Uncategorized

DOL recognizes that nuclear families are exception, not rule

Long gone are the days when families in the U.S. typically consisted of a Mom, Dad, and a couple of kids.

These days, grandparents, aunts, uncles, step-parents, and domestic partners are often serving the role of “parent”.

Unfortunately, government policies have been slow to keep up with these shifts in the American family and caregiving roles, despite overwhelming support for policy change.

But slowly, change is a-coming. Just yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor issued new interpretation of what a parent means in the context of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). DOL’s new interpretation means that those serving “in loco parentis”–including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and domestic partners–can access the job-protected leave provided by FMLA to care for a sick family member.

As Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis so eloquently put it:

“No one who loves and nurtures a child day-in and day-out should be unable to care for that child when he or she falls ill. No one who steps in to parent a child when that child’s biological parents are absent or incapacitated should be denied leave by an employer because he or she is not the legal guardian. No one who intends to raise a child should be denied the opportunity to be present when that child is born simply because the state or an employer fails to recognize his or her relationship with the biological parent. These are just a few of many possible scenarios. The Labor Department’s action today sends a clear message to workers and employers alike: All families, including LGBT families, are protected by the FMLA.”

Particularly as families are struggling to juggle caregiving needs with the demands of their jobs in this recession, this is a positive step by the Obama Adminstration.

However, it is a step and just that. What families really need is a range of family-friendly workplace policies to aid them in balancing work and family, including paid sick days, paid family and medical leave and workplace flexibility.

One Comment


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by north_carolinaBNN, Yssel & Son's. Yssel & Son's said: The Progressive Pulse – DOL recognizes that nuclear families are … http://bit.ly/9ncwef […]

Check Also

Falling Behind: State funding for early care & education plummets

Despite a contracting economy over the course of ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

The UNC Board of Governors is holding its last meeting of 2017 Friday, where the latest of its many [...]

Just south of Candler off the Pisgah Highway is a lovely piece of property on Little Piney Mountain [...]

Veteran North Carolina education policy expert Kris Nordstrom has authored a new and vitally importa [...]

When Joni Robbins, a section chief in the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, closes bidding next [...]

“All speech is free, but some speech is more free than others.” This seems to be the motto of the cu [...]

Trumpists prepare to raze another vital common good law It’s hard to keep up these days with the flo [...]

The post That’s how ‘Humbug’ is done appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

The solid citizens of Johnston County, N.C. – in a fateful quirk of geography – for several years ha [...]

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more