This month, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced an update related to same-sex marriage and the spousal definition under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Currently the FMLA definition of spouse links directly with state law; however, after the Supreme Court’s landmark decision related to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in United States v. Windsor absence management professionals were expecting the DOL to reconsider their definition of spouse.
Since some states do not recognize same-sex marriages the FMLA left a gap for individuals that were married under state law but it may not have been recognized in their state of residence. Currently couples that live in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriages are not covered as “spouses” under the FMLA. Once the change is implemented, this policy will be modified on a federal level.
The DOL indicated their regulatory change will “fully implement the Supreme Court’s decision”. Timing is unclear at this time but Spring will continue to provide updates.
More information about this DOL FMLA announcement can be found here.
Have questions about the FMLA or any of the recent DOL rulings? Contact our Integrated Disability Management Team and we will be happy to help out.
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