Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave Update

By Kris Janisch
Published Nov. 13, 2023

Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave Update

Employers with locations in Massachusetts should ensure they are up to date with the new changes effective Nov. 1, 2023, as well as the updates for Jan. 1, 2024.

There was a recent update to the Massachusetts paid family medical leave update went into effect Nov. 1, 2023.

The state’s paid family and medical leave law began taking contributions from employees in 2019, with benefits becoming available in 2021. The latest changes are related to wage replacement benefits, which went into effect Nov. 1, 2023.

Additionally, the contribution rates will update at the outset of 2024.

Massachusetts paid family medical leave allows for:

  • Family leave – 12 weeks
  • Medical leave – 20 weeks
  • Qualifying exigency relating to active duty family member – 26 weeks

As a reminder, there are no local paid leave laws in Massachusetts, which has both paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave.

Paid Leave Management. Simplified.

Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave Update

With the amended Massachusetts paid family medical leave program, starting Nov. 1, 2023, eligible employees are able to top off their paid family medical leave (PFML) wage replacement benefits from the state with their available accrued paid leave from their employer so that they receive up to 100 percent of wage replacement during a PFML qualified leave.

Prior to this, employees were only allowed to use accrued paid leave benefits during the seven-day waiting period. Employers will not have discretion in approving or denying an employee’s choice to top off their benefits.

In addition, the contribution rate will be increased to 0.88 percent of an employee’s wages of an employer with 25 or more employees, and 0.46 percent of wages for any employees of an employer with 24 or fewer employees, both effective Jan. 1, 2024.

Related: Paid Sick Leave Laws by State

Other Aspects of Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave

As a refresher, below are some other aspects of Massachusetts paid family medical leave.

Covered Employee Summary

Any employee employed by an employer, including family childcare provider or personal care attendant may be eligible for paid family medical leave. To be a covered individual, employee must have earned at least 30 times the weekly benefit rate in the last four completed calendar quarters immediately preceding employee’s benefit year.

Covered Family Member

Covered family members include:

  • Spouse
  • Domestic partner
  • Child, including biological, adopted, foster, step, legal ward or child whom the covered individual stands in loco parentis
  • Parent, including in-law and person who stood in loco parentis to the covered individual as a child
  • Grandchild
  • Grandparent
  • Sibling

Eligible Reasons for Leave

Eligible reasons for leave include:

  • Bonding with covered individual’s child within 12 months of birth or placement;
  • Time off for employee to care for self due to employee’s own serious health condition;
  • To care for family member with serious health condition
  • Qualifying exigency leave due to family member on active duty or being called to active duty in armed forces
  • To care for family member who is a covered service member

Paid Leave Compliance Resources

Managing Paid Leave Laws

Employers that operate in jurisdictions across the country always have to contend with new and updated laws, which have been especially prevalent with paid leave this year.

There was the Colorado paid sick leave update and another paid sick leave update in Connecticut, as well as potential additional guidance from labor departments on other laws.

Recent news on the paid leave front includes:

The challenges of managing paid leave for large employers have never been more complex.

Webinar Recording: What’s New – Paid Leave in 2023


Employers with locations in Massachusetts should ensure they are up to date with the new changes effective Nov. 1, 2023, as well as the updates for Jan. 1, 2024.

This Employment Law News blog is intended for market awareness only, it is not to be used for legal advice or counsel.

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