Informing your workforce about Paid Family and Medical Leave

As a Massachusetts employer, you're responsible for informing your workforce about the state's Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law. This includes information about contributions, benefits, and protections.

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UPDATE: Changes to coverage criteria for 1099-MISC workers as of August 2019

In August 2019, the criteria for whether 1099-MISC workers are covered individuals was updated. 1099-MISC workers are now only covered individuals if they do not qualify as independent contractors.

Some 1099-MISC workers may have been informed that they were covered individuals, but because of the updated guidance, they are actually not covered individuals. If you have 1099-MISC workers in your workforce, read the updated criteria to see if they are still covered. If they are not, you should update those workers.

To assist with this process, we have developed a PFML 1099-MISC acknowledgment reversal form that is available for employers to use to inform them of this change. When using this form, remember to fill in your employer name. 

Additional Resources

Workplace poster

All Massachusetts employers must display a workplace poster prepared or approved by the Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) that explains the benefits available to your workforce under the PFML law. You must post this poster at your workplace in a location where it can be easily read. (We suggest you place the poster alongside other mandatory workplace posters you've displayed, like wage and hours laws, workplace discrimination, worker's compensation, and workplace safety.)

The poster must be available in English and each language which is the primary language of 5 or more individuals in your workforce if these translations are available from DFML

Additional Resources

Written notice requirements

Employers and Covered Business Entities are required to provide written notice to their current workforce of PFML benefits, contribution rates, and other provisions as outlined in M.G.L. c. 175M sec. 4. 

If you haven't notified your existing workers, you should do that immediately. As you hire new employees, you have 30 days to notify them. 

The notice, which may be provided electronically, must include the opportunity for an employee or self-employed individual to acknowledge receipt or decline to acknowledge receipt of the information. The employer can receive these acknowledgments in paper form or electronically.

Please retain these forms according to your internal document retention policy. Do not send these forms to the Department of Family and Medical Leave.

In the event that an employee or self-employed individual fails to acknowledge receipt, the Department shall consider an Employer or Covered Business entity to have fulfilled its notice obligation if it can establish that it provided to each member of its current workforce notice and the opportunity to acknowledge or decline to acknowledge receipt.

Employers or Covered Business Entities will be subject to all Section 4 requirements for employees or self-employed individuals who are employed or contracted with on or after Oct. 1, 2019.

Note: The identification number assigned by the Department of Family and Medical Leave will be the employer’s Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).  Please use your FEIN as your Employer ID Number on the written notice forms.

Notifying Massachusetts W-2 employees

You'll need to notify each of your MA W-2 employees in writing about available PFML benefits.

You must issue this notice to each employee within 30 days of their first day of employment. The notice must be written in each employee's primary language.

You must obtain from each employee a written statement acknowledging receipt of the notice or a statement indicating the employee's refusal to acknowledge the notice.

Please retain these forms according to your internal document retention policy. Do not send these forms to the Department of Family and Medical Leave.

You may download a template of this notice provided by DFML or create your own.

If you choose to create your own notice, it must contain:

  • An explanation of the availability of family and medical leave benefits
  • The employee’s contribution amount and obligations
  • The employer's contribution amount and obligations
  • The employer's name and mailing address
  • The employer identification number assigned by DFML (FEIN)
  • Instructions on how to file a claim for family and medical leave benefits (once available)
  • The mailing address, email address, and telephone number of DFML

Additional Resources

Notifying Massachusetts 1099-MISC contractors

If more than 50% of your workforce is made up of MA 1099-MISC contractors, you're required to inform them of PFML benefits and protections the same as MA W-2 employees. 

You'll need to notify each MA 1099-MISC contractor who provides services to you, in writing, about available benefits when you enter into a contract for services. The notice must be written in the contractor's primary language.

You must obtain from each contractor a written statement acknowledging receipt of the notice or a statement indicating the contractor's refusal to acknowledge the notice.

Please retain these forms according to your internal document retention policy. Do not send these forms to the Department of Family and Medical Leave.

You may download a template of this notice provided by DFML or create your own.

If you choose to create your own notice, it must contain:

  • An explanation of the availability of family and medical leave benefits and the procedures for self-employed individuals to become covered individuals
  • The self-employed individual’s contribution amount and obligations if they were to become a covered individual
  • The employer's contribution amount and obligations
  • The employer's name, mailing address, and email address
  • The employer's identification number assigned by DFML (FEIN)
  • Instructions on how to file a claim for family and medical leave benefits
  • The address and telephone number of DFML

If less than 50% of your workforce includes MA 1099-MISC contractors, you're not required to inform them of PFML benefits, though it's encouraged so those contractors are aware they may opt-in.

Additional Resources

Penalties

Failure to provide the required notifications may result in the following fines.

Violation Fine
First violation $50 per MA W-2 employee or MA 1099-MISC contractor
Subsequent violations $300 per MA W-2 employee or MA 1099-MISC contractor

Additional Resources

Contact

Last updated: June 19, 2019
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