Compliance Alert: Final Rules Include Same-Sex Spouses for FMLA Purposes

The Department of Labor (DOL) amended the regulatory definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) so that “spouse” for purposes of FMLA rights includes a same-sex spouse, regardless of where the employee and spouse live.

This means the “place of celebration” will determine whether an individual is a “spouse” under FMLA.

This change is effective March 27, 2015. Current FMLA regulations use a “state of residence rule,” recognizing a spouse under the law of the state in which the couple resides.

For the rule, visit:

For a fact sheet, FAQs, and more, visit:


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