FMLA Leave Applies to Same-Sex Marriages Regardless of Where Couple Resides

The U.S. Department of Labor announced yesterday that it is changing its definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act to include legally married same-sex spouses, regardless of whether the state where the couples reside recognizes same-sex marriages.  Whether a same-sex partner is a spouse will now be determined by the “the place of celebration” instead of the “state of residence”.

New York already recognizes same-sex marriages, and covered employers have been providing leave to employees since last year.  But for employers in other states, this change may require updating of practices in the workplace.  More information on the change is available at:

Written by Dawn J. Lanouette, Partner at Hinman, Howard & Kattell, LLP.  To contact Mrs. Lanouette directly call (607) 231-6917 or

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