On February 25th, 2015, the Department of Labor issued a final rule that expands protections for same-sex spouses under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Here are some key points to note about this rule:
- Place of Celebration: The final rule adopts a “place of celebration” rule, instead of the “state of residence” rule, for recognizing same-sex marriages. The rule is now based on where the marriage was entered into. Eligible employees in legal same-sex marriages will be able to take FMLA leave to care for their spouses or family members, regardless of where they live
- Definition of Spouse: The final rule redefines “spouse” under the FMLA to expressly reference same-sex marriages.
- Effective Date: This guidance from the DOL becomes effective on March 27, 2015.
Employers should take time now review their FMLA policies and procedures and update them as necessary. In addition, this may be a great opportunity to train employees who are involved in the leave management process on the expanded eligibility rules.
I hope that you find this brief overview helpful.
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