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Massachusetts law about parental leave

A compilation of laws, regulations, cases and web sources about maternity and paternity leave and Paid Family Medical Leave in Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Massachusetts law

MGL c.149, § 105D. Parental leave. Law applies to all parents, men and women, whose employers have six or more employees. Under the law, parents are eligible for 8 weeks of leave per child. If both parents work for the same employer, they shall only be entitled to 8 weeks of leave in the aggregate for the birth or adoption of the same child. Leave may be with or without pay "at the discretion of the employer."

MGL c.175M Paid family medical leave (PFML). Establishes a system for paid family leave of up to 12 weeks to care for a new child. Paid leave under this law became available beginning January 1, 2021.

Massachusetts regulations

458 CMR 2  Dept. of Family and Medical Leave
Clarifies procedures, practices, and policies in the administration and enforcement of the Paid Family and Medical Leave Law, M.G.L. c. 175M.

804 CMR 8 MCAD Maternity leave
Defines terms in maternity leave law. Includes a maternity leave form. This regulation has not been revised since the law was changed. 

Massachusetts cases

Global NAPS, Inc. v. Martha Awiszus, 457 Mass. 489 (2010)
"Female employees...are afforded rights under the MMLA when they are absent from employment 'for a period not exceeding eight weeks for the purpose of giving birth.'...MCAD Guidelines do not have the force of law, and, therefore, cannot be the source of a remedy for Stephens's termination from employment. An employee who is permitted to extend her maternity leave past eight weeks may have other rights that protect her from unlawful termination, but they are not statutory rights under G.L. c. 149, § 105D."

Web sources

How to apply for paid family and medical leave (PFML) Mass. Dept. of Family and Medical Leave.  
You must provide notice to your employer prior to beginning an application. If you have informed your employer and already have all of your verification documents, you should be able to complete your PFML application in 15 minutes.

MCAD guidance on the pregnant workers fairness act, Mass. Commission Against Discrimination, 2018.
Includes specific guidelines and questions and answers on the law effective April 1, 2018. See text of act here.

Massachusetts maternity leave: everything expectant parents need to know about the new paid family leave law, by Rebecca Gale, January 2021.
"Here’s how and when the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave legislation will go into effect."

Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits Mass. Dept. of Family and Medical Leave. 
Massachusetts workers are entitled to certain benefits to manage their health and the health of their family members.

Paid Family and Medical Leave employer toolkit. Mass. Dept of Family and Medical Leave.

Parental leave in MassachusettsMass. Commission Against Discrimination.
Covers employee rights and employer responsibilities, with links to more detailed information.

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
Last updated: August 30, 2021
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