Makes domestic partners of persons dying, without surviving spouses, as a result of the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01 eligible for the workers' compensation death benefits, including funeral expenses, otherwise due a surviving spouse; defines "domestic partner" broadly.
STATE OF NEW YORK
June 17, 2002
Introduced by COMMITTEE ON RULES -- read twice and ordered printed, and
when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules
AN ACT to amend the workers' compensation law, in relation to making
death benefits available to domestic partners of persons who perished
as a result of the terrorist attacks of September eleventh, two thou-
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The workers' compensation law is amended by adding a new
2 section 4 to read as follows:
3 § 4. Special applicability; domestic partners; surviving domestic
4 partners; death benefits; funeral expenses; terrorist attacks of Septem-
5 ber eleventh, two thousand one; construction. 1. Definition. "Domestic
6 partner" means a person at least eighteen years of age who:
7 (a) is dependent upon the employee for support as shown by either
8 unilateral dependence or mutual interdependence, as evidenced by a nexus
9 of factors including, but not limited to, common ownership of real or
10 personal property, common householding, children in common, signs of
11 intent to marry, shared budgeting, and the length of the personal
12 relationship with the employee or, if the employee is deceased, was so
13 dependent upon the employee immediately prior to the employee's death;
15 (b) has registered as the domestic partner of the employee with any
16 registry of domestic partnerships maintained by the employer of either
17 party, the state, or any county, city, town, or village, or, if the
18 employee is deceased, did so register prior to the employee's death.
19 (c) For the purposes of this section, the definition of domestic part-
20 ner made by this subdivision shall supplement or supersede any incon-
21 sistent definition of such term by any other general, special, or local
22 law, ordinance, code, or charter so that no person qualifying as a
23 domestic partner, as defined in this subdivision, whether registered or
24 unregistered, shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed not to
25 be a domestic partner.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
S. 7685 2
1 (d) For the purposes of this section, the term "domestic partner"
2 shall include the term "surviving domestic partner".
3 Provided however, "domestic partner" shall not include any person who
4 is related by blood to the employee in a manner that would bar marriage
5 to the employee in New York state.
6 2. Death benefits. The domestic partner, at the time of the death, of
7 any employee shall, if such employee had no spouse at the time of his or
8 her death, be deemed to be the surviving spouse of such employee for the
9 purposes of any death benefit, including but not limited to funeral
10 expenses, to which a surviving spouse would be entitled upon the death
11 of such employee, and any and all such benefits shall be paid to such
12 domestic partner.
13 3. Applicability. The provisions of this section apply only to cases
14 in which the employee's death occurred as a result of the terrorist
15 attacks that occurred on September eleven, two thousand one.
16 4. Construction. (a) The definition of the term "domestic partner"
17 made by subdivision one of this section shall not be construed to be an
18 exclusive definition.
19 (b) The enactment of this section shall not be construed to divest any
20 court of any authority such court may otherwise have to adjudicate a
21 person a domestic partner on the basis of any criteria other than those
22 specified in subdivision one of this section, whether such person has or
23 has not registered as a domestic partner.
24 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall be deemed to
25 have been in full force and effect on and after September 10, 2001.