On June 14, 2010, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management issued final regulations to modify its definitions of family member and immediate relative, and add related definitions (75 FR 33491), in response to Section 1 of the President's June 17, 2009, Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies on Federal Benefits and Non-Discrimination. The purpose of these changes is to promote consistent application of policy across the Federal Government and to help the Federal Government compete with the private sector to recruit and retain the best and the brightest employees.
These new and revised definitions modify the regulations at 5 CFR part 630, subparts B, H, I, J, and K, related to the use of sick leave, funeral leave, voluntary leave transfer, voluntary leave bank, and emergency leave transfer and expand the categories of individuals for whom an employee may use these types of leave.
An individual with any of the following relationships to the employee:
An adult in a committed relationship with another adult, including both same sex and opposite-sex relationships.
A relationship in which the employee, and the domestic partner of the employee, are each other's sole domestic partner (and are not married to or domestic partners with anyone else); and share responsibility for a significant measure of each other's common welfare and financial obligations. This includes, but is not limited to, any relationship between two individuals of the same or opposite sex that is granted legal recognition by a State or by the District of Columbia as a marriage or analogous relationship (including, but not limited to, a civil union).
The new definitions do not apply to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The situations in which an employee can invoke FMLA leave and the individuals for whom an employee can provide care under FMLA are specified in law and the Department of Labor (DOL) Administrator's Interpretation No. 2010-3, which clarifies the definition of "son or daughter" under FMLA as it applies to an employee standing "in loco parentis" to a child. (See CPM 2010-15.)
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