When a New York man was diagnosed with cancer, his biological family couldn't care for him. They were in Malaysia, a world away. However, he did have people to help--his "chosen family." And, because of a recent change to New York law, many of those "chosen family" members were able to take paid sick days in order to provide his care.
The EEOC recently settled a case against Estée Lauder, which had provided six weeks of child-bonding parental leave to "primary caregivers" but only two weeks to "secondary caregivers." The agency said that the policy -- as administered -- discriminated against men. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Pay Act both prohibit gender-based discrimination in pay or benefits.
In Maryland, most full-time employees who have worked at a company for a year are entitled to unpaid leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and Maryland law. These laws typically apply to companies with at least 50 employees, although there are some that apply to organizations with only 15 employees.