Family and Medical Leave Act Now Includes Same-Sex Military Couples

Posted by Debi Teter

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 gives eligible employees of covered employers the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off for specific family and medical reasons. Eligible employees who need time off to care for a service member who becomes ill or injured in the line of duty may take up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave.

On Feb. 25, the Department of Labor (DOL) amended the definition of “spouse” to include legally married same-sex spouses. Further, the rule clarifies that, if an otherwise eligible employee is currently living in a state where same-sex marriage is not recognized, as long as the person and his or her spouse were married in a state that does recognize same-sex marriages, the employee will still be eligible for benefits under the FMLA.

The revised rule becomes effective March 27.


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