July 6, 2010

DOL Interprets FMLA to Apply to Non-traditional Families

Posted in Family and Medical Leave Act, Leaves of Absence tagged , , , , at 11:08 pm by Tom Jacobson

In a June 22, 2010 administrative interpretation (Administrator’s Interpretation 2010-3), the U.S. Department of Labor has clarified the definition of “son or daughter” as it applies to leave requests under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Although the DOL noted that each case will have to be judged on its particular facts, the department also concluded that “either day-to-day care or financial support may establish an in loco parentis relationship where the employee intends to assume the responsibilities of a parent with regard to a child.” This interpretation expands the availability of FMLA leave to “non-traditional” families, including those in the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender community.

You can read the DOL’s interpretation at http://bit.ly/bcmXXk.

As a practical matter, the DOL’s interpretation means that employers subject to the FMLA will need to evaluate their FMLA policies to make sure they are compliant with this expanded definition of “son or daughter.” It also means that a much broader class of employees will now be eligible for FMLA leave.

The comments posted in this blog are for general informational purposes only. They are not to be considered as legal advice, and they do not establish an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice regarding your specific situation, please consult your attorney.



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