This page, Mass. General Laws c.175M § 7, is offered by

Mass. General Laws c.175M § 7

Family and Employment Security Trust Fund

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(a)

There shall be a Family and Employment Security Trust Fund to be administered by the director exclusively for the purposes of this chapter. Any sums received under this section shall not be considered revenue of the commonwealth but shall be held in trust for the exclusive benefit of covered individuals eligible for benefits under this chapter and for the administration of the department and shall not be expended, released, appropriated or otherwise disposed of for any other purpose and shall be expended by the director as required by this chapter to pay family and medical leave program benefits to covered individuals eligible to receive benefits and to pay the administrative costs of the department. The trust fund shall consist of: (i) contributions collected pursuant to section 6 together with any interest earned thereon; (ii) property or securities acquired through the use of money belonging to the trust fund together with any earnings of such property and securities; (iii) fines and penalties collected under this chapter; and (iv) other money received from any source, including any grants, gifts, bequests or money authorized by the general court or other party specifically designated to be credited to the trust fund. Money remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the General Fund. Amounts credited to the trust fund shall not be expended for any purpose other than the payment of benefits to covered individuals eligible for benefits under this chapter, and for the administration of the department and shall not be expended, released, appropriated, or otherwise disposed of for any other purpose. The trust fund shall maintain an annualized amount of not less than 140 per cent of the previous fiscal year's expenditure for benefits paid and for the administration of the department.

(b)

The costs of administering the department under this chapter shall not exceed 5 per cent of the amount deposited under subsection (a) for each fiscal year following the initial year benefits have been paid under this chapter. Money in the trust fund may be deposited in any depository bank in which general funds of the commonwealth may be deposited, but such money shall not be commingled with other commonwealth funds and shall be maintained in separate accounts on the books of the depository bank. Such money shall be secured by the depository bank to the same extent and in the same manner as required by the general depository laws of the commonwealth and any collateral pledged for this purpose shall be kept separate and distinct from any other collateral pledged to secure other funds of the commonwealth.

(c)

The director shall expend money from the trust fund to provide weekly benefits under section 3. Family and medical leave benefits shall be paid from the trust fund to covered individuals eligible for benefits. An employer's bankruptcy or noncompliance with this chapter shall not interfere with an employee's ability to collect family and medical leave benefits under this chapter. Family or medical leave benefits paid from the trust fund to such an employee may be recovered through bankruptcy proceedings or from the non-complying employer. The director shall institute administrative and legal action to recover family or medical leave benefits paid through the trust fund.

(d)

To accumulate funds for the payment of family and medical leave benefits and administrative costs, employers, covered business entities and self-employed individuals shall, unless subject to provisions under section 11, make contributions as required under section 6 and transmit those contributions to the trust fund in the manner determined by the director.

(e)

Annually, not later than October 1, the director shall fix the family leave and medical leave contribution rates set forth in subsection (a) of section 6 for the coming calendar year in the manner described in this subsection. The director shall first certify to the secretary of labor and workforce development and publish, pursuant to section 6 of chapter 30A, the following information: (i) the total amount of benefits paid by the department during the previous fiscal year; (ii) the total amount remaining in the trust fund at the close of such fiscal year; (iii) the total amount equal to 140 per cent of the previous fiscal year's expenditure for benefits paid and for the administration of the department; (iv) the amount by which the total amount remaining in the trust fund at the close of the previous fiscal year is less than or greater than 140 per cent of the previous fiscal year's expenditure for benefits paid and for the administration of the department; and (v) the amount by which the contribution rate set forth in subsection (a) of section 6 shall be adjusted to ensure that the trust fund shall maintain or achieve an annualized amount of not less than 140 per cent of the previous fiscal year's expenditure for benefits paid and for the administration of the department. The contribution rate adjustment, if any, made as the result of the director's certification and report under this subsection shall supersede the rate previously set forth in said subsection (a) of said section 6 and shall become effective on January 1 of the following calendar year.

Annually, not later than October 1, the director shall publish a report providing the following information concerning the family and medical leave program for the previous fiscal year: (i) total eligible claims; (ii) the percentage of such claims attributable to medical leave; (iii) the percentage of such claims attributable to family leave other than the birth, adoption or fostering of a child; (iv) the percentage of such claims attributable to family leave attributable to the birth, adoption or fostering of a child; (v) the percentage of such claims attributable to military exigency leave; (vi) the percentage of such claims attributable to family leave for a covered service member; (vii) claimant demographics by age, gender, average weekly wage, occupation and the type of leave taken; (viii) the percentage of claims denied and the reasons therefor, including, but not limited to insufficient information and ineligibility and the reason therefor; (ix) average weekly benefit amount paid for all claims and by category of leave; (x) changes in the gross benefits paid compared to previous fiscal years; (xi) processing times for initial claims processing, initial determinations and final decisions; (xii) average duration for cases completed; and (xiii) the number of cases remaining open at the close of such year.

(f)

An employer, covered business entity or self-employed individual to whom the director has sent a request for wage, earnings or employment information for an employee or covered individual claiming family or medical leave benefits shall complete and file that information not later than 10 calendar days after the date the request was sent. If such employer, covered business entity or self-employed individual does not respond within those 10 calendar days, then such employer, covered business entity or self-employed individual may be held liable for any related costs incurred by the director.

(g)

Such monies in the trust fund as are in excess of the amount necessary for the payment of benefits for a reasonable future period may be invested in any form of investment listed in paragraphs (a) to (i), inclusive, of section 38 of chapter 29 or section 38A of said chapter 29. The investments shall at all times be made so that all the assets of the trust fund shall always be readily convertible into cash when needed for the payment of benefits.

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Address

Administrative office (no law library at this location)
2 Center Plaza
9th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Last updated: June 13, 2019
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