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Massachusetts law about parental leave

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

Table of Contents

Massachusetts law

8 weeks per child

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 will be available beginning January 1, 2021.

Massachusetts regulations

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

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. 

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."

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



Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only


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Last updated: October 30, 2020