On 3/18/2015, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Nebraska were granted a preliminary injunction to temporarily block the FMLA’s Final Rule from being effective in these four states. They essentially argued that only Section 3 of DOMA was struck down and Section 2, which allows individual states to determine whether marriage is only between a woman and a man, still stands. A final ruling will be issued to decide this matter.
“The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. The FMLA also includes certain military family leave provisions.” Source: U.S. Dept. of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, Family and Medical Leave Act, Final Rule to Revise the Definition of “Spouse” Under the FMLA.
The Department of Labor issued a Final Rule, effective 3/27/2015, that adopts a “place of celebration” rule in place of the previous “state of residence” rule. The Final Rule allows employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave to care for the employee’s same-sex spouse as long as they were married in a jurisdiction that permitted their marriage. The definition of spouse now looks to the law of the place in which the marriage was entered into, rather than the law of the state in which the employee resides. Therefore, even if the couple currently resides in a state that does not permit same-sex marriages, the employee is entitled to FMLA leave to care for his/her same-sex spouse if they were married in a state that legally permitted the marriage. Marriages that were validly entered into outside of the U.S. are also recognized if they could have been entered into in at least one state.
For additional information please refer to the DOL website.
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