O'Reilly Auto Parts faces discrimination investigation in WA over benefits for same-sex spouses

Not providing health insurance for an employee’s same-sex spouse could mean legal trouble for O’Reilly Auto Parts, according to the Washington state attorney general’s office.

One of the chain’s female employees filed a complaint against the company, launching a discrimination investigation under Washington’s Consumer Protection Act.

She claims O'Reilly prevented her wife from enrolling on the company's health insurance plan. Investigators will determine whether that was an act of discrimination based on sexual orientation, which is illegal in Washington.

The attorney general's office submitted a petition in King County superior court Monday, asking a judge to force O’Reilly to release records related to employee health benefits. It claims the company has refused to release those records.

Once prosecutors receive the information, Assistant Attorney General Kim Gunning will lead a team that will decide whether to file a lawsuit, among other possible next steps.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Washington since 2012.