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HR Tip: DOL issues final rule extending FMLA leave rights to same-sex couples

The Department of Labor has issued a final rule that will allow an employee to take FMLA leave to care for a same-sex spouse, regardless of whether the employee lives in a state that recognizes their marital status. A fact sheet was also issued.

According to Jeff Novak, co-chair of FranczekRadelet's Labor and Employment Practice and author of the firm's highly regarded FMLA Insights blog, the new final rule, which takes effect March 27, 2015, provides that the definition of "spouse" indeed is determined by the state in which a marriage is entered (i.e., the "state of celebration").

He notes that employers subject to FMLA should:

His blog also addresses the issues of requiring documentation to verify that a same-sex or common law marriage is valid, as well as FMLA leave care for a child to whom they stand in loco parentis. More information.