MA Paid Family Medical Leave Update: One Month In
The Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave law has been in effect for a month now, but many employers and employees are still looking for answers and additional information.
Beginning in January and July 2021, depending on the type of leave, all employers must provide eligible employees with up to:
- 12 weeks of paid family leave (26 weeks to care for a service member);
- 20 weeks of paid medical leave; and
- 26 weeks of combined paid family and medical leave.
The state PFML program is financed by a payroll tax (0.75% on the first $132,000 of an employees’ wages), split between employees and employers, and provides partial wage compensation. Employers with fewer than 25 employees do not contribute. Virtually all employees are eligible. Employers began remitting contributions for the PFML program in October 2019. An employer notice requirement took effect at that time as well.
Massachusetts State Government has set up a website packed with information, rules, and instructional guides. While the website is great and organized well, the vast amount of information still means finding what you are looking for could take some digging. Here are a few of the most pertinent sections.
- PFML For MA Employers (Contains info on application review, contributions, exemptions, etc.)
- Employer PFML ToolKit
- PFML Benefits Timeline
Many employees will turn to their employers with questions on how to apply; sending them to the links below will save you time and provide them with clear answers. Much of this process is driven by the employee. If you have a private plan you will have to turn to your carrier, but the process should be similar.
The state has received thousands of claims in the first month and they are being processed. While this new system will take time to become efficient, it is working.
From an employer’s point of view, below are a few of the most important things to ensure have been understood & accomplished;
- The family leave portion of the law starts in July
- Your PFML employment poster is hung up in a workplace common area
- Your employees should be signed off on the employer notice
- If you had short term disability in place; have you reviewed that policy?
If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]