Massachusetts law about the Small Necessities Leave Act

Laws, regulations and web sources on employment leave under the Massachusetts Small Necessities Leave Act.

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Massachusetts law

Up to 24 hours every 12 months

MGL c.149, § 52D(b) Small Necessities Leave Act
Allows employees who qualify under the federal family and medical leave act to take off up to 24 hours in a 12 month period for:

  • your child's school activities, such as parent-teacher conferences
  • your child's medical appointments
  • your elderly relative's medical appointments or appointments for other professional services related to the elder's care, such as interviewing at nursing or group homes

Massachusetts regulations

940 CMR 20 Employee leave for certain family obligations

Web sources

Attorney General's advisory on the Small Necessities Leave Act, Mass. Attorney General's Fair Labor and Business Practices Division.
Provides the former AG's interpretation of the Small Necessities Leave Act, including eligibility, notice and more.

"An eligible employee may elect, or the employer may require the employee to substitute any of the employee’s accrued paid vacation leave, personal leave or sick leave for any of the leave provided under the Act. M.G.L. c. 149, s. 52D (c). While the 24 hours need not be paid, if the employee chooses to substitute it for paid leave that the employee has accrued, the 24 hours of the leave period would then also be paid in the same manner as the paid leave. The Act does not require employers to provide paid sick leave or paid medical leave in any situation where the employer would not normally provide such paid leave."

Your right to take off from work for personal or family needs, Mass Legal Help.
Answers many frequently asked questions about the Small Necessities Leave Act, such as:

  • How do I know this law applies to me?
  • Who is considered a “family member"?
  • What kind of notice do I need to provide to my employer?
  • Is the leave paid or unpaid?

Print sources

Massachusetts employment law, 5th ed., MCLE, loose-leaf. Chapter 18.

Massachusetts wage and hours handbook, 7th ed., MCLE, 2022. Chapter 5.

Contact for Massachusetts law about the Small Necessities Leave Act

Last updated: January 19, 2024

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