Dallas City Council on Wednesday unanimously passed a change to its Family and Medical Leave policy. A city employee may now take time off to care for a “designated care recipient.”
While that allows partners who are living together to take unpaid leave to take care of a spouse, it doesn’t address some situations.
When interim assistant city manager Theresa O’Donnell’s daughters were born, she was denied leave because she wasn’t on the birth certificate. It’s not clear if the new policy would cover a situation like hers.
Because two-parent adoptions by same-sex couples in Texas are possible but must be done separately, only the adoptive parent of the couple would be eligible under the new policy at the time of an adoption. A lesbian city employee might be able to take FMLA leave to care for her spouse who has given birth, but not to care for the newborn.
Employees are eligible for family leave after working for the city for a year, including a minimum of 1,250 hours. Previously, employees could use FMLA leave to care for an opposite-sex spouse, child, parent or for a relation who is a military service member with a serious health condition or situation resulting from that service member’s active military duty.