Today is a good day for same gender spouses under the U.S. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Although it’s taken a while for the FMLA to catch up on the 2012 changes related to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) being overturned based on the details of the United States vs. Windsor that day finally arrived on Friday, March 27, 2015.
With this change a spouse is now defined based on the state of celebration. Therefore even if your state does not recognize same-sex marriage your policy related to the FMLA will need to recognize it, assuming it occurred legally in another jurisdiction.
Most human resource professionals have been preparing for this change for months…maybe years but here are two key reminders:
- Although you may have known about this was coming since 2012, most supervisors have not! Take an opportunity to remind your supervisors of this change.
- Ensure you do not treat documentation requirements differently for same-sex marriage. Therefore if a marriage certificate is not needed for opposite sex spouses, do not require it for same-sex spouses.
Take this opportunity to review your policy and documentation. If the DOL comes knocking you will only have 72 hours to respond to their inquiry so look into it before they arrive at your door.
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