As previously reported, the DOL same-sex rule, expanding the definition of spouse, that was meant to take effect this week under the FMLA has been temporarily revoked. A federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked the rule from going into effect after attorney generals in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Nebraska, states that don’t recognize same-sex marriage, challenged it.
The plaintiffs have challenged the rule that they believe violates section 2 of the DOMA, which states that:
“No state… shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other state… respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other state”.
The plaintiffs also argued that the ruling violated the states own laws and constitutional provisions, which require marriage between one man and one woman. Judge O’Connor ruled in favor of the plaintiffs temporarily, but a hearing will be held on April 13th.
At present, employers in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Nebraska are allowed to continue to follow the old FMLA rule based on the state of employment.