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Massachusetts Extends Compliance Deadlines for Two Key Paid Family and Medical Leave Law Obligations

The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (“DFML”) recently issued regulations and guidance concerning employers’ obligations under the Paid Family and Medical Leave Law (“PFML”), including a quick-approaching deadline for providing notice to employees of their rights under the PFML. On May 1, the DFML announced that it is extending the deadline for employers to provide the employee notice from May 31, 2019 to June 30, 2019.

In addition, the DFML has moved the deadline for employers to apply for a private plan exemption for Quarter 1 only from June 30, 2019 to September 20, 2019.

Under the DFML’s rules, applications for private plan exemptions must be approved in the quarter prior to the quarter in which they go into effect. Thus, this is a one-time exception to the rule. However, as the DFML reminds and cautions, contributions to PFML begin on July 1, 2019, and the September 20, 2019 extension of the exemption application deadline “only impacts the contribution requirements if the exemption request is approved. If the exemption request is denied the impacted business will be responsible for remitting the full contribution amount from July 1, 2019 forward.”

What Employers Should Do Now

In addition to the steps we have previously suggested, employers should consider the following actions:

  • Ensure that the company is prepared to distribute the employee notice by the new deadline.

  • For employers deciding whether to apply for a private plan exemption during the newly announced extension period, consult with tax and/or legal advisors as to what the DFML describes as “the implications associated with applying for a private plan exemption that may or may not be approved.”

  • As the DFML is continuing to accept comments on the draft PFML regulations, consider submitting comments and/or attending two additional listening sessions to be held in May. According to the DFML, the dates for these sessions will be announced shortly. Thus, anyone interested in attending should check the DFML website regularly for updates.

©2019 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. All rights reserved.

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About this Author

Susan Gross Sholinsky, Labor Employment Attorney, Epstein Becker Green Law Firm
Member of the Firm

SUSAN GROSS SHOLINSKY is a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment practice, in the New York office of Epstein Becker Green. She counsels clients on a variety of matters, in a practical and straightforward manner, with an eye toward reducing the possibility of employment-related claims. In 2013, Ms. Sholinsky was named to theNew York Metro Rising Stars list in the area of Employment & Labor.

212-351-4789
Anastasia A. Regne, labor and employment law clerk, Epstein Becker
Law Clerk

ANASTASIA A. REGNE* is a Law Clerk – Admission Pending – in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the New York office of Epstein Becker Green. She will be focusing her practice on employment litigation, labor-management relations, and employment training, practices, and procedures.

Ms. Regne received her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where she was the President of the Cardozo Labor & Employment Law Society, an editor of the Moot Court Honor Society, and an Alexander Fellow for the Honorable Laura Taylor Swain of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. During law school, Ms. Regne worked for a boutique matrimonial firm in New York, served as a student mediator in the Cardozo Law School Divorce Mediation Clinic, and was a legal intern at the Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services.

Before attending law school, Ms. Regne worked as a volunteer law clerk for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region 29 Office in Brooklyn. While at the NLRB, she investigated unfair labor practice charges brought against unions and employers.

*Application pending in New York.

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