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Public Hearing Concerning Proposed Changes to the Rules Governing Paid Leave and Other Benefits for Managers and Confidential Employees (Red Book)

Upcoming WebEx meeting on December 15, 2020 at 3pm

Notice to Employees on Red Book Hearing

A public hearing will be held on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. as a means for affected employees to give feedback on proposed changes to the Red Book. 

A link to the WebEx meeting is provided here. To request a reasonable accommodation for this Public Hearing, please email darcy.smith@mass.gov.

Section 28 of Chapter 7 of the General Laws requires this notice regarding the public hearing and the proposed changes to the Red Book be posted conspicuously in the office of each Appointing Authority thirty days before the changes are to become effective. The changes are proposed to be effective January 1, 2021. Agencies are instructed to post this notice.    

Below please find a summary of each of the proposed changes, some of which are mandatory due to changes in statute. Required amendments fall into four categories: (1) family and medical leave, to integrate the new leave available under the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA); (2) military leave, to comply with updates to state and federal law; (3) expanded permissible uses of sick leave, to comply with the Earned Sick Time Law (ESTL); and (4) the addition of Juneteenth Independence Day as a holiday. In addition, there are amendments that would align benefits available to managers with those provided in the collective bargaining agreements.

Proposed amended Red Book language
Version with the new or changed Red Book language underlined

Summary of Proposed Changes to the Red Book

The new policies that are proposed are summarized as follows:

  • 2.01 – New managers/confidential employees begin with annual accrual rate of 3 weeks of vacation, instead of 2
  • 2.03 - Vacation status established by creditable service or prior experience
  • 2.12 - Eliminate the limitation that an employee is only entitled to reinstatement of vacation status if the employee’s break in state service is less than three years, no longer needed due to new section 2.03
  • 4.03 – Update for consistency with Earned Paid Sick Time Law (G.L. c.149, § 148C)
  • 4.05 - Reflect current practice of allowing sick leave to be paid in 15-minute increments
  • 4.07 - Increase available paid sick leave for family member’s illness from 30 to 60 sick days per year
  • 4.07 – Update definition of family member for consistency with PFMLA (M.G.L. c. 175M)
  • 4.07 – Adds taking immediate family members to routine medical appointments to the list of permissible reasons to use sick leave
  • 4.08 – Adds appointments for preventative care with licensed medical or dental professionals to the list of permissible reasons to use sick leave
  • 4.11 – Align beneficiary language with Collective Bargaining Agreements
  • 4.12 – Clarify that employees dismissed through no fault of their own may have sick leave credits reinstated/reemployed within 3 years
  • 5.01 & 5.02 - Update Family and Medical Leave
    • Up to twenty-six (26) weeks continuous leave:
    • Birth and care of the employee’s child or placement for adoption or foster care of a child with an employee; (current)
    • To care for spouse, child, parent who has a serious health condition; (current)
    • For the employee’s own serious health condition; or (current)
    • Covered service member leave (new and can also be used intermittently)
    • Up to twenty (20) weeks intermittent leave:
    • For the employee’s own serious health condition (new)
    • Up to twelve (12) weeks continuous leave:
    • Serious health condition of family members as defined in M.G.L. Chapter 175M, unless otherwise indicated above (new)
    • Up to twelve (12) weeks intermittent leave:
    • To care for any family member with a serious health condition; or Military exigency leave (new)
       
  • 5.02 – Clarify that intermittent family leave is approved at the discretion of the employer
  • 5.02 – Align the FMLA benefit year with the PFML requirement – Looking Forward
  • 5.02 – Addition of one time “Catastrophic leave” of 26 weeks for personal illness
  • 5.06 - Clarify documentation required to support a Family or Medical leave
  • 5.07 - Limit intermittent leave usage as defined in 5.01
  • 5.08 – Clarify that leave accruals can be used for Family and Medical Leave subject to the 60-day limitations in 4.07
  • 5.10- Clarify existing requirement that employees continue to be responsible for their share of group health insurance premium contributions during leave
  • 5.12 – 5.16 – Repeal Non-FMLA Family Leave as it is duplicative of PFML
  • 6.01-05 – Amend language for consistency with Military Leave laws
  • 8.01 – Update bereavement leave for consistency with Collective Bargaining Agreements
  • 8.06 – Add Blood Donation Leave, Organ Donor Leave, Domestic Violence Earned Paid Sick Leave requirement, Educational Leave (conferences, seminars)
  • 8.10 – Add educational leave – 12 months unpaid at appointing authority discretion
  • 9.04 – Update language to include reasonable work-related internet charges
  • 10.01 – Clarify exception for traditional tour of duty based on flextime or alternative work schedule
  • 10.03 – Clarify payment for overtime shall be paid no later than the second payroll period following the payroll period of the overtime worked
  • 10.06 – Clarify exception for curtailment of hours limitation for employees on flex or alternative work schedule
  • 10.07 – Clarify excepting sick time in the calculation of compensated time for the purpose of calculating overtime
  • 11.01 – Add Juneteenth Independence Day as a holiday
  • 11.03 – Clarify employees, except for operational reasons, may to take a comp day within 60 days when a holiday falls on a Saturday
  • 11.08 – Add exception for weather emergency regarding restriction on holiday pay
  • 15.02 – Update for parental leave due to adoption, 60 days of accrued paid sick leave may be taken in a 12-month period, increased from 30 days
  • Additional non-substantive updates including pronoun utilization, updates to agency names and consistent use of terms
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