New Definition of Spouse Rule May Impact up to 118,000 Same-sex Spouses

Author: The Williams Institute
Published: Tuesday 24th February 2015
Summary: New US Department of labor rule amending definition of spouse in the family and medical leave act could impact up to 118,000 same-sex spouses.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that eligible workers in legal same-sex marriages will be able to take federal job-protected family and medical leave to care for their spouse or family member, regardless of where they live.

The Final rule amends the regulatory definition of spouse under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and extends these rights to all eligible workers in same-sex marriages.

This change would impact about 118.000 individuals with same-sex spouses, according to estimates by Gary J. Gates, PhD, the Blachford-Cooper Distinguished Scholar and Research Director at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.

About 260,000 people are in same-sex marriages, with an employment rate of 77 percent among same-sex spouses.

About 59 percent of employed people are covered by the FMLA and are eligible for its benefits.

Moreover, 70,200 people in same-sex marriages are raising children. Among these individuals, 80 percent are employed.

Accordingly, approximately 33,100 individuals are likely eligible for FMLA rights under the new rule.

Gates further explained that, with the increase of states allowing for same-sex marriage in 2014, many of the 1.38 million people in same-sex couples in the United States will now be able to get married and be eligible for FMLA protection.

Gary J. Gates, PhD, is the Blachford-Cooper Distinguished Scholar and Research Director at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. He is a national expert in the demographic, geographic, and economic characteristics of the LGBT population.

Similar Topics

From our Same Sex Couples section - Full List (25 Items)

Send us your coming events and LGBTQ related news stories.

A Summary of Data on LGBT Suicide for Suicide Prevention Month

LGBT People Could Gain Additional Protections from Discrimination After Bostock

HUD Aims to Reverse Protections for Homeless Transgender People Accessing Shelters

Bisexual Women and Girls Reproductive Health Needs Greater Attention

Only 3% of Sexually Active Transgender People Use PrEP

Experiences of Food Insecurity Among Californian LGBTQ

U.S. DOJ Files Statement of Interest Defending Constitutionality of Idaho's Fairness in Women's Sports Act

US Supreme Court Decision Protects 8.1M LGBT Workers From Employment Discrimination

Tsara Shelton
"Storytellers are powerful and we are all storytellers," suggests Tsara Shelton, author of the book Spinning in Circles and Learning from Myself: A Collection of Stories that Slowly Grow Up..

LGBT Awareness & Events
List of important LGBT awareness dates and coming sexual diversity events.

Transgender Reporting Guide - English
Guide for those writing on transgender and LGBT community - Spanish Version.
Sexuality Definitions
List of definitions and glossary of sexual terms, abbreviations and their meanings.