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Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave

In 2018 the Massachusetts “Grand Bargain Bill” was passed—which included, among other legislation, Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML). Continue reading to see how the new PFML legislation will apply to your business.

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In 2018 the Massachusetts “Grand Bargain Bill” was passed—which included, among other legislation, Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML). Continue reading to see how the new PFML legislation will apply to your business.

In 2018 the Massachusetts “Grand Bargain Bill” was passed that included, among other legislation, Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML).  This new law applies to all employers and provides eligible employees with up to 20 weeks of paid medical leave and 12 weeks of paid family leave.  The benefit will be funded by a .63% wage tax that is shared by employers and employees (25 or more employees); employers with less than 25 employees will be permitted to require employees to fund the entire .63% tax.

The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave, which oversees the PFML program, has posted its Employer and Employee Toolkits and other helpful information that can be found at MA PFML.  While covered employees are not eligible for leave until January 1, 2021, the shared employer/employee contribution of .63% is scheduled to begin July 1, 2019 with funds collected due with October 2019 quarterly tax payments.   The breakdown of the shared contribution is as follows:

Employees applying for PFML will do so directly to the state, and the state will manage the approval and coordination of benefits (similar to the unemployment application/approval process).

While the final regulations have yet to be promulgated, and some clarity is still needed in certain areas of the regulations, we recommend that our clients begin preparing now by taking the following steps:

  • Confirm with your payroll provider their ability to withhold employee contributions and the extent to which the provider will be involved in the process for remitting quarterly contributions plus setting up an internal process to ensure compliance
  • Consider if you want to contribute more than the required amount
  • Consider if you want to offer a private plan that will be equal to or greater than the PFML benefit
  • Develop a communication for employees – all employees and 1099-MISC contractors must be notified in writing about PFML benefits and the mandatory PFML poster must be displayed (the poster is available at MA PFML Poster

Our HR Consulting team is ready to support your business in understanding, navigating and implementing PFML – we will prepare an appropriate PFML communication plan, update handbooks and provide the overall guidance and support your business will need as this significant new law is rolled out and additional clarity and developments emerge.

Please contact Amy Allen or Frank Levesque if you have any questions or would like to set up a consultation to discuss how this new legislation will impact your business.

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