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DOL Will Not Enforce Final FMLA Regulation Regarding Same-Sex Spouses in Four States

Last week, I reported that a federal district court in Texas had halted the DOL’s enforcement of its final rule that would allow employees to take FMLA leave for their same-sex spouse.

Policy Manual Update: DOL Issues Final Rule Revising Definition of Spouse Under the FMLA

On February 23, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a Final Rule updating the Family Medical Leave Act's (FMLA) regulatory definition of "spouse" to include same-sex couples. Previously, the definition of "spouse" did not include same-sex spouses if the employee resided in a state that did not recognize his or her same-sex marriage. Now, eligibility for FMLA protections shall be based on the "place of celebration," or the location where the individual was married. This means that a couple married in Illinois, a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, would be entitled to spousal FMLA leave even if they later reside in a state that does not recognize the union.

Does FMLA Cover In Vitro Fertilization? Does It Matter if Dad's Sperm is to Blame?

Is that all it takes to get you to click on my blog entry — make a reference to “sperm” in the blog title and post a silly photo of this little guy? That was like taking candy from a baby!

DOL Defines a Married, Same-Sex Partner as a "Spouse" under the FMLA

Executive Summary: Effective March 27, 2015, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is revised to define a "spouse" to include married, same-sex partners regardless of the state in which they reside. This change gives same-sex couples the same FMLA rights and protections as heterosexual couples.

Texas Court Puts a Halt on DOL Enforcement of the New FMLA Rule Extending Leave Rights to Same-Sex Couples

A federal judge in Texas granted an injunction on Thursday that (for the time being) has stopped enforcement of the DOL’s final rule regarding the definition of spouse.

BREAKING: FMLA “spousal” rule on hold for now

The new rule defining “spouse” for purposes of leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act was set to take effect today. But a federal judge in Texas yesterday temporarily blocked the rule from going into effect after attorneys general in several states that do not recognize same-sex marriage challenged it.

Legally Married Same-Sex Couples are Now Covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act

Effective March 27, 2015, the regulatory definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) will cover same-sex married couples, ensuring that these couples receive the rights and protections afforded under the FMLA in any jurisdiction of the United States in which they reside. This definition applies in jurisdictions, like Puerto Rico, where same-sex marriages are not recognized.

Employer's Lack of FMLA Compliance in Handling FMLA Leave Request is a Lesson for the Rest of Us

Want a glimpse into a world where an employer fails to maintain a legally compliant leave management process? Let me warn you — what you are about to read is not pretty and not for the faint of heart.

New FMLA Regulations Expand the Definition of Spouse to Include Same-Sex Marriages

Rules governing family medical leave for gay couples will soon reflect the rapid changes sweeping the nation. Since the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor, 133 S.Ct. 2675 (2013) courts across the nation have unraveled gay marriage bans in rapid succession, with marriage equality the law of the land in 37 states as of March 1, 2015. Despite the attention to gay marriage bans since Windsor, other large changes have been relatively unreported, such as federal regulations governing same-sex couples. This changed on February 25, 2015.

Check Out ABA's Summary of 2014 FMLA Court Decisions -- An Excellent Resource for Employers

Want to read about nearly FMLA case that was either dismissed or allowed to advance toward trial? Want a snapshot of what employers got right and what they got wrong in the land of FMLA?