The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Family Medical and Leave Act (FMLA)

Reference Number: MTAS-194
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: May 22, 2017
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The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a federal law passed in 1993, requires employers to grant eligible employees job protected leave for their own serious health conditions, birth of a child, legal placement or adoption of children, or to care for an eligible seriously ill family member.

On February 23, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division announced a Final Rule to revise the definition of spouse under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) in light of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, which found section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional. 

The Final Rule amends the definition of spouse so that eligible employees in legal same-sex marriages will be able to take FMLA leave to care for their spouse or family member, regardless of where they live. More information is available at the Wage and Hour Division’s FMLA Final Rule website.