United Airlines has spent over two years trying to overturn San Francisco’s domestic partners ordinance, a law which requires companies doing business with the city to extend full benefits to the domestic partners of its non-married employees, including gay and lesbian partners.
United has contended that it is bound by federal mandates alone and thus has no obligation to abide by city ordinances such as San Francisco’s domestic partners ordinance. United won the right to deny medical and pension benefits to the non-married partners of its employees, and is now trying to overturn a court decision that required the airline to provide them with other lesser benefits like bereavement leave and travel perks.
Despite the airline’s claim that it is subject to federal mandates alone, the airline on Monday began complying with a city law. LA’s “living wage” law requires that all city workers be paid $7.69 per hour with benefits, or $8.69 per hour without benefits.
United spokesperson Matt Triaca claimed that the Los Angeles law is different, given that it applies to United’s subcontractors, but not to its regular employees.
San Francisco city Supervisors Leslie Katz and Tom Ammiano didn’t agreed. Katz called United “disingenuous” and Ammiano commented, “That’s a lot of doublespeak.”