Domestic Partnership Policy

The unmarried, same-sex Domestic Partner of a Franklin & Marshall College employee or retiree, and the Partner’s Dependent Children as defined through College benefit plan documents, are eligible for coverage, as dependents, in existing Franklin & Marshall benefit plans. To be eligible for coverage, the employee or retiree and his/her same-sex Partner must satisfy all of the criteria for " Domestic Partnership" as outlined below, and the employee or retiree and Partner must complete and sign the College's “Certification of Domestic Partnership” form (see bottom of this page).  Domestic Partners are subject to the same eligibility criteria and plan provisions which govern other eligible dependents in College benefit plans and programs.

Franklin & Marshall defines a Domestic Partnership as a long-term, committed relationship of indefinite duration with all of the following characteristics:

  1. The Partners are of the same sex; have an exclusive mutual commitment similar to that of marriage; live together; and intend to maintain their commitment indefinitely.
  2. Neither Partner is legally married to anyone else or has another Domestic Partner.
  3. The Partners are not related by blood closer than would bar marriage in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or the state of their residence.
  4. Both Partners are at least eighteen (18) years old.
  5. The Partners are financially responsible for each other and debts to third parties, and can provide documentation of such responsibility as requested. Both Partners have entered into a contractual commitment for that responsibility, or both have joint ownership of significant assets (such as home, car, bank accounts) and joint liability for debts (such as mortgages and major credit cards).

If a Partnership ends and a new Domestic Partnership is established, the new Domestic Partner will not qualify as a dependent for fringe benefit purposes for a period of twelve (12) months from the date benefit coverage was discontinued for the previous Domestic Partner .


Unless a Domestic Partner qualifies as an eligible tax-dependent of the College employee or retiree, the College is required to include the value of the Domestic Partner 's benefits, and benefits provided to the Domestic Partner's dependent child(ren), if applicable, as taxable income to the employee or retiree, for federal, FICA, state, and local withholding purposes. The Internal Revenue Service currently treats as imputed income to an employee or retiree the value of benefits coverage provided to a Domestic Partner and his/her children, minus any contribution paid by the employee/retiree for their coverage, unless the Domestic Partner and his/her children qualify as the employee's/retiree's dependents under the Internal Revenue Code. Franklin & Marshall College does not assume responsibility for any tax obligation that might result for an employee/retiree or his/her Domestic Partner .

Before enrolling in a benefit plan for which a Domestic Partner or his/her Dependent Child(ren) is eligible, the College employee or retiree and his/her Domestic Partner must complete and sign the Certification of Domestic Partnership form below. Additionally, adequate proof of joint financial responsibility must be supplied to Human Resources. If a Domestic Partner qualifies as a tax-dependent, the “Tax-dependent Certification” must also be completed.

​Policy Maintained by: Human Resources, Associate Vice President
Last Reviewed:  July 25, 2016