In the early evening on June 11, 2019, Massachusetts Governor Baker, together with House and Senate leaders, jointly announced an agreement to delay the start of the required payroll deductions under the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program, from July 1, 2019 to October 1, 2019. The delay, which both businesses and labor advocates had been pushing for, was deemed necessary for a successful implementation of the law.
The Massachusetts legislature is expected to adopt certain amendments clarifying certain aspects of the law. Although the amendments have not yet been passed, we anticipate that in addition to delaying the start of the required payroll deductions, the state will also delay the poster and notice requirements, both of which are currently due by June 30, 2019. A delay of the poster and notice requirements seem particularly advisable, as the contribution rate is expected to be increased from 0.63% to 0.75% to reflect the delayed implementation of the program. If the rate increases, the state will be required to issue new poster and notice templates (we do not know how this increase will affect the current breakdown between the family and medical leave contributions).
Employers who have not yet issued the required notices to their covered workers may wish to hold off for the time being, until more information is available from the state.
Employers who have already issued the required notices may also wish to hold off on issuing new notices until the increase in the contribution rate and related breakdown is confirmed. However, those employers should notify their workers about the delayed start in the program before July 1, 2019, given that those workers currently expect that payroll deductions will begin next month.
We will provide more information as it becomes available. In the meantime, please contact any attorney in the employment group at Casner & Edwards with any questions about the PFML.