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Extending FMLA to Same Sex Partners

July 2, 2014 Legal Team

A proposal was on the table from the federal Labor Department to extend eligibility for the Family and Medical Leave Act to same-sex couples. This extension in eligibility would affect same-sex couples regardless of whether or not the state they reside in recognizes their marriage.

“Under proposed revisions, the FMLA will be applied to all families equally, enabling individuals in same-sex marriages to fully exercise rights and fulfill their responsibilities to their families,” said Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez.

However, the rights afforded under FMLA for same-sex couples must still operate within its original scope, therefore, it can only be extended to private-sector employees.

In light of the recent United States v. Windsor decision, homosexual couples married in states where it is legal, though it is not their home state, must receive the same legal benefits a heterosexual couple retains upon marriage. The exceptions are social security and veteran benefits.

According to the Department of Labor’s website today, the definition of a spouse now includes same-sex or common-law marriages that were legally entered into in a state that recognizes said marriages.

Source: Washington Post

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