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O'Reilly Extends Health Coverage Policy to Same-Sex Couples

Washington State-- Springfield-based O'Reilly Auto Parts plans to offer health care to spouses of same-sex couples in states where the marriage is legally recognized. This change is in response to an investigation by Washington State's Attorney General launched after a consumer complaint.
Washington State-- O'Reilly's health plan stated that a spouse shall mean only those persons of the opposite sex who have entered into a legal marital relationship-- it's this definition of a spouse that is the root of an investigation into Springfield-based O'Reilly.

The Washington State Attorney General launched the investigation after a complaint from the spouse of a Washington-based O'Reilly employee.

According to a petition filed by the Attorney General's office, "the object of the investigation, is to determine whether O'Reilly, and/or any of its affiliates or subsidiaries or other parties acting on its behalf has violated, or is continuing to violate the consumer protection act."

O'Reilly Director of External Reporting Mark Merz said the employee who filed the complaint was insured under a health plan that does not include same-sex couples in the definition of covered spouses.

Merz said the company was trying to work with the Attorney General's office and was surprised to hear that the petition was filed.

The petition cites that O'Reilly responded to some, but not all of the state's requests, like refusing to produce documents relating to its decision to not offer the benefits and sharing meeting minutes when spousal insurance benefits were discussed.

Merz said these requests, among other, were overly broad and not related to the investigation.

Wednesday afternoon, O'Reilly announced it will amend the definition in the health plan to include the same-sex spouses of its employees. the extended benefits will apply to not only its employees in Washington, but nationwide.

Merz said O'reilly intends to implement the changes on or before April first.

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