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An Overview of the Massachusetts Paid Family & Medical Leave Law

February 27, 2020

As a reminder to employers, quarterly contributions under Massachusetts Paid Family & Medical Leave Law are due January 31, 2020. Though Massachusetts workers won’t be able to reap the benefits of this program for another year, it’s important for both Massachusetts employers and workers to be aware of the program and how it will affect them.

Beginning in January 2021, many workers in Massachusetts will be eligible to receive benefits under the new Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law, M.G.L c. 175M (“MAPFML”). The MAPFML is a state-offered benefit that will soon be available to Massachusetts workers, and is independent of the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Under the MAPFML, covered individuals may be eligible to get up to 12 weeks of paid family leave and up to 20 weeks of paid medical leave.

 

Who is covered?

 

According to Mass.gov, MAPFML covers individuals who work in Massachusetts including W-2 workers (full-time, part-time, and/or seasonal), individuals who are self-employed, and 1099-MISC workers in Massachusetts that don’t qualify as independent contractors and who make up more than 50% of the employer’s workforce. To be eligible for paid leave under PFML, a worker must have earned at least $4700 in the previous 12-month period, and eligibility is not contingent on the length of time an individual has worked for a current employer. In comparison, to be eligible for paid leave under the federal FMLA: (1) an private sector employer must have over 50 employees and  (2) an employee must have been with their employer for at least one year and have worked 1,250 hours in that period.

 

How is it funded?

 

As of October 1, 2019, the law requires businesses with at least one Massachusetts employee to make MAPFML contributions on behalf of such employees to the Family and Employment Security Trust Fund. The MAPFML is funded by a tax of up to 0.75% of a worker’s eligible wages, which is paid by the individual and their employer. Mass.gov provides a simple breakdown of how the tax is applied. For each $100 earned, a maximum of $0.38 will be deducted for the covered contribution share, consisting of $0.13 to cover the family leave contribution, and $0.25 to cover the medical leave contribution.

 

When to use MAPFML

 

Starting January 1, 2021, workers may be eligible for paid family or medical leave under the MAPFML care for a sick family member, bond with a newborn child, bond with a newly adopted child or new foster care placement, or to manage/treat a personal serious illness or injury. For further information, Mass.gov provides helpful resources to educate Massachusetts workers and employers on the MAPFML, eligibility, and other helpful information about family and medical leave.

 

 

Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) Fact Sheet

 

More Information for Employers

 

More Information for Workers

 

 

Curran Antonelli represents a broad range of businesses and corporate entities, private equity funds, as well as governmental agencies and other interested parties in all phases of the bankruptcy process and in bankruptcy related transactions and litigation.  As advocates and trusted business advisors, our well-established foundation of knowledge and understanding of our clients’ business interests, enables our attorneys to deliver unparalleled individualized attention to our clients of all sizes with their litigation and corporate transactional needs.

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