FMLA eligibility: DOL expands definition of ‘son and daughter’

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

by Dena B. Calo, Esq., and James Gee

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently clarified the definition of “son and daughter” under the FMLA, effectively requiring employers to include same-sex partners, grandparents and other nontraditional family caregivers within the universe of employees eligible for FMLA leave.

Since its inception, the FMLA has granted employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave because of the birth of a son or daughter, or to care for a son or daughter with a serious health condition.

New definition of parenthood

However, before the DOL’s recent clarification, the FMLA was deemed to apply only to biological or adoptive parents, step-parents, court-appointed legal guardians, foster parents—essentially anyone with a legal relationship to the child.

Long ignored was a crucial phrase in the FMLA: in loco parentis.

While in loco parentis literally means someone who is standing in the place of ...(register to read more)

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