Here's another update for the human resources policy manual: Same-sex couples will henceforth enjoy the same job protections as heterosexual couples.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced that it amended the Family and Medical Leave Act so that "spouse" now includes a same-sex partner. Previously, the definition didn't apply to same-sex couples who resided in a state that does not recognize such unions.

Now, the definition applies in all 50 states and means that family medical leave must be extended to same-sex partners.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.