Federal Government to Extend FMLA Benefits To All Married Same-Sex Couples

WASHINGTON, DC, February 23, 2015 — The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a final rule that will expand access to Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) benefits to all married same-sex couples, regardless of whether or not the jurisdiction they live in recognizes the right for same-sex couples to marry.

“This is a significant victory for millions of LGBTQ families across the U.S. who will now be able to access family and medical leave benefits. No one should ever be forced to choose between going to work or taking care of a loved one, regardless of who they are or the person they love,” said Rea Carey, National LGBTQ Task Force Executive Director. “And while our nation continues to bounce back from the recent economic recession, LGBTQ workers are more likely to be working for lower wages—so they’re more likely to face a significant financial burden when they need to take time off to care for a sick or injured loved one. This new rule lessens that burden for eligible workers.”

There are an estimated 5.4 million LGBTQ workers living in the U.S. and 3 million LGBTQ adults have raised or are currently raising children. According to a recent Gallup poll, LGBTQ workers are more likely to report incomes of less than $24,000 per year when compared to their non-LGBTQ peers.

“We thank the Labor Department for their work to protect LGBTQ families and look forward to continuing to work with the President’s Administration to ensure that all LGBTQ people have access to full justice and equality.”


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