A story in the Windy City Times profiles a couple represented by the ACLU of Illinois, who were denied health insurance coverage through the Local 225 of the Laborer's International Union of North America after they married. Zuyin Jimenez, who has been a laborer since 2014, recently became qualified to receive health insurance benefits through The Chicago Laborers' Pension and Welfare Fund. In seeking coverage for her and her wife, Laura Luna, they received a response from the Fund stating that they are a "private company that will not recognize marriages between people of the same-sex." The couple promptly contacted the ACLU of Illinois and worked with LGBT Project Director John Knight to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. On April 9, the couple received notification stating that they will, in fact, be eligible for spousal coverage retroactively to March 1, 2015. The Windy City Times spoke with Knight:
"It's rather a new issue," he told Windy City Times. "It's going to have to be addressed now. There is a law in-place called ERISA [Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974] which preempts the local non-discrimination laws like we have in Illinois with respect to certain employers. We are really at the front end of the courts saying that discrimination against same-sex-couples is sex discrimination. There are a number of courts that are finding that it is but we don't have a court saying that clearly in the federal circuit."
"We're talking about private employers," he added. "So the constitutional principles established in [same-sex] marriage cases don't necessarily say how Title VII should be interpreted. So we have to look to a federal statute to protect us here. I think many employers are voluntarily providing coverage and I hope that continues but I suspect some employers are going to say no. If the employers or unions continue to resist, then we'll be in court."