Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave
Notice of Benefits Available Under M.G.L. Chapter 175M
Paid Family and Medical Leave
Beginning on October 1, 2019:
• Employers will deduct payroll contributions from a covered individual’s wages or other earnings to fund PFML benefits.
Beginning on January 1, 2021:
• Covered individuals may be entitled to up to 20 weeks of paid medical leave in a benefit year if they have a serious health condition that incapacitates them from work.
• Covered individuals may be entitled to up to 12 weeks of paid family leave in a benefit year related to the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child, or because of a qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a family member is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call to active duty in the Armed Forces.
• Covered individuals may be entitled to up to 26 weeks of paid family leave in a benefit year to care for a family member who is a covered service member with a serious health condition.
Beginning on July 1, 2021:
• Covered individuals may be entitled to up to 12 weeks of paid family leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition. Covered individuals are eligible for no more than 26 total weeks, in the aggregate, of paid family and medical leave in a single benefit year.
Who is a Covered Individual Under the Law?
Generally, a worker qualifies as a covered individual and may be eligible for paid family and medical leave if:
• S/he is paid wages by a Massachusetts employer; or
• S/he resides in Massachusetts and is paid for contract services by a Massachusetts entity that is required to report payment for services on IRS Form 1099-MISC for more than 50 percent of its workforce; or
• S/he is a self-employed individual who resides in Massachusetts and chooses to opt-in to the program.
Generally, an employee who has taken paid family or medical leave must be restored to the employee’s previous position or to an equal position, with the same status, pay, employment benefits, length-of-service credit, and seniority as of the date of leave.
These job protections do not apply to contractors.
To fund PFML benefits, employers will deduct payroll contributions from a covered individual’s wages or other earnings beginning on October 1, 2019. Covered individuals can apply for benefits beginning in January 2021 through the Department of Family and Medical Leave. A covered individual’s average weekly earnings will determine his or her benefit amount, for a maximum weekly benefit of up to $850.
No Retaliation or Discrimination
• It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate or retaliate against an employee for exercising any right to which s/he is entitled under the law.
• An employee or former employee who is discriminated or retaliated against for exercising rights under the law may, not more than three years after the violation occurs, institute a civil action in the superior court, and may be entitled to damages of as much as three times his or her lost wages.
If an employer offers employees paid family leave, medical leave, or both, with benefits that are at least as generous as those provided under the law, the employer may apply for an exemption from paying the contributions. Employees continue to be protected from discrimination and retaliation under the law even when an employer opts to provide paid leave benefits through a private plan.
If you have questions or concerns about your Paid Family and Medical Leave rights, please contact: MassPFML@Mass.gov or visit: https://www.mass.gov/PFML