Asheville, N.C. (March 19, 2013) – LGBT employees of Buncombe County, North Carolina will now be offered domestic partner benefits. By a 4-3 vote tonight the Buncombe County Commissioners approved benefits that include health insurance, life insurance, use of leave time, and all entitlements under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Buncombe County becomes the 4th county in North Carolina to offer domestic partner benefits to LGBT couples, joining Durham, Mecklenburg and Orange counties.
“This move by the Buncombe County Commissioners sends a clear signal that LGBT employees of the county are valued and respected members of the workforce who deserve equal treatment. We have seen many local employers, including Mission Hospital, adopt similar policies in recent years. If your goal is to attract and retain the best workforce, this kind of policy is now standard procedure,” says Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE).
Local residents who spoke at tonight’s meeting included Rev. Beach-Ferrara, who based her remarks on “Policy Recommendations for the Fair and Equitable Treatment of Buncombe County LGBT Employees,” a white paper that CSE published in August 2012 and subsequently shared with with county staff and county commissioners. You can read the white paper at: www.southernequality.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/LGBT-Employment-Policies_August2012.pdf