[Adopted 5-25-2011 by Ord. No. 5312]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided an effective date of 1-1-2012. In addition, Section Three of this ordinance stated that "The pension benefits established by this ordinance become effective after actuarial studies relating to pension adjustments are completed according to the law and based upon the pension benefits as set forth in all current collective bargaining agreements with the City of Easton." Section Four of this ordinance stated that "The provisions of this ordinance become effective for each bargaining unit after the signing of memorandum of understandings in the case of the IAFF, AFSCME and FOP. Nothing in this ordinance shall supersede any current collective bargaining agreement for which the City of Easton is a party." Section Six of this ordinance stated that "This ordinance shall apply to same-sex domestic partners insofar as state law prohibits such couples from entering into a marriage that is recognized by the laws of Pennsylvania. In the event that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania recognizes same sex marriage, this ordinance shall become null and void and of no further force and effect. In that event, domestic partners who are covered by this ordinance will have a ninety-day period of continued coverage in order to facilitate a marriage."
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BASIC LIVING EXPENSES
- Basic food and shelter.
- DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP
- For purposes of this article, two individuals, one or both of whom are City employees, who have consented to enter a domestic partnership with each other and meet all of the following qualifications:
- A. Both individuals are currently living together at the same primary residence as defined under § 114-39A, List A (residency), and have for a period of six months prior to the receipt of the employment benefits and registration hereunder;
- B. Both individuals are jointly responsible for each other's common welfare, basic living expenses, and share financial obligations;
- C. Neither individual is part of an existing domestic partnership, civil union or marriage with any third party and, if previously a member of domestic partnership, has terminated the relationship;
- D. Neither individual has been in another registered domestic partnership in the six months preceding the date of registration of the present domestic partnership;
- E. The individuals cannot marry each other under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania but would marry if permitted by law;
- F. Each individual is competent to enter into a contract; is 18 years of age or older; and both individuals are not related to one another in a way that would bar marriage in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and
- G. Agree under penalty of law to notify the City of any change in the status of the domestic partnership.
- JOINT RESPONSIBILITY
- Domestic partners jointly provide for each other's basic living expenses if one partner is unable to provide for herself or himself.
- LIVING TOGETHER
- Sharing a domicile that is the primary place of residence for both partners. It is not necessary that the legal right to possess the shared place be in the names of both domestic partners. Two people may live together even if one or both have additional places to live. Domestic partners cease to live together if one leaves the shared place and does not intend to return.
Verification. To verify a domestic partner for the purposes of this article, City employees and future retirees shall complete a form prescribed by the City indicating they have satisfied the qualifications for domestic partnership requirements set forth in above. In addition, the employee must provide three additional documents, one from List A and two from List B:
List A (residency):
A lease or sublease indicating that their residence is rented by both individuals;
A deed or mortgage indicating that their residence is owned by both individuals;
Driver's licenses for both individuals showing the same address;
A utility bill addressed to both individuals at the same address.
List B (joint responsibility):
A deed or mortgage showing joint ownership of property by both individuals;
Evidence of a current joint credit card, debit or bank account;
A valid will or current life insurance policy of one individual that names the other individual as a beneficiary;
Documents showing that one or both individuals have power of attorney for the other;
Subject to the review, approval and passage as an amendment by ordinance by City Council, any document that conclusively demonstrates the individuals are domestic partners living together and are jointly responsible for each other's basic living expenses as defined by this article.
Editor's Note: A sample form is included at the end of this chapter.
The domestic partnership may terminate as follows:
Either domestic partner may terminate the domestic partnership by filing a sworn termination statement with the City, in the form and manner required by the Department of Human Resources, stating that the domestic partnership is to be terminated.
There is a change in the relationship such that it no longer meets the criteria of the City's identification of domestic partnerships as set forth above under § 114-39.
There is a presumption of termination wherein upon the expiration of 30 consecutive days the domestic partners no longer reside or intend to return to the same residence together or no longer share joint financial obligations.
The termination shall become effective 30 days from the date the termination statement is filed, if it is signed by both domestic partners.
If it is not signed by both domestic partners, the termination statement shall become effective 30 days from the date proof is filed with the Department of Human Resources that a copy of the termination statement was served, either personally or by certified or registered mail, to both domestic partners.
Failure to notify the Department of Human Resources of the termination of the domestic partnership set forth herein shall constitute fraud and may, as applicable, include loss of benefits as described herein, including termination of employment if Pennsylvania recognizes same-sex partners.
The City shall provide the same health and other employment benefits to employees with domestic partners and their dependent children as it provides to employees with spouses, consistent with the fullest extent of the City's authority under the law. It is the intent of this article to apply to all employees and future retired employees.