Federal employees who are in same-sex marriages will now enjoy the same family leave rights as those in opposite-sex marriages no matter where they live.
The Labor Department announced the rule change in keeping with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Windsor, which struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act provision that interpreted "marriage" and "spouse" to be limited to opposite-sex marriage for the purposes of federal law.
Previously, federal employees who lived in states that did not recognize same-sex marriages were not covered by FMLA, which allows workers to take 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for family and medical reasons.
"The basic promise of the FMLA is that no one should have to choose between the job and income they need, and caring for a loved one," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "With our action today, we extend that promise so that no matter who you love, you will receive the same rights and protections as everyone else. All eligible employees in legal same-sex marriages, regardless of where they live, can now deal with a serious medical and family situation like all families — without the threat of job loss."
To read the full news release click here.