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e-Alert – Massachusetts Publishes Additional Details on Delayed Paid Family and Medical Leave Law

By June 19, 2019No Comments

Massachusetts Publishes Additional Details on Delayed Paid Family and Medical Leave Law


On June 14, 2019, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, along with State House and Senate leadership, announced a three-month delay to the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program.

The state’s paid leave program provides temporary income replacement to eligible workers who are welcoming a new child, are struck by a serious illness or injury, need to care for a seriously ill relative, and for certain military considerations.

The Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) has issued a press release clarifying the delay, which, according to the DFML, allows employers more time to prepare their organizations and workforces for the program. We have outlined the key points from that press release.

Key Points

  1. As a result of this delay, the first tax payment from employers will be due by January 31, 2020, for covered wages paid from October 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019.
  2. While the collection of contributions is being delayed by three months, the date on which employees can start accessing benefits, January 1, 2021, has not changed.
  3. To compensate for the delay, the payroll tax rate will increase to 0.75% (from the current 0.63%) when the payroll tax takes effect on October 1, 2019.
  4. Employers now have until January 31, 2020, to remit contributions for the October 1 – December 31, 2019 quarter through MassTaxConnect.
  5. The current June 30, 2019, deadline for employers to display the workplace poster and send notifications to their workforce has been extended to September 30, 2019; you can access the updated workplace poster here; updated notices have not yet been published.
  6. If you provided written notices to your workforce prior to the , you will need to provide them with an addendum sheet explaining the updated program dates and contribution rates. This addendum will be provided by DFML during the week of June 17.
  7. Employers now have until December 20, 2019, to apply for an exemption from PFML contributions.
  8. The final PFML regulations are still scheduled for publication on July 1, 2019.

Employer Next Steps

  • If you have already distributed the required notice to your workforce, we will continue to monitor the DFML website and notify our clients as soon as the updated notices are published;
  • Display the updated workplace poster, which you can download here;
  • Work with your current payroll provider to set up the tax calculations through payroll. If you are a Full-Service or Managed Payroll client of HR Knowledge, we will handle this for you;
  • Register for our complimentary webinar on this topic on July 17;
  • If you are not a client but are interested in learning more about our services, please email us.

The People Simplifying HR

For almost twenty years, HR Knowledge has made it our mission to demystify the complex and daunting process of HR management. We do more than just provide the level of service and technology you’d expect from an industry leader. We combine an unparalleled passion for service with our decades of HR, payroll, and benefits experience to provide our clients with personalized and actionable advice that is second—to—none. From managed payroll to employee benefits to HR support, we can help your organization thrive, grow, and reduce operating costs—no matter what industry you serve. Whether you’re interested in our Full-Service solution or just need your employee handbook written, HR Knowledge can help you minimize risk while staying on top of compliance regulations. The bottom line? We’re not just another cloud-based technology company that also does HR, #WeAreHR.

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.