What Does Same-Sex FMLA Ruling Mean for Employers?

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What Does Same-Sex FMLA Ruling Mean for Employers?

What Does Same-Sex FMLA Ruling Mean for Employers?

Same-sex couples throughout the United States recently became eligible for FMLA benefits, and as an employer, you may wonder what this means for you and your business.

Practically speaking, the change does not mean much. The Family and Medical Leave Act, also known as FMLA, “provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year.” This law only applies to companies with over 50 employees and for employees that have worked with an employer for over 12 months.

If your company or any of your employees fall under this criteria, then you already have had a legal requirement to follow these laws with your employees in opposite-sex marriages. Therefore, it’s best to think of the same-sex FMLA ruling as an expansion rather than as something new or different.

However, you will want to update your business’ policies to reflect the new laws. It’s important to ensure that your workplace policies are compliant with current laws in an effort avoid costly penalties and liability. Employers should work with their HR staff to expedite these updates. There will be a variety of necessary updates to make within your organization, including changing the language of current FMLA policies, internal communications and approval processes for requests. If your HR department feels unequipped to deal with the legal aspects of these updates, let a legal professional help you ascertain just how much these new regulations will affect your company and how deeply you

There will be a variety of necessary updates to make within your organization, including changing the language of current FMLA policies, internal communications and approval processes for requests. If your HR department feels unequipped to deal with the legal aspects of these updates, let a legal professional help you ascertain just how much these new regulations will affect your company and how deeply you need integrate these new policies.

You may also find it helpful to enlist a qualified employment lawyer to assist your business in updating employee handbooks and determining your responsibilities under the new law. Whether or not it’s intentional, any delay in the process can leave you open to discrimination lawsuits that can be costly and harm your reputation.

Change can be difficult, but in an increasingly diverse workforce, it is the cost of doing business. Every employee has the right to fair and equitable treatment in the workplace. Employers must do their part or they run the risk of creating an adversarial corporate culture and exposing themselves to further legal fallout.

As a business owner, you have to protect your investment. As an employee, you have a right to FMLA benefits under federal law, regardless of whom you are married. If you feel you’re that target of workplace discrimination, talk to an experienced and qualified employment lawyer who can help you understand your rights and get the fairness and justice you deserve.

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