Labor secretary Hilda Solis is expected to announce
Wednesday that employers must extend family and medical leave so employees can care for sick and newborn children of same-sex partners, The New York Times reports.
The 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act allows workers 12
weeks of unpaid leave each year to care for a newborn or for a spouse, son, or daughter with a serious health condition. The ruling on Wednesday is expected to say that an employee can take leave to care for the newborn or sick child of a same-sex partner, even if the employee has not legally adopted the child.
The ruling, the Times says, "is one of many actions taken by the Obama administration to respond to the concerns of gay men and lesbians within the constraints of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman as husband and wife."
The 1993 law, however, cannot be used to take leave to care for the same-sex partner of a spouse, as DOMA bans federal recognition of same-sex relationships.