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FMLA, Spousal Relationships and Same-Sex Marriage

A free white paper by AbsenceSoft - FMLA Software

And just like that, the wait is FINALLY over! On June 16, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court lobbed an unexploded grenade into the middle of the federal FMLA when it declared Section 3 of DOMA to be unconstitutional “as a deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment.” This section identified “spouse” to specifically apply only to heterosexual unions. Although their hearts were in the right place, it was all of the stuff left unsaid that put many companies and agencies twirling like the Tasmanian Devil on Red Bull. The federal regulations ambiguously placed the definition to be determined by the state where the employee resides. Other federal agencies came out to modify this language to base the definition of a spouse on the ‘state of celebration’ where an employees union took place. However, the FMLA party house had a game of limbo going that just didn’t seem to have an end in sight.

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