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.