Don’t Withhold Pension Benefit from Same-Sex Widow


Target: Frederick W. Smith, CEO, FedEx

Goal: Pay spousal benefit plan withheld from widow of same-sex marriage.

The widow of a same-sex marriage is being denied her wife’s spousal benefit plan. FedEx, where Lesly Taboada-Hall worked for over 26 years, is refusing to recognize the same-sex union as a marriage under their benefit plan, leaving Taboada-Hall’s wife and two children without the help a more “traditional” family would receive. The transport company claims that because Taboada-Hall passed away days before the Supreme Court ruled to recognize gay marriage federally, her family is not eligible to collect the $400,000 package.

In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The court ruled that the definition was unconstitutional and unfairly restrictive for same-sex couples. Only six days prior to the ruling, Taboada-Hall passed away after a battle with uterine cancer. Rather than adhering to the new ruling, FedEx is arguing that the circumstances allow them to refuse payment. Taboada-Hall’s spouse is currently seeking a lawsuit against FedEx, which is willing to pay millions in legal fees to avoid paying out a $400,000 pension plan.

Discrimination is defined as “the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, gender, or sexual orientation.” By withholding benefits rightly earned by Hall in over two decades of hard work on the basis of her same-sex marriage, FedEx is practicing discrimination. Sign the petition below to demand that FedEx put aside its bias and provide fair treatment to same-sex couples.


Dear Mr. Frederick W. Smith,

FedEx is denying a spousal benefit plan to the widow of Lesly Taboada-Hall, who worked for the company for 26 years, on the basis of her same-sex marriage. Because Taboada-Hall passed away six days before a landmark Supreme Court ruling requiring gay marriage to be federally recognized, the company is claiming that the marriage is invalid.

Rather than hand over a $400,000 benefit package, FedEx has chosen to militantly defend its discrimination. The company will spend millions of dollars in legal fees and risk a high-profile trial instead of simply paying out a fairly-earned benefit package.

The unjust treatment Taboada-Hall’s spouse and children have received is nothing short of discrimination. We, the undersigned, demand that FedEx apologize for its actions and extend the same benefits package to Taboada-Hall’s spouse that any other widow would receive.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: dbking via Flickr Creative Commons

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  1. William Hunter says:

    Bigots will not receive my business. I will insist that any mailed correspondence go through UPS or USPS. I will let any business or person that i have use ground or air shipping know that using Fed X will not be an acceptable form of delivery. This is not a gay right but a human right. Karma can be a real hard slap in the face.

  2. I work for FedEx, And I’m Gay, they’re not bigots. They’re very LGBT Friendly. Read the story, guys, this all took place before the DOMA ruling was struck down. In all actuality there is a million of things that aren’t stated either. Was she actually fedex direct? Was she a driver (independent contractor)? These are all important factors that need taken into consideration before you go on your hate mongering. We as a community need to stop automatically black listing everytime there’s a small misunderstanding.

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