Email from HR this morning:

You can let her know that we ask this of all employees who are adding dependents with different last names whether it be children or spouse’s. Because our policies do not allow anything but a spouse, we are permitted to request information. If we don’t do it, then the carrier will to make sure they aren’t insuring an ineligible dependent. So therefore, we do it so the employee doesn’t have to work directly with the carrier.

My response:

I understand why they’re making the request they’re making. I understand that in order to put Ted on my policy I will have to produce some sort of documentation proving that I’m married to him. I don’t happen to have a copy of my marriage certificate available; like I said, I do have some nice wedding photos. What precisely are we considering ‘proof’, here?

My objection is that I believe this to be discriminatory. From what I’m reading here, I’m understanding that if, hypothetically, I were to add my brother to my insurance and list him as my spouse, that unless and until I filed a claim in his name, it would be assumed that I was telling the truth, and that he was my spouse, because he has the same last name as I do. My understanding is that because my husband has a different last name than I do, I am assumed to be telling a falsehood, and therefore must prove that I am indeed married to him.

I don’t believe the fact that this is being requested of other people whose children or spouses who have different last names makes it right. It is merely discriminatory. Non-discriminatory procedure would be requiring proof of marriage from all employees who claim to be married.

I’m not at all sure the hypothetical brother situation is going to do anything but confuse and annoy them, but by *God* I can’t let this lie. I seriously feel I’m being discriminated against. I *get* that I’m going to have to provide the documentation, but I’m going to do everything I bloody well can to get the policy changed. It’s *wrong*.

Hissing, spitting Kit. *Really* pissed off.

This afternoon I got an email from my HR department which read:

Catherine has a different last name than her spouse – Ted Lee. Can you obtain something confirming that they are married before we add him as the dependent in the system?

Hello? What century is this? What world are we living in? Since when is the *same last name* an absolute for a married couple? I wrote back, asked if married couples with the same last name had to submit proof of marriage, and while I was at it, asked a couple of my married coworkers if they’d been asked to prove they were married. HR wrote back and said no, married couples with the same last name did not have to submit proof of marriage, and the coworkers had not been asked.

So while I was trying to rein in my temper enough to email HR back and tell them I did not have a fax machine, but I could email them some nice pictures of my wedding if they wanted, my boss, who was one of the married couples I asked, went and talked to HR and told them that I wasn’t very happy, and I then got this:

[I have sent the higher-up HR person] an email about the request she made. She will get back to me tomorrow and I will pass her email onto you. I am sure this is just standard procedure for them.

To which I responded:

I imagine it probably is standard procedure, but I feel quite strongly that it’s a discriminatory procedure.

Sharing or not sharing the same last name is hardly a signifier of marriage in today’s world. I feel that if I, as a married woman who retained her maiden name, am expected to prove that I am married to a man with a different last name, that it is only reasonable that married couples who have the same last names should also be expected to submit proof of marriage. If married couples who share the same last name are trusted to be telling the truth, I see no reason why married couples who do not share the same last name should not be trusted in the same way.

And there we stand. Tomorrow there will be more news. *Wow* I’m pissy about this.

MIT is so cool.

I have a lap full of Lucy. She was on the stairs going, “MAAAH!” pathetically, and I looked at her and said, “Well, come here,” and she came running over, and anklerubbed, and now she’s taken over my lap.

Cup of water #6 now working its way through my system. Rapidly.

Yesterday we had successful shopping. I got an ice-cream maker, which I’ve wanted for ages, and we got a table with a lamp for the stupid dark corner of our living room, so now there can be READING in there, and Ted got the gaming material he wanted for Christmas, and a Nightcrawler bust that’s really quite nice, and we failed the fondue-set roll, because Habitat and its pretentious prices made Ted grumpy, so we’ll try somewhere else for one. AND we did food shopping, which we desperately needed to do, and … that’s enough. :)

God, I’m good. Wait, did I say that once already? That’s okay, I don’t mind if I did. God, I’m good!

Further things accomplished:

1: warm fuzzies put into laundry to remove cat fur from them so they can be worn without sneezing fits.

2: New photos of cats put up. This is mostly Starling’s fault. Honest. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

3: New Kithair. (Compare to last December. And to March 2001.)

4: An additional 2 glasses of water consumed. This behavior causes one to have to pee a lot. (There are no links in this one. You don’t need to see a picture of me peeing. o.O )

5: Photos of my cousin Kerry and her boyfriend put up.

6: There is no 6. Haven’t I done enough so far today?

(Hi, Aunt Kathy! See? A website. :) )