By George J. Miller
On June 22, 2010, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor issued a written interpretation of the Family and Medical Leave Act concerning whether employees who do not have a biological or legal relationship with a child may nevertheless take FMLA leave for the birth, adoption, or serious health condition of a child. The DOL’s interpretation of the law is that such employees have the right to take FMLA for these reasons as long as they stand “in loco parentis” with the child. The FMLA regulations define persons who are “in loco parentis” as including those “with day-to-day responsibilities to care for and financially support a child.” “A biological or legal relationship is not necessary.” 29 C.F.R. §825.122(c)(3).