DOL Rule to Cover Same-Sex Spouses Under FMLA Regardless of State of Residence

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June 20 — Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez announced June 20 a proposed rule extending the protections of the Family and Medical Leave Act to all eligible employees in legal same-sex marriages regardless of the state where they live.

The proposed rule is in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's June 2013 ruling in United States v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675, 118 FEP Cases 1417 (2013), which invalidated the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act's exclusion of state-sanctioned, same-sex marriages from the federal definition of marriage.

DOMA's definition of marriage applied to over 1,100 federal laws, including many affecting the rights of public and private employees with same-sex spouses.

“The basic promise of the FMLA is that no one should have to choose between succeeding at work and being a loving family caregiver,” Perez said June 20. “Under the proposed revisions, the FMLA will be applied to all families equally, enabling individuals in same-sex marriages to fully exercise their rights and fulfill their responsibilities to their families.”

Text of the rule is at http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/nprm-spouse/NPRM.pdf.