O’Reilly Auto Parts has agree to extend health-care benefits to same-sex spouses of its employees in Washington and elsewhere, days after the state attorney general filed a petition to force the national chain to answer questions as part of an ongoing investigation.
The new policy is effective April 1.
The state launched an investigation into whether the company was providing same-sex spousal benefits after an employee at one of its 147 stores in Washington complained that the company had refused extend such benefits, while providing them to opposite-sex spouses. The company employs 2,194 people in this state.
Such unequal treatment, the state attorney general’s office said, is a violation of state law, including the state’s Consumer Protection Act, which prohibits unfair or deceptive business practices.
It is the same law under which the attorney general sued a Richland florist for refusing to provide flowers for the same-sex wedding of longtime customers.