Casner & Edwards

Client Alert: Deadlines Extended for Compliance with Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave



By: Renee Inomata

At the end of last week, Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation extending the deadlines for businesses to comply with the MA Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML). Although the final regulations are still expected on July 1, 2019, the following deadlines have been extended:

 
  • Provide notice about the PFML to all employees and covered independent contractors: September 30, 2019 (from June 30, 2019);
  • Begin to collect contributions from employees and covered independent contractors: October 1, 2019 (from July 1, 2019);
  • Apply for an exemption from contributions to the PFML: December 20, 2019 (from September 20, 2019).
Additionally, the total contribution percentage for both family and medical leave benefits has been increased from 0.63% to 0.75% (split 0.62% for medical and 0.13% for family) for 2019.

As we have previously reported in PFML Client Alerts Part I and Part II, businesses with employees living and working in MA and with self-employed individuals living in MA have significant obligations under the PFML. Without final regulations, lack of private plan products, and many open questions still remaining, businesses were challenged with trying to meet the July 1, 2019 deadline.

In an unlikely collaboration, Raise Up Massachusetts, the worker organization which pushed for paid leave, and employer organizations, such as the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, worked tirelessly to convince lawmakers to ensure sufficient time for businesses to comply with the numerous PFML requirements, and to ensure a successful roll-out.

With some businesses seemingly still unaware that the PFML affects them, many more struggling to best comply with the requirements, and insurance companies preparing to meet the demand of products to help businesses provide benefits to workers, this extension will likely be warmly received by all.

All businesses should take this additional time to become familiar with the PFML requirements, calculate business and employee contributions, prepare and distribute required notices and hang posters, and develop policies and procedures for administering PFML in conjunction with other leave laws and benefit programs.

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