Same-Sex Relationships and Employee Benefits

The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defines ‘marriage’ as between one man and one woman, thereby restricting the definition of ‘spouse’ to an opposite sex partner for purposes of federal law and benefits. This article explains what rights may be available to same-sex partners as the laws in certain states change to allow same-sex marriage or to recognize civil unions among same-sex partners.

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Maternity Leave

Maternity leave may be covered by state law, and women who work for certain employers covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may be entitled to unpaid leave. Read on for more information about maternity leave and pregnancy leave.

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Family and Medical Leave Act

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a program designed to offer up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a 12-month period to employees who need to take time off for family or medical reasons.

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Paternity Leave

Paternity leave may be possible under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which provides that employees may receive up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave from work in order to care for an immediate family member, which can include paternity leave for a newborn baby.

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Can I be fired for a family medical absence if my employer has a no-fault absence policy?

Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you are protected from being terminated due to FMLA absences related to your medical condition. An employer who is choosing to fire you for your FMLA absences is, essentially, breaking the law, even if the employer has a no-fault policy in place. In fact, the no-fault attendance policy itself could be considered illegal in situations like this where it is applied to employees on FMLA-approved leave or any other staff who is legally protected from such firings.

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