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Employers and employment excluded from Paid Family and Medical Leave

Some employers and types of employment are not covered by the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law. They are automatically excluded from making contributions unless they opt-in.

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Excluded employment

Excluded employers and employment types are automatically excluded from PFML, and do not need to apply for an exemption.

The same types of employment that are excluded under sections of the unemployment statute are also excluded from the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law, including:  

  • Services performed for a son, daughter, or spouse  
  • If under 18, services performed for one’s father or mother  
  • Services performed by inmates of penal institutions  
  • Independent contractors as defined by this three-part test 
  • Employment in the railroad industry  
  • Services provided by real estate brokers/salespeople and insurance agents/solicitors in commission only jobs 
  • Newspaper sales and delivery by persons under 18  
  • Employment by churches and certain religious organizations  
  • Services of work-study students, student nurses and interns, work trainee programs administered by non-profit or public institutions 
  • An elected official 
  •  A member of a legislative body 
  •  A member of the judiciary 
  •  A member of the National Guard or Air National Guard 
  • An employee serving on a temporary basis in case of fire, storm, snow, earthquake, flood, or similar emergency 
  • An employee serving in a position which, under or pursuant to the laws of the commonwealth or tribal law, is appointed to either a nontenured policymaker or advisor, or in a policymaking or advisory position the performance of the duties of which ordinarily does not require more than eight hours per week 
  • An election official or election workers if the amount of remuneration received by the individual during the calendar year for services as an election official or election worker is less than $1,000. 

Please review Section 6 of MGL c. 151A, Section 6A of MGL c. 151A, or examples of excluded employment at Section 2 of MGL c. 151A.

Opting-in requirements for excluded employment

Additional Resources



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Department of Family and Medical Leave - Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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Department of Family and Medical Leave - Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

For questions about contributions and exemptions: (617) 466-3950

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