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e-Alert: Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave is Here

By January 12, 2021March 19th, 2021No Comments


As a reminder, the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law requires all private Massachusetts employers to provide covered individuals with paid family and medical leave, funded through a payroll tax that began in October 2019. Employees are eligible for MA PFML if they meet the financial eligibility requirements. This law provides paid, job-protected leave, with no employee hours or service requirement.


Benefits Now Available Under MA PFML:

  • Parents or guardians of children born, adopted, or fostered in 2020 can apply for benefits to take effect in 2021.
  • Starting January 1, 2021, employees can apply for most MA PFML benefits that include:
    • Up to a maximum of 12 weeks of paid family leave in a benefit year: (1) for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child; or (2) due to a qualifying exigency arising because a family member is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call to active duty in the United States armed forces.
    • Up to a maximum of 20 weeks of paid medical leave in a benefit year for their own serious health condition that prevents them from working.
    • Up to a maximum of 26 weeks of paid family leave in a benefit year to care for a family member who is a covered service member undergoing medical treatment or otherwise addressing consequences of a serious health condition related to the family member’s military service.
  • Up to a maximum of 12 weeks paid family leave benefits to care for a family member with a serious health condition; this provision will become available on July 1, 2021.

The Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) has issued fact sheets for commonly asked questions, which include:

Employers Next Steps

  • Employers play a key role in ensuring that their employees are informed about their rights and responsibilities. If you haven’t done so already, create your employer account with DFML here and review the Employer Role in the Paid Family and Medical Leave Review Process.
  • Prepare for employee questions by reviewing HRK’S MA PFML Fact Sheet and MA PFML FAQs as well the Department’s Guide to MA PFML.
  • Over the coming days, you may begin receiving requests to review employee applications from the DFML. Remember, you have 10 business days to respond to DFML for all employee applications.
  • If you are a client with HR Knowledge and have questions about this e-Alert, please email us.

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This content is provided with the understanding that HR Knowledge is not rendering legal advice. While every effort is made to provide current information, the law changes regularly and laws may vary depending on the state or municipality. The material is made available for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice or your professional judgment. You should review applicable laws in your jurisdiction and consult experienced counsel for legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this content, please contact HR Knowledge at 508.339.1300 or email us.