August 21, 2019
I have been hearing a great deal about a fairly new Massachusetts law providing paid leave to employees who take leave for illness or family needs. What can you tell me about this law and what are my obligations as an employer?
As most employers are aware, Massachusetts enacted a paid family and medical leave act (“Act”) that requires contributions by both the employer and all employees, the benefits under which will go into effect gradually. By way of background, the Act was enacted last June. It provides that nearly all employees will be eligible for up to 20 weeks of job protected paid medical leave and 12 weeks of job protected paid family leave per year starting in 2021. The Act is being managed and overseen by the newly formed state agency known as the Department of Family and Medical Leave (“Department”). The benefits will be paid from a trust funded by employees and, depending upon employer size, employers as well, and employees’ contributions will be withheld from their pay. Though the benefits will not be available to qualifying employees until 2021, at the earliest, employers and employees are obligated to take certain actions now.