Family and Medical Leave law now covers gay marriage

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act allows many employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a spouse who has a serious medical condition. Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor approved a new rule saying that this includes spouses in same-sex marriages.

It’s important to note that this rule applies even in states that don’t recognize same-sex marriage. According to the Department of Labor, a marriage is valid for FMLA purposes as long as it was performed in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage – even if the employee lives or works in a state that doesn’t.

Therefore, companies may have to grant leave to employees to take care of a spouse even though the person isn’t recognized as a spouse under state law.