Vice President for Human Resources. “We
were disappointed that despite repeated requests, Unum was unwilling
to pursue the possibility with the State of Georgia. With LGBT’s
assistance, we were able to convince them such an initiative was
appropriate and substantiated. Working together, we all made it