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September 8, 2010

New York Expands Funeral and Bereavement Leave to Include Same-Sex Partners

Governor Paterson recently signed into law an amendment to the New York State Civil Rights Law.  The law requires employers who provide their employees with funeral or bereavement leave for the death of an employee’s spouse, or the child, parent or other relative of the spouse to extend such leave to include the death of the employee’s same-sex committed partner or the child, parent or other relative of the same-sex committed partner.  The law defines “same-sex committed partners” as “those who are financially and emotionally interdependent in a manner commonly presumed of spouses.”  The law becomes effective October 29, 2010.  New York State employers should review their funeral and bereavement leave policies to ensure they comply with the law.

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If you should have any questions regarding the Act or applicable state laws, please do not hesitate to contact us.