Department of Labor Amends the FMLA Definition of “Spouse”

On February 25, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) adopted new regulations that define the term “spouse” for purposes of the FMLA based on the “place of celebration” rule. Under this rule, the term “spouse” includes all legally married individuals, same-sex or opposite-sex, regardless of the law of the state where the employee currently resides or works. Previously, the DOL defined the term “spouse” according to the law of the state in which the employee resides (state of residence), rather than the state in which the employee was married (place of celebration). Adoption of the “place of celebration” rule will now ensure that all legally married employees, whether same-sex or opposite-sex, or married under common law, have consistent FMLA leave rights regardless of where they live.

To learn more about this amendment and what it means for company policies, click here.

For questions or more information, please contact Bethany C. Salvatore.