In the recent decision in United States v. Windsor, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal law that defined “marriage” as a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and “spouse” as a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife. These definitions, codified in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), limited the rights, benefits, and responsibilities conferred by more than 1,000 other federal laws to married couples in heterosexual unions.

The Court’s decision has broad implications for employers, who must ensure that certain of their policies do not remain hemmed to DOMA’s restrictive definitions of “marriage” and “spouse,” thus exposing them to potential liability for discrimination based on sexual orientation in states that prohibit such discrimination. This alert examines how employers may need to change their policies under the Family and Medical Leave Act in order to comply with this change in the law.

Read the full text of this alert.