Employment Law Updates | New Statutes, Regulations, and Rules

October 20, 2010

New York Law Requires Employers to Grant Funeral Leave Benefits to Same-Sex Partners Similar to Those Accorded to Other Employees

An act to Amend the Civil Rights law, in Relation to Authorizing Funeral or Bereavement Leave for Same-Sex Committed Partners
A.2563-A/S.6177-A, 8/31/2010

New York Law Requires Employers to Grant Funeral Leave Benefits to Same-Sex Partners Similar to Those Accorded to Other Employees

New York Governor David A. Paterson has signed into law A.2563-A/S.6177-A, which requires employers who provide funeral leave for family members of a deceased person to provide the same leave to same-sex committed partners.

“I have consistently said that we must continue onward toward the goal of equality, whatever setbacks we may face,” Governor Paterson said. “I am pleased today to sign this new law, which provides grieving partners with leave time to attend their loved one’s funeral.”

The title of the bill is “An act to amend the civil rights law, in relation to authorizing funeral or bereavement leave for same-sex committed partners.”

This bill adds one section to the civil rights law, stated as follows:

“Section 79-n prohibits employers from discriminating in the granting of funeral or bereavement to its employees who are in a committed, same-sex relationship. It also provides that such leave must be extended on the same basis as if offered to those employees who are married (while same-sex couples who legally marry outside of New York State already are considered married under New York law, this bill seeks to protect those same-sex couples who have not left this State to marry in another jurisdiction). A committed relationship is defined as a long-term relationship characterized by emotional and financial commitment and interdependence.”

According to the New York Legislature, for years, individuals in same-sex relationships who are prohibited from civil marriage are often not granted bereavement leave to attend the funeral of their partner or partner’s blood relation. “This fails to acknowledge the value that any committed relationship contributes to our communities. Enlightened companies with domestic partnership policies now allow this type of funeral or bereavement leave,” the Legislature added.

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Upper Big Branch Corrective Actions to be Implemented as Scheduled

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U.S. Airways, Inc.

AT&T Corp.

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