The Employer's Legal Resource: Update-DOL's New FMLA Regulation on Same Sex Spouses is Put on Hold
Last month, we told you about the DOL's amended regulation expanding the definition of "spouse" to cover employees in legal same-sex marriages. See March ELR. The regulation was to take effect March 27. However, on March 26, a federal court in the Northern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction in a case filed by the Attorney Generals for the States of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Nebraska staying the application of this rule until the case could be fully heard. The States argue the rule is improper under various theories and want their "day in court" before the regulation is put in place. Rest assured there will be much more debate in this case before it is concluded. Until that time, the new regulation remains on hold.
(Recall that under the previous regulation, "spouse" was defined as a "husband or wife as defined or recognized under State law for purposes of marriage in the State where the employee resides, including common law marriage in States where it is recognized.") We will keep you posted.
By Kristen L. Brightmire, firstname.lastname@example.org