Feb. 23 2015

Department of Labor Issues Final Rule Regarding Definition of Spouse Under FMLA

Topics: Employee Leave, New Laws & Legislation

The DOL issued a press release today announcing the issuance of its final rule regarding the definition of "spouse" under the FMLA.  The final rule amends the federal FMLA regulations to make clear that “spouses” entitled to FMLA protections include same-sex spouses who were legally married in any state (or outside the country), regardless of whether the state in which they currently reside recognizes same-sex marriages.  This clears up confusion that resulted from the DOL’s prior definition, which focused on the place of residence (as opposed to place of marriage) to determine whether a same-sex marriage was lawful and entitled to protection under the FMLA.  The new definition, which focuses on the “place of celebration,” takes effect March 27, 2015.  The DOL press release is available here.  The final rule is available here.   

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Robin Largent has a regular presence in California state and federal courts and has been lead defense counsel and appellate counsel for large and small California employers in litigation (and arbitration) ranging from individual discrimination and harassment claims to complex wage and hour representative and class actions. She also leads the firm’s appellate practice, having substantial experience and success handling appeals, writ petitions, and amicus briefs in both state and federal court on issues such as class certification (particularly in the wage and hour arena), manageability and due process concerns associated with class action trials, exempt/non-exempt misclassification issues, meal and rest break compliance, trade secret/unfair competition matters, and the scope of federal court jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act.
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