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Paid family and medical leave (PFML) job protections

As soon as you notify your employer that you are applying to take paid family or medical leave, certain protections begin.

Table of Contents

Keeping your same job

When you return from leave, your employer must restore you to the same job you had before taking leave, or to a job that has the same pay status, employment benefits, length-of-service credit, and seniority. One exception is that if your coworkers with similar experience and status were laid off during your leave due to economic conditions or other changes, then your employer doesn’t have to restore you to your same job or to an equivalent job.

Keeping your same benefits

When you come back from leave, your employer is not allowed to reduce, pause, or stop your ability to earn vacation or sick time, seniority, length-of-service credits, bonuses, or any other employment benefits, plans, or programs because you went on leave

Health insurance

If you get your health insurance through your employer, they will have to continue to provide that health insurance and pay whatever portion of the cost they usually cover while you are on leave, the same way that they would if you weren’t on leave. If you usually pay a portion of your health insurance costs through your employer, then you will need to continue to do that during your leave


Your employer can’t punish you because you took or applied for PFML. This includes things like:

  • Firing you

  • Disciplining you

  • Suspending you

  • Asking you to resign

  • Demoting you

  • Threatening you

  • Discriminating against you

Your employer also can’t punish you for filing a complaint against them for breaking any of these rules.

An employee or former employee who is retaliated against or discriminated against for exercising their rights under the PFML law may institute a civil lawsuit against their employer in a Massachusetts Superior Court.

These protections start as soon as you tell your employer that you are planning on taking a leave of absence that is protected under the PFML law. Learn more about what kinds of leaves you can take under the PFML law here

Any negative change in your job that occurs during your leave or 6 months following your leave is presumed to be unlawful retaliation.

Even if you're covered by a private plan offered through your employer, you'll still have the same anti-retaliation and other protections under the PFML law.



Get answers to your questions in English, Español, and Português. Translation services for up to 240+ languages are also available. (833) 344-7365

Department of Family and Medical Leave - Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Fraud Reporting Hotline: (857) 366-7201

Department of Family and Medical Leave - Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

For questions about contributions and exemptions: (617) 466-3950

Department of Revenue - Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

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