Mass. Paid Family and Medical Leave Final Regulations Are Released!

The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave has issued its much anticipated final regulations for implementing the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave.

While the final regulations mirror to a great extent many of the provisions established in the March 29th draft regulations, there were some new additions as well. Chief among them are:

  • Allowing employers to deduct differing percentages from the wages or payments of employees or covered individuals in satisfying their contribution payment share so long as it falls within the maximum percentages allowed under the law;
  • Clarifies that employers can require employees or covered individuals out on intermittent leave to use time in up to 4 hour increments;
  • Establishes additional requirements for employers seeking private plan exemptions most notably adding a penalty option for retroactive recovery of contributions from employers approved for private plan exemption prior to January 1, 2021 who fail to maintain or renew such plans.

To view the final regulations in their entirety – click here. These final regulations come on the heels of the recent delay to the initial contribution schedule designed to begin to pre-fund the states Trust Fund for ultimately paying claims that can begin to be filed starting on January 1, 2021. As a reminder:

  1. Initial deductions will begin on wages for services provided after October 1st, 2019;
  2. The contribution rate has been adjusted from 0.63% to 0.75% on wages;
  3. The initial payments to the state will now need to be made no later than January 31, 2020;

Need to Update Your Notices:
In light of these changes, employers will need to ensure that they update their bulletin boards with the most recent poster that includes these changes, and (for those who had not distributed acknowledgement notices to their employees already) ensure that they are using the most current notices concerning their rights and contribution obligations under the PFML.

For employers that have already distributed notices to their employees or covered individuals, the DFML will be posting an Addendum that employers can use in lieu of redistributing the full notice. The addendum (which has not been issued as of now) will also be posted on the Written Notice webpage as well.

EANE’s PFML Resources Updated:
EANE continues to update its PFML resources to account for these changes. Members can find these resources in the Toolkit section located in the Members Only area of our website – www.EANE.org; including an updated checklist reflecting the current timelines for implementation and key employer responsibilities.

Briefings Have Been Scheduled:

We have scheduled briefings in Pittsfield (July 10th), Holyoke (July 17th) and Worcester (July 24th).  For more information and to register, visit our website at www.EANE.org. We will keep you posted as further developments unfold.  However, if you have other questions, as always, you can also give our hotline a call toll free at 877.662.6444.