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Newly Created Massachusetts Agency Issues First Guidance On Paid Leave Law

11.19.18

As the ramp-up towards Massachusetts’ paid family and medical leave continues, the newly created Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) just launched its website and issued its first guidance documents. As discussed previously, the July 1, 2019 date for starting contributions looms in the not-too-distant future, while benefits under the paid leave programs will begin in January 2021. What do employers need to know about this development?

Employers Receive Guidance From New Agency

In its first action, the DFML delivered two sets of frequently asked questions, one set for employers and another for employees. On the employer side, the DFML reiterated the key statutory provisions:

The agency also said that more substantive regulations will be published for comment in advance of March 31, 2019; that’s the deadline for the agency to issue formal regulations under the state’s administrative procedures act.

Department Also Provides Guidance To Workers

In the guidance directed at employees, the DFML highlighted the eligibility requirements and what employees should expect as the paid leave law comes online. Employers should also take notice of eligibility requirements to ensure compliance with the nascent entitlement program, as outlined below:

Conclusion

Employers should continue to watch this space as we await draft regulations in the lead up to the July 1, 2019 contribution date. Now is the time to start revising handbooks to be compliant with the new law and to draft required notices to new and existing employees. 

If you have any questions about this new law, please contact any attorney in the Boston office of Fisher Phillips at 617.722.0044.


This Legal Alert provides an overview of specific new state guidance. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular fact situation.

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