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Massachusetts law about family and medical leave

There are 2 family and medical leave laws: Massachusetts (PFML) and Federal (FMLA). This is a compilation of laws, regulations, cases and web sources on both laws.

Table of Contents

COVID-19

Temporary rule: Paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, U.S. Dept. of Labor.
Information on the impact of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on family medical leave.

Best bet

Mass. Department of Family and Medical Leave. For everything you need to know about the state program, included the state tax and benefits, this is the place to start.

Massachusetts law

.75% tax beginning 10/1/19

MGL c.175M Paid family medical leave (PFML). Establishes a system for paid family leave of up to 12 weeks to care for a family member, and up to 20 weeks for your own illness. The tax that pays for it begins in 2019, and leave will be available beginning in 2021.

 

Family and medical leave timetable
Date Requirement
October 1, 2019 Begin collection of tax of 0.75 percent 
January 1, 2021 Begin leave benefits for bonding with a new child, and for your own serious health condition
July 1, 2021 Begin leave benefits for the care of a family member with a serious health condition

Massachusetts regulations

458 CMR 2 Department of Family and Medical Leave

830 CMR 175M Family and Medical Leave

Federal law

29 USC §§ 2601 et seq. Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Federal regulations

29 CFR 825 Family and Medical Leave Act

Selected cases

DaPrato v. MWRA, 482 Mass. 375 (2019)
Taking vacation while on Federal FMLA. "An employer may validly consider an employee's conduct on vacation... that is inconsistent with his or her claimed reasons for medical leave.... [V]acationing while on FMLA leave may take either permissible or impermissible forms."

Web sources for employees

Federal Family and Medical Leave Act, U.S. Department of Labor
Includes links to law and regulations, forms, frequently asked questions and more

Massachusetts maternity leave: everything expectant parents need to know about the new paid family leave law, by Rebecca Gale, September 2018.
"Here’s how and when the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave legislation will go into effect."

Paid Family Medical Leave for employees FAQ, Mass. Dept. of Family and Medical Leave
"In 2018, Massachusetts signed into law a statute that provides paid family and medical leave (PFML) benefits to workers. Learn more about what effects PFML will have on you as an employee or covered individual."

Your rights in the workplace , Nolo, 2018. 
Chapter 4: Family and Medical Leave "provides information about the U.S. Family and Medical Leave Act, state family and medical leave laws, and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. It also discusses work and life balance and paid leave under state laws." Requires free library card for access.

Worker's guide to Paid Family and Medical Leave, Mass. Dept. of Family and Medical Leave
Beginning in January 2021, most Massachusetts workers will be eligible for paid family and medical leave under the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law. Learn more about what these new benefits mean to you and how to prepare for them.

Web sources for employers

Employer's guide to paid family and medical leave, Mass. Dept. of Family and Medical Leave
As a Massachusetts employer, you're likely going to have new responsibilities under the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law. Learn more about those responsibilities as of the law's effective date of Oct. 1, 2019, through the first quarterly reporting due by Jan. 31, 2020, and into the future.

Federal Family and Medical Leave Act, U.S. Department of Labor
Includes links to law and regulations, forms, frequently asked questions and more

Frequently asked questions about paid family and medical leave exemption requests, registration, contributions and payments, Mass. Dept. of Revenue.
Important information for employers from the Department of Revenue.

Massachusetts paid family and medical leave: what lies ahead, National Law Review, January 2019.
Summarizes key provisions of the law with clear information about effective dates.

Paid family and medical leave in Massachusetts - compliance deadlines, National Law Review, August 15, 2019
Lays out the deadlines under the Massachusetts law.

Paid Family Medical Leave for employers FAQ, Mass. Dept. of Family and Medical Leave
"In 2018, Massachusetts signed into law a statute that provides paid family and medical leave (PFML) benefits to workers. Learn more about what effects PFML will have on you as an employer or self-employed individual."

Print sources

Employee leave and accommodations law in Massachusetts, MCLE, 2018

Labor and employment in Massachusetts, Lexis, loose-leaf. Chapter 6

Massachusetts employment law, MCLE, loose-leaf. Chapters 21 and 22.

Contact

Phone

Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only

Online

Reference librarians online Chat with a law librarian 
Reference librarians via email masslawlib@gmail.com

Address

Administrative office (no law library at this location)
2 Center Plaza
9th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Date published: September 11, 2019
Last updated: June 19, 2020
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