by Jack Mayne
O’Reilly Auto Parts has agreed to provide healthcare coverage to same-sex spouses of its employees in Washington and other states recognizing marriage equality, effective April 1 (read our previous coverage here).
This comes after a consumer complained to the Washington attorney general’s office which then started an investigation to determine if O’Reilly was refusing to provide the healthcare benefits to same-sex spouses that it provides for opposite-sex spouses.
The four south King County stores are at:
- 21105 International Blvd., SeaTac
- 15500 First Ave. South, Burien
- 9627 17th Ave. South, White Center
- 11610 Des Moines Memorial Drive in Boulevard Park
O’Reilly is based in Springfield, Mo., and operates a chain of retail auto parts stores across the country with approximately 147 stores and 2,194 employees in Washington state.
“This is great news for all O’Reilly employees and their families,” said Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson. “If a business provides benefits to opposite-sex spouses, it must provide the same benefits to same-sex spouses.”
Ferguson’s office said O’Reilly had failed to provide a complete response to an investigative demand and had refused to produce any documents related to its decision not to provide benefits. Because of the refusal, the attorney general’s office filed a petition in King County Superior Court to enforce demand.
O’Reilly is a Fortune 500 company. It is a publicly traded auto parts company based out of Missouri. The company has approximately 4,166 stores in 42 states. It has 147 stores and employs 2,194 people in Washington State. Today’s policy change will apply nationwide, impacting all employees who are legally married.
The investigation sought to determine whether O’Reilly violated the Washington State Consumer Protection Act, which prohibits unfair or deceptive business practices.
With O’Reilly’s change of practice, the attorney general will close the investigation.