Friday, June 20, 2014

Obama to Sign Executive Order Prohibiting LGBT Workplace Discrimination

It remains legal in many states to discriminate against employees because of their sexual orientation or gender identity – something that President Obama hopes to change.  On Monday, the White House announced that Obama will issue an executive order aimed at stopping employers from discriminating against such workers on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.  Specifically, this order will prohibit workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees of federal contractors.

DOL Proposes Extending Leave Rights for Same-Sex Couples?

On June 20, 2014, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) proposed an amendment to its Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) regulations that will extend the FMLA’s spousal benefits to married same-sex couples living in the thirty-two states that do not currently recognize same-sex marriages.  While the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor already eliminated the federal government’s non-recognition of same-sex marriages under the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), the DOL’s proposed amendment extends the availability of FMLA spousal benefits to same-sex couples by making the validity of a marriage for FMLA purposes dependent on the law of the state where the marriage occurred, not where the couple currently resides.