sick days

Obama’s New Medical Leave Law Lets Gays Care For Their Sick Kids (But Not Partners)

The U.S. Labor Department will announce Wednesday the extension of family and medical leave rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act to gay and lesbian workers. Under a directive from President Obama, the 1993 law that required companies with more than 50 employees to give employees up to 12 weeks off to care for a newborn or child with “a serious health condition” will now extend to same-sex couples, even if the child is not the biological or legal kin of the gay parent. Obama’s new policy more clearly defines “in loco parentis,” which applies to “those with day-to-day responsibilities to care for and financially support a child,” administration officials say, thus covering (insert air quotes!) nontraditional parents. It will not, however, force companies to grant leave to gay employees who need to care for an ill partner; thanks, DOMA!