Reasons for Leave
Definition of a Qualifying Family Member
"Spouse" has a specific definition under the FMLA. 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 in states where it is recognized.
However, because the FMLA is a federal law, the federal definitions of "marriage" and "spouse" as established under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) apply. The DOMA defines "marriage" as only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife and defines "spouse" as only a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife.
Does the spouse in question meet this definition?
Return to Reasons for Leave.
For more information on this aspect of the FMLA, see the FMLA regulations: § 825.122