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Government proposes new marriage definition for Family Medical Leave Act

The public is being invited to comment on a proposed change to the definition of "spouse" under the Family Medical Leave Act.
Lois M. Collins, Deseret News Modified: June 23, 2014 at 10:58 am •  Published: June 25, 2014
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The public is being invited to comment on a proposed change to the definition of "spouse" under the Family Medical Leave Act.

According to the notice published by the U.S. Department of Labor, the change reflects a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

In a press release, the Department of Labor said the proposed rule would change the definition of "spouse" to include all legally married couples: "Under the proposed rule, eligibility for FMLA protections would be based on the law of the place where the marriage was entered into, allowing all legally married couples, whether opposite-sex or same-sex, to have consistent federal family leave rights regardless whether the state in which they currently reside recognizes such marriages."

It has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget and once it appears in the Federal Register, a specific comment period will be announced. People will then be able to submit comments at www.regulations.gov. Comments outside the published comment period will not be considered, it said.