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Friday, August 16, 2013

Modern Families and Worker Protections

The word "spouse" has a new legal definition following the US Supreme Court's recent decision in US v. Windsor (2013). Today's post was shared by US Dept. of Labor and comes from

Until 1993, there was no law that protected workers from having to choose between their jobs and their health – or the welfare of family members who needed their care. The Family and Medical Leave Act changed that, by allowing covered employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave without getting fired. This law provided greater protection and flexibility to America’s workers, and the Wage and Hour Division has been proud to uphold it for the past 20 years.

But our agency doesn’t just enforce the law. We also provide guidance to employees and employers, to make sure they understand their rights and responsibilities. Earlier this week, the Wage and Hour Division made a few revisions to some of our guidance documents that reflect changes to our enforcement of the FMLA in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in United States v. Windsor.

These updates remove all references to the Defense of Marriage Act’s provisions that denied federal benefits to legally married, same-sex couples. In light of the Supreme Court’s decision U.S. v. Windsor, the updates clarify the definition of “spouse” for Title I of the FMLA, which applies to covered private-sector employers and any covered public agency. The updated documents can be viewed at these links:

These changes are not regulatory, and they do not fundamentally change the FMLA. They simply recognize that the Supreme Court’s Windsor decision expands the number of employees who...
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