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When deciding if FMLA is the appropriate leave, employers should consider the interpretation of “son“ or “daughter” issued by the Department of Labor under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  The Administrator’s interpretation gives employees, who care for a child, parental rights to family leave regardless of the legal or biological relationship. The “son” or “daughter” being defined is under Section 101(12) of the FMLA as it applies to an employee standing “in loco parentis” to a child.

The Administrator’s interpretation was issued by Nancy J. Leppink, deputy administrator of the department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD).  The following examples of in loco parentis” were provided in the interpretation.

  • An uncle or aunt caring for their young niece or nephew whose parent is on active military duty.
  • A grandparent who assumes responsibility for their ill grandchild when their own child is debilitated.
  • An employee who intends to share in the parenting of a child with his or her same sex partner and wants to bond with that child.

For more information on leave laws download a copy of the free KPA webinar “How to Solve the Riddle of Employee Leave Law”.

 

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