The nation's largest private employer says it will extend health care benefits to same-sex couples and domestic partners starting next year.
Bentonville-based Wal-Mart says it'll start offering health benefits to domestic partners of the same or opposite sex who have been living together and in a relationship for at least a year.
The retailer says it made the changes so it could have a uniform policy for all 50 states, regardless of how a particular state defines what constitutes a domestic partnership or a civil union.
Spokesman Randy Hargrove says Wal-Mart wanted to have a comprehensive benefits package that appeals to a contemporary workforce and reflects the diverse world in which we live. He says the move will help the retail giant attract and retain the best workers.