Since 1993, employees have been able to take job-protectedto care for a “son or daughter” with a serious health condition or for the birth (or adoption) of a “son or daughter.”
Now the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a broad interpretation of that definition, clarifying that any employee who assumes the role of caring for a child will receive parental rights under the, regardless of the biological relationship.
For example, an employee who cares for a domestic partner’s child—or whose partner gives birth or adopts a child—is now eligible to take FMLA leave to care for the child.
“This action is a victory for many nontraditional families, including families in the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender community,” said a DOL statement.
The interpretation letter makes clear that “employees who have no biological or legal relationship with a child may nonetheless stand in loco parentis to the child and be entitled to FMLA leave.”
The new rule applies regardless of sexual orientation or conventional family ties. That means it also covers FMLA leave for extended family members. For example, an uncle who is caring for his sick niece while the child’s single parent is called into military duty is eligible.
“No one who steps in to parent a child when that child’s biological parents are absent or incapacitated should be denied leave by an employer because he or she is not the legal guardian,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.
What if you question the legitimacy of an employee’s parental role in an FMLA case? The DOL says employers “may require the employee to provide reasonable documentation or statement of the family relationship. A simple statement asserting that the requisite family relationship exists is all that is needed in situations such as in loco parentis where there is no legal or biological relationship.”
For more information, see the June 22 alert at www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/WHD.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/12137/fmla-now-covers-care-by-same-sex-parents "