While paid family and medical leave in Massachusetts applies to all employers, eligible employees include:
W-2 workers who work in Massachusetts; full-time, part-time, or seasonal
1099-MISC workers who work in Massachusetts but do not qualify as independent contractors and who make up more than 50 percent of their employer’s workforce
Also, there is a waiting period for employees to use PFML in Massachusetts. The first seven calendar days of leave is unpaid, though employees may use accrued sick or vacation pay during those days.
The leave is job-protected from the first day of the seven-day waiting period. The measure is funded through a tax on employees and employers with 25 or more workers.
As is often the case with PFML laws, calculating benefits is complicated in Massachusetts.
The maximum weekly benefit shall not be more than $850 per week, adjusted annually by Oct. 1 to 64 percent of the state average weekly wage to take effect Jan. 1 following the adjustment. The weekly benefit amount shall be calculated as follows:
The portion of the covered individual’s average weekly wage that is equal to or less than 50 percent of the state average weekly wage shall be replaced at a rate of 80 percent
The portion of the covered individual’s average weekly wage that is more than 50 percent of the state average weekly wage shall be replaced at a rate of 50 percent
Eligible reasons for use for PFLM in Massachusetts include:
Bonding with new child – birth, adoption or foster
Care for family member with a serious health condition
Care for the employee’s own disability (including pregnancy)
Qualifying exigency due to family member on active duty (impending call or order to active duty)
Care for family member who is a covered service member
Eligible Family Members
Should an employee use PFML to care for a family member, Massachusetts defines that as:
Child (no age limit)
Paid Leave Laws Nationwide
Massachusetts is one of an increasing number of jurisdictions with a paid leave law on the books.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put an additional emphasis on the need for paid leave, and many places with existing paid leave laws have made updates in response to the coronavirus. As people across the country deal with its impacts, attention from lawmakers regarding the need for paid leave legislation could continue to rise.
Each of these laws have their own nuances and intricacies, further complicating processes for companies with employees spread across the U.S.
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