HR Management & Compliance

What the Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Decision Means for FMLA (and beyond)

By Susan Schoenfeld, JD

In late June, in Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires states to license a marriage between two people of the same sex, and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state.

The opinion, authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, makes same-sex marriage lawful in all states nationwide and has far-reaching implications in the 13 states that did not recognize same-sex marriage. The Court’s decision also simplifies and expands the application of a number of state and federal laws that grant certain rights and protections to spouses, including the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

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