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Gays and Lesbians Will Qualify For FMLA Leave to Care for Their Partners' Children

President Obama will announce Wednesday that gay and lesbian workers can take family and medical leave to care for the sick or newborn children of their same sex partners, the New York Times reported.

According to the newspaper, the new ruling, to be announced by the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division, will expand the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to employees in a same sex relationship whose partner has a child, even if the employee has not legally adopted the child.

Under the FMLA, people who work for a company with 50 or more employees are generally entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a newborn or for a spouse, son or daughter with "a serious health condition." FMLA leave cannot be used to care for a partner or spouse of the same sex because federal law does not recognize same-sex relationships. But Labor Department lawyers have concluded that people in such relationships qualify for leave when they act as parents, sharing the care and support of a child, according to the Times.

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Mary Swanton

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