Paid Leave of Absence Law Rules

Massachusetts recently passed the Paid Family and Medical Leave law (“PFML”) which “provides employees with job protected leaves of absence similar to those provided by the federal FMLA, but also allows employees to receive benefits (i.e., payments) during the leave.”

Employees will not qualify for PFML until 2021, but there are many steps employers must complete by July 1, 2019.

Accordingto JD Supra, here are three things every employer needs to do right now:

1. Provide Notice to Employees

  • Employers are required to post a notice of the program’s benefits by July 1. The notice must be posted at every location and in every language that is the primary language of five or more employees or contractors. A form notice recently published by the DFML is available here and versions of the notice in other languages are available here. While not required until July 1, Employers are well-advised to post the notice now.

2. Register and Calculate Contributions/Payroll Deductions

  • Contributions to the Trust Fund are made from payroll deductions. Employers must register with MassTaxConnect and are responsible for calculating the correct deductions, making the contributions, and filing detailed quarterly Employment and Wage Reports. Information on how to register with MassTaxConnect is available here.

3. Consider Applying for a Private Plan Exemption

  • Employers who already provide paid FMLA-type benefits that are equal to or greater than those required under the PFML, may seek an exemption for what the law refers to as a “private plan”. An employer may apply for a total or partial exemption from either family and/or medical leave coverage. Employers with plans already in place should be aware that plans may need to be amended to meet the exemption requirements.

To read more about 2019 employer responsibility tied to PFML, please click here.

The information included in this blog post originally appeared in an article from Human Resources Executive on April 15, 2019, written by Michael Gamboli, Sheridan King, Alice Samolis, and Joshua Xavier of Patridge Snow & Hahn LLP.

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