Widow sues FedEx for survivor benefits

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A widow is suing FedEx for refusing to grant her survivor benefits after her wife, a FedEx employee, died.

Lesly Taboada-Hall had been an employee of FedEx for 26 before she died, and she and Stacey Schuett were married in 2013. They had been together for 30 years.

FedEx’s pension and survivor benefit plan still incorporates the Defense of Marriage Act, despite this being struck down in 2013. Legally married same-sex couples should now be treated equally as opposite-sex couples with regards to pensions and survivor benefits.

Ms Taboada-Hall was the main earner in the family, providing for her wife and the couple’s two children, and she continued to work for FedEx after being diagnosed with cancer.

Ms Schuett said: ““Lesly gave 26 years to FedEx, and she respected the company. It was a point of pride with her to be an outstanding employee.

Our family is still experiencing the extreme pain and grief that comes with the death of a wife and mother. FedEx should recognize our family, respect Lesly’s decades of service to the company, and honor Lesly’s intention of providing for us even after we lost her.”

Her attorney, Nina Wilson said: “Federal pension law protects same-sex spouses just as it does opposite-sex spouses. Employees who have same-sex spouses deserve the same certainty as others that their hard-earned retirement benefits will be there to protect their families.”