Outagamie Co. Considers Extending Domestic Partnership Benefits
APPLETON-- Outagamie could soon be the 4th county in the state to offer its employees domestic partnership benefits.
County leaders say it's one way to attract and keep employees. They are following examples set by the city of Appleton and the Appleton School District. Both have policies extending fringe benefits to same-sex couples. County Executive Tom Nelson is looking to expand that offer to more than 1,200 county workers. For Nelson, it's about attracting workers while setting an example for others. Nelson held a roundtable discussion about the idea with community leaders and employers.
The city of Appleton began offering domestic partnership benefits to its employees a year and half ago.The city's diversity coordinator says the response has been overwhelmingly positive, despite some initial opposition.
"We did get some pushback it was religion and religious differences and what we remind people is this is government work and we take that out of government work,” Flores said.
According to the register of deeds, there are 105 domestic partnerships that are legally recognized in Outagamie County.
Nelson is confident that expanding benefits to same sex couples won't hurt the county's bottom line.
The proposal was submitted to the board on Friday and a committee is currently studying it. It could go before the full county board as soon as next month.