[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 113 (Monday, June 14, 2010)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 33491-33497]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-14252]



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Rules and Regulations
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Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 113 / Monday, June 14, 2010 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 33491]]



OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT

5 CFR Part 630

RIN 3206-AL93


Absence and Leave; Definitions of Family Member, Immediate 
Relative, and Related Terms

AGENCY: Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The U.S. Office of Personnel Management is issuing final 
regulations to modify definitions related to family member and 
immediate relative in 5 CFR part 630 and to add other defined terms, 
for purposes of use of sick leave, funeral leave, voluntary leave 
transfer, voluntary leave bank, and emergency leave transfer. These 
changes implement Section 1 of the President's June 17, 2009, 
Memorandum on Federal Benefits and Non-Discrimination and help ensure 
that agencies consider the needs of a diverse workforce and provide 
employees the broadest possible support to help them balance their 
work, personal, and family obligations.

DATES: Effective Date: These regulations are effective on July 14, 
2010.
    Applicability Date: These regulations apply on the first day of the 
first applicable pay period beginning on or after July 14, 2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Anne Vonhof by telephone at (202) 606-
2858; by fax at (202) 606-0824; or by e-mail at pay-performance-policy@opm.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On September 14, 2009, the U.S. Office of 
Personnel Management (OPM) issued proposed regulations to modify 
definitions in 5 CFR part 630, subparts B, H, I, J, and K, related to 
family member and immediate relative for the use of sick leave, funeral 
leave, voluntary leave transfer, voluntary leave bank, and emergency 
leave transfer. These proposed regulations were published in response 
to Section 1 of the President's June 17, 2009, Memorandum for the Heads 
of Executive Departments and Agencies on Federal Benefits and Non-
Discrimination (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Memorandum-for-the-Heads-of-Executive-Departments-and-Agencies-on-Federal-Benefits-and-Non-Discrimination-6-17-09), to promote consistent 
application of policy across the Federal Government, and to allow the 
Federal Government to serve as a model employer. When implemented, 
these regulations will help ensure that agencies consider the needs of 
a diverse workforce and provide employees with the broadest support 
possible to help them balance their work, personal, and family 
obligations. As part of OPM's continuing efforts to support the needs 
of the Federal workforce during times of sickness, funerals, and 
medical or other emergencies, we are making the definitions of family 
member and immediate relative more explicit to include more examples of 
relationships that are covered under the phrase ``[a]ny individual 
related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee 
is the equivalent of a family relationship.'' These examples include 
stepparents and stepchildren, grandparents, grandchildren, and same-sex 
and opposite-sex domestic partners. In addition, OPM's final 
regulations define the terms committed relationship, domestic partner, 
parent, and son or daughter. Please note that the new definitions do 
not apply to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The situations in 
which an employee can invoke FMLA leave and the individuals for whom an 
employee can provide care under FMLA are specified in law. The proposed 
regulations are available at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-22030.pdf.
    The 60-day comment period ended on November 13, 2009. A total of 74 
comments were received--4 from agencies, 3 from labor organizations, 2 
from professional organizations, and 65 from individuals. An 
overwhelming majority of the comments were supportive of the proposed 
rule. We received 52 comments in support of the proposed rule, with 
only 9 in opposition. A summary of the comments and concerns received 
and our responses follow.

Definitions of Family Member and Immediate Relative

    Overall, the response to our changes to the definitions of family 
member and immediate relative was very positive. In the following 
paragraphs, we respond to the comments and concerns that we received on 
the proposed rule. (Throughout this SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION, all 
discussion of suggested changes to the definition of family member and 
terms related to the definition of family member also apply to the 
definition of immediate relative and terms related to the definition of 
immediate relative. Because the following comments and responses 
pertain to both sets of definitions, we will not repeat the discussion 
for both sets.)

 Addition of Domestic Partner

    While the new term domestic partner refers to same-sex and 
opposite-sex relationships, the majority of comments we received 
concern the inclusion of same-sex domestic partners in the definition 
of family member. Most of these commenters supported the proposed rule. 
Many comments that we received in support of the inclusion of same-sex 
partners included the following points: All employees deserve the same 
benefits; there will be better recruitment and retention of highly 
qualified employees who consciously choose public service, because the 
benefits are equal to or better than those offered in the private 
sector; productivity will be enhanced due to satisfied employees; and 
the changes recognize a diverse workforce. Many commenters applauded 
the Government's attempt to treat all employees equally, without 
creating any ``second-class employees.'' Several commenters stated that 
they have been waiting a long time for authority to use their leave 
benefits to care for their domestic partner, and they viewed the 
changes as long overdue. Other commenters appreciated the respect OPM 
is showing for the many Federal employees from non-traditional families 
by providing employees with an equal opportunity to care for their 
family members. Two commenters stated that

[[Page 33492]]

this new rule would make it unnecessary for the employee to choose 
between keeping his or her job or caring for a loved one.
    Although the overwhelming majority of commenters supported the 
inclusion of same-sex domestic partners in the definition of family 
member, OPM received nine comments from individuals in opposition to 
all or part of this portion of the rule. The commenters were opposed to 
opening up leave benefits to same-sex domestic partners, believing that 
it disrupts the integrity of traditional families and the institution 
of marriage. Some did not believe in giving any rights or benefits to a 
``special interest group,'' and some were concerned about the use of 
additional tax dollars to cover the increase in costs that may result 
from this rule.
    The purpose of modifying the current family member and immediate 
relative definitions is to promote consistency across agencies as we 
implement Section 1 of the President's June 17, 2009, Memorandum on 
Federal Benefits and Non-Discrimination across the Federal Government 
in the administration of Federal leave benefits. The President's 
memorandum states that the Secretary of State and the Director of OPM 
should ``extend the benefits they have respectively identified to 
qualified same-sex domestic partners of Federal employees where doing 
so can be achieved and is consistent with Federal law.'' Previously, 
OPM has permitted each agency to interpret the phrase ``[a]ny 
individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with 
the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship,'' found in the 
current definitions of family member at Sec. Sec.  630.201(b) and 
630.902 (a similar phrase exists in the definition of immediate 
relative at Sec.  630.803). Although it has always been appropriate to 
consider same-sex domestic partners as a family relationship under the 
``related by blood or affinity'' clause for the purposes covered under 
these regulations, agencies have not been consistent in their 
interpretation of the clause. These changes do not reflect an 
additional benefit provided to a ``special interest group'' or a 
fundamental change in the Government's human resources policies. On the 
contrary, these final regulations are meant to ensure that an employee 
has an entitlement to use his or her leave for purposes authorized 
under applicable law and regulation. Therefore, OPM believes it is 
appropriate to specifically include same-sex partners in the 
definitions of family member and immediate relative to ensure 
consistent application across the Federal Government. We are keeping 
domestic partners as part of the definitions of family member and 
immediate relative under 5 CFR part 630, subparts B, H, I, J, and K, 
for the use of sick leave, funeral leave, voluntary leave transfer, 
voluntary leave bank, and emergency leave transfer to ensure agencies 
meet the needs of a diverse workforce.

Parent of a Domestic Partner

    We received five comments requesting the addition of a domestic 
partner's parent to the definition of family member. One commenter 
suggested that we change paragraph (6) in the definition of family 
member to read ``domestic partners and parents thereof, including 
domestic partners of any individual in paragraphs (2)-(5) of this 
definition.'' Although the parent of the domestic partner is not 
specifically referenced in the proposed definitions of family member 
and immediate relative, he or she is covered under paragraph (4) of the 
proposed definitions of parent in 5 CFR Sec. Sec.  630.201(b) and 
630.803, which states that a parent means ``(4) A parent, as described 
in paragraphs (1) through (3) of this definition, of an employee's 
domestic partner.'' Based upon the comments received, we agree to 
revise the definitions of family member and immediate relative to 
clarify that the parent of a domestic partner is included in these two 
definitions. Therefore, we are revising the proposed definitions of 
family member and immediate relative to add language to paragraph (6) 
to state: ``domestic partner and parents thereof, including domestic 
partners of any individual in paragraphs (2) through (5) of the 
definition.''

Any Individual Related by Blood or Affinity

    One commenter inquired why certain family members were specifically 
included in the proposed definitions while others fall under ``[a]ny 
individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with 
the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.'' We also 
received requests to add other relationships not specifically included 
in the family member and immediate relative definitions, such as nieces 
and nephews, aunts, brothers or sisters of an employee's spouse, 
stepsiblings and their families, and stepparents. Stepparents are 
included under paragraph (1) of the definition of parent.
    We note that it would be very difficult to list each and every type 
of family member or immediate relative, as it would be very difficult 
to consider all the variations of a contemporary family. The fact that 
a specific relationship is not expressly included in these definitions 
is not meant to diminish the familial bond, or to imply that leave may 
not be used to care for a person with that relationship. Although we 
agree that any of the suggested relationships may be considered a close 
association with the employee that is equivalent to a family 
relationship, not every employee's relationship will have this close 
association. For example, some employees may have been raised by an 
aunt, while others may have never had the opportunity to meet their 
aunt. All of the suggested relationships can be included under the 
phrase ``[a]ny individual related by blood or affinity whose close 
association with the employee is the equivalent of a family 
relationship,'' if there exists a blood relationship (such as niece, 
nephew, aunt) or the equivalent of a family relationship (such as step 
family member). Also, if special legal status had been granted (i.e., 
guardianship or loco parentis status), the relationship is covered by 
the definition of parent. OPM has broadly interpreted the ``blood or 
affinity'' clause in the past to include such relationships; agencies 
should continue to do so. As mentioned in the Supplementary Information 
accompanying the proposed rule, we have broadly interpreted the phrase 
to include such relationships as grandparent and grandchild, brother- 
and sister-in-law, fianc[eacute] and fianc[eacute]e, cousin, aunt and 
uncle, other relatives not specified in current 5 CFR 630.201(1)-(4) 
and 630.902(1)-(4), and close friend, to the extent that the connection 
between the employee and the individual was significant enough to be 
regarded as having the closeness of a family relationship even though 
the individuals might not be related by blood or formally in law. Same-
sex and opposite-sex domestic partners, as well as stepparents and 
stepchildren, grandparents, and grandchildren, are all examples of 
close relationships which were not explicitly included in the current 
family member definitions, but which may certainly be part of the 
affinity of an individual employee. The ``blood or affinity'' clause is 
therefore not altered by the new rule, and the examples provided are 
not intended to be exhaustive, but rather illustrative.
    Two agencies requested that OPM include in the regulatory text the 
list of family relationships that have been interpreted to fall under 
the ``blood or affinity'' clause that were published in the 
Supplementary Information accompanying the proposed rule. One

[[Page 33493]]

agency stated that inclusion of this list in the regulatory text would 
assist agencies in understanding the intent of the phrase and allow for 
more consistent application of the regulations. For the reason stated 
in the paragraph above, we decline to include this language in the 
regulatory text. If it were possible to provide an exhaustive list, 
there would be no need for the ``blood or affinity'' clause.
    We received a comment about employees who wish to use sick leave to 
care for an ill pet. While we agree that a person may have a close bond 
with his or her pet, an employee cannot use sick leave, or donated 
leave under the leave transfer programs, for this purpose. An employee 
must use his or her annual leave or leave without pay for this purpose. 
Therefore, no change is being made.

Definition of Parent

    One agency pointed out that paragraph (4) of the definition of 
parent encompasses the parent of an employee's domestic partner, but 
not the parent of an employee's spouse, and recommended revising that 
paragraph to include the parent of an employee's spouse. Although the 
parent of the employee's spouse is not included in the proposed 
definition of parent, that person is included in paragraph (1) of the 
proposed definition of family member--``[f]amily member means an 
individual with any of the following relationships to the employee: (1) 
Spouse, and parents thereof.'' Since it is important that we make it 
clear that by parent we mean the expanded definition (adoptive, step, 
or foster parents, legal guardians, persons in loco parentis status) of 
an employee's spouse or domestic partner, we are revising paragraph (4) 
to read--``a parent, as described in paragraphs (1) through (3) of this 
definition, of an employee's spouse or domestic partner.'' The same 
agency recommended the addition of an employee's former spouse to 
paragraph (4). As there is no guarantee that former family members 
continue to maintain significant relationships, we believe requests for 
leave for such relationships are better left to a case-by-case 
determination using the ``blood or affinity'' clause. Therefore, we are 
not adopting this suggestion.
    In the definition of parent at Sec.  630.201, the first paragraph 
reads, ``(1) A biological, adoptive, step, or foster parent of the 
employee, or a person who was a foster parent of the employee when the 
employee was a minor.'' However, the definitions of parent at 
Sec. Sec.  630.803 and 630.902 in the proposed regulations were missing 
the words, ``or a person who was a foster parent of the employee when 
the employee was a minor.'' This omission was unintentional. Therefore, 
we are adding these words to the definitions of parent at Sec. Sec.  
630.803 and 630.902 in the final regulations.

Definition of Son or Daughter

    One professional organization was very supportive of the change to 
replace the term ``children'' in the definition of family member with 
``sons and daughters'' and to create a new definition of son or 
daughter. The organization also supported the inclusion of biological, 
adopted, and stepchildren, legal wards, and relationships where the 
employee stands or stood in loco parentis, and a domestic partner's 
son(s) or daughter(s). Another commenter endorsed the inclusion of 
persons who are wards or were wards, when a minor, of a legal guardian, 
as this supports employees who assume the care of a young person during 
a vulnerable period in his or her life. We received several questions 
about the status of certain sons or daughters. One question was whether 
children of a same-sex relationship would be considered an employee's 
son or daughter. This is specifically addressed in paragraph (4) of the 
son or daughter definition which states ``[a] son or daughter * * * of 
an employee's domestic partner.'' Another question was whether adopted 
children would be considered an employee's son or daughter, in a same-
sex or opposite-sex relationship. This is covered in paragraph (1) of 
the son or daughter definition which states, ``[a] biological, adopted, 
step, or foster son or daughter'' is considered a son or daughter of 
the employee. A final question was whether sons or daughters from 
previous relationships of same-sex or opposite-sex partners or former 
spouses would be considered an employee's son or daughter. Such sons or 
daughters would be covered, because paragraph (4) covers any son or 
daughter of an employee's domestic partner who meets any of the 
categories described in paragraphs (1)-(3) (e.g., biological, step, 
adopted, ward or loco parentis status, as well as ward or loco parentis 
status when the son or daughter was a minor). We believe the proposed 
rule covers the applicable categories. We note, however, that paragraph 
(4) does not include a son or daughter of an employee's spouse, so we 
are revising paragraph (4) to read--``a son or daughter, as described 
in paragraphs (1) through (3) of this definition, of an employee's 
spouse or domestic partner.''

Definition of ``In Loco Parentis''

    Two agencies requested a plain language explanation or actual 
definition of the term ``in loco parentis,'' as they were concerned 
that the term may not be commonly used by the human resources 
practitioners interpreting the regulations. We decline to further 
define the term ``in loco parentis,'' as it is subject to 
interpretation under State law. In the unlikely event that an agency 
has a question about in loco parentis status, the agency should contact 
its Office of General Counsel for interpretation.

Definitions of Domestic Partner and Committed Relationship

    One commenter supported the inclusion of both same-sex and 
opposite-sex partners in the definition of domestic partner, saying 
that including both ``fostered equality.'' Another commenter mistakenly 
believed that the regulations discriminate against opposite-sex 
domestic partners and consequently wanted the changes to apply also to 
opposite-sex domestic partners or domestic partners of legally 
recognized civil unions. The definition of domestic partner means ``an 
adult in a committed relationship with another adult, including both 
same-sex and opposite- sex relationships.'' Furthermore, the definition 
of committed relationship explicitly recognizes a civil union as one 
means of establishing the existence of a committed relationship, 
regardless of whether the individuals are of the same or opposite sex. 
Therefore, no change is necessary.
    One agency expressed concern that the term domestic partner could 
be construed to apply to someone who does not share any familial or 
emotional bond with the employee, such as a roommate. To qualify as a 
domestic partner, the employee must be in a committed relationship as 
defined in the proposed regulations: ``a committed relationship means 
that the employee, and the domestic partner of the employee, are each 
other's sole domestic partner (and not married to or domestic partners 
with anyone else); and share responsibility for a significant measure 
of each other's common welfare and financial obligations. This 
includes, but is not limited to, any relationship between two 
individuals of the same or opposite sex that is granted legal 
recognition by a State or by the District of Columbia as a marriage or 
analogous relationship (including but not limited to a civil union).'' 
Therefore, the definition of a committed relationship would preclude 
casual

[[Page 33494]]

roommates from qualifying as each other's domestic partner. We note 
that two friends might qualify as family members under the ``blood or 
affinity'' clause if they have a sufficiently close relationship.
    One agency expressed confusion because the terms ``domestic 
partner'' and ``committed relationship'' are each referenced in the 
definition of the other term. One commenter requested ``solidifying'' 
the process of confirming an employee's domestic partnership, while 
another commenter stated that the definitions are sufficiently narrow 
to be inclusive while preventing fraud and abuse. We do not agree that 
the terms are confusing and agree with another commenter that they are 
sufficiently narrow to be inclusive while preventing fraud and abuse. 
With regard to documentation, agencies continue to have the same 
authority to request more information in cases of suspected leave abuse 
that they have always exercised. In general, agencies should apply the 
same standards of verification for normal requests for leave to care 
for domestic partners that they apply to requests for leave to care for 
spouses.
    One agency suggested that, rather than create definitions for 
domestic partner and committed relationship, OPM simply redefine the 
``blood or affinity'' clause under the family member definition to 
read: ``[a]ny individual related by blood or affinity whose close 
association with the employee is the equivalent of a family 
relationship. These examples include stepparents and stepchildren, 
grandparents, grandchildren, common law, civil union, and same-sex and 
opposite-sex domestic partners.'' (Italics added.) We do not agree that 
adding these examples to the ``blood or affinity'' clause is necessary, 
since as we stated above, we prefer to give agencies the discretion to 
interpret the phrase ``blood or affinity'' according to the standard 
provided. The suggested language implies we are limiting relationships 
covered under the ``blood or affinity'' clause to the examples listed, 
which is not the case.

Documentation for a Committed Relationship

    We received several comments regarding what documentation and 
evidence would be necessary to prove a committed relationship. One 
commenter would like OPM to establish the required documentation since 
agencies will likely implement their own agency policies if no 
Governmentwide policy exists. One commenter wanted to know what 
standard, absent a marriage, civil union, or other form of legal 
validation, an agency should use to determine whether a relationship 
fits the definition of ``committed.'' One commenter suggested using a 
notarized affidavit to establish a same-sex domestic partner 
relationship. Another commenter agreed that a notarized document would 
be acceptable and also suggested the employee provide evidence of 
owning property together or joint bank accounts. Similar to other 
categories of employee relationships, OPM does not normally require 
proof of a domestic partnership for the purpose of leave 
administration. For example, an agency does not typically request 
specific documentation to prove an employee's relationship with his or 
her family member (e.g., parent, spouse, sister, brother). We find that 
agencies are in the best position to administer their own leave 
programs and should follow the same procedure for all employees. With 
regard to documentation, agencies continue to have the same authority 
to request more information in cases of suspected leave abuse.

State Laws and Recognition of Marriages, Civil Unions, and Domestic 
Partnerships

    One professional organization requested confirmation that a 
domestic partnership would be established conclusively if the 
relationship has been granted legal recognition by a State or the 
District of Columbia as a marriage or analogous relationship. An agency 
asked whether the regulations excluded common-law marriages. With 
regard to the question about common-law marriages, we note that, in 
States allowing common-law marriage, establishment of a common-law 
marriage is the equivalent of establishing a spousal relationship, and 
spouses are already covered by the definition of family member. We 
confirm that both the proposed and final regulations cover common-law 
marriage and any relationship that is granted legal recognition by a 
State or the District of Columbia as a marriage or analogous 
relationship.
    One agency believes that agencies should follow State laws 
regarding the recognition of marriage when determining whether to 
approve leave, and suggested limiting this benefit only to 
relationships granted legal recognition by a State. We disagree and 
believe the final regulations are more equitable and in line with the 
President's memorandum, because they apply even in States and other 
jurisdictions where same-sex marriage or civil unions are not 
recognized or in States or jurisdictions where domestic partners cannot 
register. OPM is responsible for establishing Governmentwide policies 
and procedures for the Federal Government and believes the rules should 
be applied consistently across the Federal workforce. Therefore, no 
change is being made.

Potential Discrimination

    One commenter was concerned that employees who declare a 
relationship with a same-sex partner for purposes of these regulations 
may experience employment discrimination, particularly in Federal 
agencies located in States where sexual orientation is not a 
statutorily protected class. The commenter was also concerned that if 
the same-sex domestic partner discloses his or her sexual orientation 
to receive these benefits, there is a risk and possibility of becoming 
a victim of hate crimes. In addition, the commenter states that because 
domestic partnerships are not recognized in many States, there is a 
question as to the legal standards a relationship must meet before it 
is recognized as a domestic partnership for purposes of the regulation.
    Although these are very important issues to consider, these 
concerns are generally beyond the scope of these regulations, because 
OPM has not been given the authority to interpret and implement the 
statutes concerned. We note that 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(10) prohibits 
discrimination against Federal employees or Federal job applicants 
based on factors not related to job performance, including sexual 
orientation. Employees who believe they have suffered such 
discrimination may thus pursue remedies under the civil service laws.

Impact on Dual Status Military (Reserve) Technicians

    One commenter asked how military agencies should deal with the fact 
that an employee who has asked for leave to care for a domestic partner 
has just self-identified as being in a same-sex relationship in 
violation of 10 U.S.C. 654 (commonly referred to as, ``Don't Ask, Don't 
Tell''). The commenter was particularly concerned about the case of 
National Guard Dual Status Military Technicians and Dual Status Reserve 
Military Technicians where civilian employment is tied to military 
membership. The invocation of OPM's leave regulations would not prove 
conclusively that a domestic partnership involves a relationship of the 
same sex, since the definition of domestic partner includes ``both 
same-sex and opposite-sex relationships.'' Further, the regulations do 
not require

[[Page 33495]]

identification of the domestic partner or the domestic partner's 
gender. Nonetheless, we understand there may be consequences for 
employees who are in a same-sex partnership with a military member, or 
who have a part-time military status themselves, especially in those 
agencies with policies requiring documentation to support a request for 
leave, and where the domestic partner's gender would be clear from the 
submitted documentation. Employees must therefore evaluate their own 
situations and consider the possible impact of their request for leave 
on their partner's or their own military status.

Definition of Spouse

    One commenter stated that if the proposed rule becomes final, every 
Federal law that uses the term spouse will need to be changed to 
recognize a domestic partner. This belief is unfounded. The proposed 
regulations add same-sex and opposite-sex domestic partners to the 
regulatory definitions of family member and immediate relative, and 
apply only to the sick leave, funeral leave, voluntary leave transfer, 
voluntary leave bank, and the emergency leave transfer programs. 
Further, changes in regulation do not cause changes in statute. 
Therefore, the new definition of domestic partner does not apply to any 
Federal laws where benefits are given specifically to spouses. In 
particular, the new definitions do not apply to the Family and Medical 
Leave Act (FMLA) at 5 U.S.C. 6381-6387 and its associated regulations 
at 5 CFR part 630, subpart L. The FMLA statute and regulations do not 
include a definition of family member or immediate relative; rather, 
they specify individuals for whose care an employee may take FMLA leave 
(e.g., a spouse). The statute does not authorize employees to take FMLA 
leave to care for domestic partners.

Application to United States Postal Service

    We received two comments from employees of the United States Postal 
Service (USPS) who strongly support the proposed definition of family 
member, so they would be able to provide care for their same-sex 
domestic partners. OPM does not have jurisdiction over USPS policies or 
collective bargaining agreements. We regulate for employees covered by 
the leave provisions in chapter 63 of title 5, United States Code. 
Employees who work for USPS or other Government organizations not 
covered by title 5 should consult with their human resources office.

Request for Additional Benefits

    Some commenters requested that OPM provide health care and other 
benefits to same-sex partners. This is outside the scope of these 
regulations; however, the President has directed OPM to review all 
benefits and to identify those, such as health care, where benefits 
cannot be provided to same-sex partners under the governing statute, 
and those where the benefits may be provided through a change in 
regulation alone. The resulting report will be provided to the 
President for his consideration.

E.O. 12866, Regulatory Review

    This rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget 
in accordance with E.O. 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    I certify that these regulations will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because they 
will apply only to Federal agencies and employees.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 630

    Government employees.

U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
John Berry,
Director.

0
Accordingly, OPM is amending 5 CFR part 630 as follows:

PART 630--ABSENCE AND LEAVE

0
1. The authority citation for part 630 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 6311; Sec.  630.205 also issued under Pub. 
L. 108-411, 118 Stat 2312; Sec.  630.301 also issued under Pub. L. 
103-356, 108 Stat. 3410 and Pub. L. 108-411, 118 Stat 2312; Sec.  
630.303 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 6133(a); Sec. Sec.  630.306 and 
630.308 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 6304(d)(3), Pub. L. 102-484, 106 
Stat. 2722, and Pub. L. 103-337, 108 Stat. 2663; subpart D also 
issued under Pub. L. 103-329, 108 Stat. 2423; Sec.  630.501 and 
subpart F also issued under E.O. 11228, 30 FR 7739, 3 CFR, 1974 
Comp., p. 163; subpart G also issued under 5 U.S.C. 6305; subpart H 
also issued under 5 U.S.C. 6326; subpart I also issued under 5 
U.S.C. 6332, Pub. L. 100-566, 102 Stat. 2834, and Pub. L. 103-103, 
107 Stat. 1022; subpart J also issued under 5 U.S.C. 6362, Pub. L. 
100-566, and Pub. L. 103-103; subpart K also issued under Pub. L. 
105-18, 111 Stat. 158; subpart L also issued under 5 U.S.C. 6387 and 
Pub. L. 103-3, 107 Stat. 23; and subpart M also issued under 5 
U.S.C. 6391 and Pub. L. 102-25, 105 Stat. 92.


0
2. In Sec.  630.201, paragraph (b) is amended by revising the 
definition of family member and by adding definitions of committed 
relationship, domestic partner, parent, and son or daughter in 
alphabetical order to read as follows:


Sec.  630.201  Definitions.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    Committed relationship means one in which the employee, and the 
domestic partner of the employee, are each other's sole domestic 
partner (and are not married to or domestic partners with anyone else); 
and share responsibility for a significant measure of each other's 
common welfare and financial obligations. This includes, but is not 
limited to, any relationship between two individuals of the same or 
opposite sex that is granted legal recognition by a State or by the 
District of Columbia as a marriage or analogous relationship 
(including, but not limited to, a civil union).
    Domestic partner means an adult in a committed relationship with 
another adult, including both same-sex and opposite-sex relationships.
* * * * *
    Family member means an individual with any of the following 
relationships to the employee:
    (1) Spouse, and parents thereof;
    (2) Sons and daughters, and spouses thereof;
    (3) Parents, and spouses thereof;
    (4) Brothers and sisters, and spouses thereof;
    (5) Grandparents and grandchildren, and spouses thereof;
    (6) Domestic partner and parents thereof, including domestic 
partners of any individual in paragraphs (2) through (5) of this 
definition; and
    (7) Any individual related by blood or affinity whose close 
association with the employee is the equivalent of a family 
relationship.
* * * * *
    Parent means--
    (1) A biological, adoptive, step, or foster parent of the employee, 
or a person who was a foster parent of the employee when the employee 
was a minor;
    (2) A person who is the legal guardian of the employee or was the 
legal guardian of the employee when the employee was a minor or 
required a legal guardian;
    (3) A person who stands in loco parentis to the employee or stood 
in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was a minor or 
required someone to stand in loco parentis; or
    (4) A parent, as described in paragraphs (1) through (3) of this 
definition, of an employee's spouse or domestic partner.
* * * * *

[[Page 33496]]

    Son or daughter means--
    (1) A biological, adopted, step, or foster son or daughter of the 
employee;
    (2) A person who is a legal ward or was a legal ward of the 
employee when that individual was a minor or required a legal guardian;
    (3) A person for whom the employee stands in loco parentis or stood 
in loco parentis when that individual was a minor or required someone 
to stand in loco parentis; or
    (4) A son or daughter, as described in paragraphs (1) through (3) 
of this definition, of an employee's spouse or domestic partner.
* * * * *

0
3. In Sec.  630.803, revise the definition of immediate relative and 
add definitions of committed relationship, domestic partner, parent, 
and son or daughter in alphabetical order to read as follows:


Sec.  630.803  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Committed relationship means one in which the employee, and the 
domestic partner of the employee, are each other's sole domestic 
partner (and are not married to or domestic partners with anyone else); 
and share responsibility for a significant measure of each other's 
common welfare and financial obligations. This includes, but is not 
limited to, any relationship between two individuals of the same or 
opposite sex that is granted legal recognition by a State or by the 
District of Columbia as a marriage or analogous relationship 
(including, but not limited to, a civil union).
    Domestic partner means an adult in a committed relationship with 
another adult, including both same-sex and opposite-sex relationships.
* * * * *
    Immediate relative means an individual with any of the following 
relationships to the employee:
    (1) Spouse, and parents thereof;
    (2) Sons and daughters, and spouses thereof;
    (3) Parents, and spouses thereof;
    (4) Brothers and sisters, and spouses thereof;
    (5) Grandparents and grandchildren, and spouses thereof;
    (6) Domestic partner and parents thereof, including domestic 
partners of any individual in paragraphs (2) through (5) of this 
definition; and
    (7) Any individual related by blood or affinity whose close 
association with the employee is the equivalent of a family 
relationship.
    Parent means--
    (1) A biological, adoptive, step, or foster parent of the employee, 
or a person who was a foster parent of the employee when the employee 
was a minor;
    (2) A person who is the legal guardian of the employee or was the 
legal guardian of the employee when the employee was a minor or 
required a legal guardian; or
    (3) A person who stands in loco parentis to the employee or stood 
in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was a minor or 
required someone to stand in loco parentis.
    (4) A parent, as described in paragraphs (1) through (3) of this 
definition, of an employee's spouse or domestic partner.
    Son or daughter means--
    (1) A biological, adopted, step, or foster son or daughter of the 
employee;
    (2) A person who is a legal ward or was a legal ward of the 
employee when that individual was a minor or required a legal guardian;
    (3) A person for whom the employee stands in loco parentis or stood 
in loco parentis when that individual was a minor or required someone 
to stand in loco parentis; or
    (4) A son or daughter, as described in paragraphs (1) through (3) 
of this definition, of an employee's spouse or domestic partner.

0
4. In Sec.  630.902, revise the definition of family member and add 
definitions of committed relationship, domestic partner, parent, and 
son or daughter in alphabetical order to read as follows:


Sec.  630.902  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Committed relationship means one in which the employee, and the 
domestic partner of the employee, are each other's sole domestic 
partner (and are not married to or domestic partners with anyone else); 
and share responsibility for a significant measure of each other's 
common welfare and financial obligations. This includes, but is not 
limited to, any relationship between two individuals of the same or 
opposite sex that is granted legal recognition by a State or by the 
District of Columbia as a marriage or analogous relationship 
(including, but not limited to, a civil union).
    Domestic partner means an adult in a committed relationship with 
another adult, including both same-sex and opposite-sex relationships.
* * * * *
    Family member means an individual with any of the following 
relationships to the employee:
    (1) Spouse, and parents thereof;
    (2) Sons and daughters, and spouses thereof;
    (3) Parents, and spouses thereof;
    (4) Brothers and sisters, and spouses thereof;
    (5) Grandparents and grandchildren, and spouses thereof;
    (6) Domestic partner and parents thereof, including domestic 
partners of any individual in paragraphs (2) through (5) of this 
definition; and
    (7) Any individual related by blood or affinity whose close 
association with the employee is the equivalent of a family 
relationship.
* * * * *
    Parent means--
    (1) A biological, adoptive, step, or foster parent of the employee, 
or a person who was a foster parent of the employee when the employee 
was a minor;
    (2) A person who is the legal guardian of the employee or was the 
legal guardian of the employee when the employee was a minor or 
required a legal guardian; or
    (3) A person who stands in loco parentis to the employee or stood 
in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was a minor or 
required someone to stand in loco parentis.
    (4) A parent, as described in paragraphs (1) through (3) of this 
definition, of an employee's spouse or domestic partner.
* * * * *
    Son or daughter means--
    (1) A biological, adopted, step, or foster son or daughter of the 
employee;
    (2) A person who is a legal ward or was a legal ward of the 
employee when that individual was a minor or required a legal guardian;
    (3) A person for whom the employee stands in loco parentis or stood 
in loco parentis when that individual was a minor or required someone 
to stand in loco parentis; or
    (4) A son or daughter, as described in paragraphs (1) through (3) 
of this definition, of an employee's spouse or domestic partner.

0
5. In Sec.  630.1002, add the definitions of committed relationship, 
domestic partner, parent, and son or daughter in alphabetical order to 
read as follows:


Sec.  630.1002  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Committed relationship has the meaning given that term in subpart I 
of this part.
    Domestic partner has the meaning given that term in subpart I of 
this part.
* * * * *
    Parent has the meaning given that term in subpart I of this part.
* * * * *
    Son or daughter has the meaning given that term in subpart I of 
this part.

[[Page 33497]]


0
6. In Sec.  630.1102, add the definitions of committed relationship, 
domestic partner, parent, and son or daughter in alphabetical order to 
read as follows:


Sec.  630.1102  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Committed relationship has the meaning given that term in subpart I 
of this part.
* * * * *
    Domestic partner has the meaning given that term in subpart I of 
this part.
* * * * *
    Parent has the meaning given that term in subpart I of this part.
    Son or daughter has the meaning given that term in subpart I of 
this part.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2010-14252 Filed 6-11-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6325-39-P