Updated 5/8/2015

On 3/18/2015, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Nebraska were granted a preliminary injunction to temporarily block the FMLA’s Final Rule from being effective in these four states.  They essentially argued that only Section 3 of DOMA was struck down and Section 2, which allows individual states to determine whether marriage is only between a woman and a man, still stands.  A final ruling will be issued to decide this matter.



“The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. The FMLA also includes certain military family leave provisions.” Source: U.S. Dept. of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, Family and Medical Leave Act, Final Rule to Revise the Definition of “Spouse” Under the FMLA.

The Department of Labor issued a Final Rule, effective 3/27/2015, that adopts a “place of celebration” rule in place of the previous “state of residence” rule. The Final Rule allows employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave to care for the employee’s same-sex spouse as long as they were married in a jurisdiction that permitted their marriage. The definition of spouse now looks to the law of the place in which the marriage was entered into, rather than the law of the state in which the employee resides. Therefore, even if the couple currently resides in a state that does not permit same-sex marriages, the employee is entitled to FMLA leave to care for his/her same-sex spouse if they were married in a state that legally permitted the marriage. Marriages that were validly entered into outside of the U.S. are also recognized if they could have been entered into in at least one state.


More Information

For additional information please refer to the DOL website.



The information and materials on this blog are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or tax advice. Information provided in this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments and may vary by jurisdiction. The content on this blog is for general informational purposes only and does not apply to any particular facts or circumstances. The use of this blog does not in any way establish an attorney-client relationship, nor should any such relationship be implied, and the contents do not constitute legal or tax advice. If you require legal or tax advice, please consult with a licensed attorney or tax professional in your jurisdiction. The contributing authors expressly disclaim all liability to any persons or entities with respect to any action or inaction based on the contents of this blog.

Bonnie Mangels – Bonnie is the Corporate Counsel and Senior Compliance Manager for Sequoia. When not inundated in paperwork and legal briefs, her interests include arts and crafts, bunnies, and the Bay Area.