Barnes & Thornburg LLP
USA June 28 2010
Caring for the child of an unmarried domestic partner will now be covered leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as a result of a U.S. Department of Labor interpretation letter issued June 22, 2010 which broadens the definition of “son or daughter” under Section 101(12) of FMLA. The DOL issued the letter to clarify the uncertainty as to whether the FMLA applies to child care time for employees who are not legal or biological parents.
In broadening family leave rights, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis reasoned that, “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. No one who intends to raise a child should be denied the opportunity to be present when that child is born simply because the state or an employer fails to recognize his or her relationship with the biological parent.”
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