Wednesday, June 23, 2010

President extends Family and Medical Leave Act to apply to gay partners and their kids

I saw a link to this story on my Wall on Facebook. President Obama will soon sign a “formal opinion letter” extending the Family and Medical Leave Act to some situations involving same-sex partners, such as the ability to take unpaid time off (up to twelve weeks) to care for a partner’s sick child. The New York Times story is by Robert Pear, dated June 21, is titled “Gay Workers Will Get Time to Care for Partner’s Sick Child “, and has link here.

The interpretation apparently does not require that the partners be legally married or be federal workers, and is not affected by DOMA.

A spokesperson for the Family Equality Council said "if you act like a parent, do the work of a parent and raise a child like a parent, then you are a parent for the purpose of the Family and Medical Leave Act."

However, many “liberals” (and maybe some “conservatives”) have criticized the unpaid leave provision as not very helpful to workers in practice, when compared to policies in European countries.

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