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Employment Law Alert: Family and Medical Leave Update

In light of the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in United States v. Windsor, which invalidated section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional, the Department of Labor has amended the definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons.

As a result of this rule change, eligible employees in legal same-sex marriages may take FMLA leave to care for their spouse or family member, regardless of where they live. In other words, the new rule looks to place the marriage was performed, not the place where the couple resides.

This final rule was published on February 25, 2015, and will take effect on March 27, 2015.

Submitted by Attorney David Kroon

March 16, 2015