Massachusetts Sets Date for Publication of Draft Regulations on Paid Family and Medical Leave
The newly-created Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave has stated that it plans to publish draft regulations for the recently enacted Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law no later than January 23, 2019. In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave has scheduled a number of public listening sessions on the draft regulations throughout the state, beginning with a session in Boston on January 30, 2019. A complete list of these public listening sessions can be found at this link.
The Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act is a significant change in the law that will entitle employees in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to paid family and medical leave beginning in 2021. Specifically, starting in 2021, employees in the Commonwealth will be entitled to paid leave to (1) care for a family member with a serious health condition, or (2) care for the employee’s own health condition. The maximum paid leave period ranges from 12 to 26 weeks (depending on the reason for leave), and the law is in many ways more expansive than the federal Family and Medical Leave Act that has been in effect since 1993. The law also protects employees from retaliation after taking such paid leave. Moreover, beginning in July 2019, employers will be required to make contributions to the state fund that will be used to pay for such leaves, and to provide certain notices to employees regarding the new law. The draft regulations are expected to provide more information on the law and employers’ obligations to make contributions.