Family and Medical Leave Act Benefits Extended to Certain Same-Sex Spouses
On August 9, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") issued internal guidance on its efforts to ensure compliance with the recent U.S. Supreme Court case United States v. Windsor, which found the provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA") denying federal benefits to legally married, same-sex couples unconstitutional. As a result, certain DOL documents have been revised to confirm that leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act is available to employees in a same-sex marriage if the marriage is recognized as lawful in the state where the employee resides. See http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs28f.pdf. Employers in states where same-sex marriage is recognized should be cognizant of these developments when considering employee leave requests and should contact us for further guidance on potential policy changes.