The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) has issued emergency regulations for the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program. The emergency regulations add personal care attendants and family care providers to the program’s definition of “covered individual.”
The updated regulations, which were finalized on December 21, 2020, extend PFML coverage to personal care attendants and family care providers and clarify that family leave is allowed for child bonding for 2020 births and adoptions. The regulations also clarify that births, adoptions, and foster care placements that occurred during 2020 are qualifying events for family leave in 2021, as long as the leave:
- Is completed within calendar year 2021; and
- Is taken during the first 12 months after the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement with the covered individual.
The emergency regulations allow acute care hospitals to grant employees an extension beyond the 12-month period for this bonding leave, as long as the leave does not extend beyond December 31, 2021. The extension is intended to help acute care hospitals maximize staffing capacity during the COVID-19 crisis. Other employers seeking a similar extension may submit a request to the DFML director.
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