FMLA extended to same-sex couples

By : Staff Report
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A new Department of Labor rule will allow for workers in Florida who are same-sex couples to apply for leave to care for their spouses that have a health condition. This rule falls under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

The amendment to the FMLA was finalized on Feb. 25. The amendment revised the way the act defines a “spouse” to include same-sex partners. This rule extends to cover all 50 states, even those that do not recognize same-sex marriage.

If a couple is married in Florida and moves out of state, they will still be eligible. Couples that marry outside of the county where same-sex marriage is legal will also be covered.

Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage was lifted on Jan. 6 after a long-put stay by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle who ruled the ban as unconstitutional in August 2014.

The FMLA became effective in 1993, where most employers were required to offer up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave and had to protect a worker’s job for a medical condition, including pregnancy.

The amendment to the FMLA will take effect March 27.

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