Under current law, an eligible employee may take leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to care for a same-sex spouse only if they reside in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage. If the employee lives in a state that does not currently recognize same-sex marriage, however, the employee is not eligible for spousal leave under the FMLA. On June 20, 2014, the Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a new rule which would allow an eligible employee in a same-sex marriage to take FMLA leave to care for a same-sex spouse, regardless of where they live. The DOL explained that the proposed rule “will ensure that the FMLA will now be applied to all families equally, giving spouses in same-sex marriages the same ability as all spouses to fully exercise their rights and responsibilities to their family.” Read on to find out what impact this proposed rule would have on FMLA leave usage.

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