A Spouse is a Spouse is a Spouse...
The recent ruling that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional may or may not have affected your personal life, but have you considered how it may be affecting your business? According to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the word "spouse" now has a new definition, so it's time to get out the red pen and correct those employee manuals!
'Spouse means a husband or wife as defined or recognized under state law for the purposes of marriage in the state where the employee resides, including 'common law' marriage and same-sex marriage'.
It's important to notice that the emphasis is placed on the law in the state where the employee resides', which may not be the same state in which the employee works (especially in New England).
This is a good reminder to all that no policy, state or federal, is ever written in stone and it is important to be mindful of the butterfly effect that a seemingly non-consequential ruling can have on your business. Here at Clark-Mortenson, we strive to keep you up to date on such changes to keep you in compliance and out of harm’s way. My suggestion would be to use this opportunity to take an in depth look at your employee manual to see what other areas could use an update.
Any questions? Contact us; we have a department trained and ready to help. We also invite you to attend one of our free upcoming seminars this October on "How to have an Effective Employee Manual". Please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 877-352-2121 for more information.