The Texas Attorney General’s Office today filed suit against the U.S. Department of Labor over the newly revised definition of “spouse” in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which includes a same-sex spouse if the marriage occurred in a state that recognizes such marriage. Attorney General Paxton is also advising state agencies to follow state law, not the federal rule.
The new rule is scheduled to take effect March 27. The revised definition would direct state agencies to grant family and medical leave benefits to same-sex marriages, which the State does not recognize. This action is a violation of federal statute, attempts to abrogate Texas’ sovereign immunity, and runs afoul to the principles of federalism recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“This lawsuit is about defending the sovereignty of our state, and we will continue to protect Texas from the unlawful overreach of the federal government. The newly revised definition of ‘spouse’ under the FMLA is in direct violation of state and federal laws and U.S. Constitution,” General Paxton said. “Texans have clearly defined the institution of marriage in our state, and attempts by the Obama Administration to disregard the will of our citizens through the use of new federal rules is unconstitutional and an affront to the foundations of federalism.”
The Texas Attorney General’s Office is seeking temporary and permanent injunctive relief in federal court that will bar the Department from applying its rule against the State of Texas. View the brief filed with the court