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Massachusetts Parental Leave Act for Men & Women

The new Massachusetts Parental Leave Act (PLA) overwrites the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (MLA) by expanding coverage beyond just female employees.

Signed into law in January 2015, the new Massachusetts Parental Leave Act:

  • Allows male employees to take eight weeks of job-protected leave for the birth or adoption of a child.
  • Any employee – regardless of gender – may take leave if a child is placed by court order with the employee.
  • Allows parental leave to be with or without pay at the discretion of the employer.

The Massachusetts Parental Leave Act took effect April 7, 2015.

Who is Eligible for Massachusetts Parental Leave?

The Massachusetts Parental Leave Act and the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act cover workers who have completed the initial probationary period set by a company’s terms of employment or if the worker has been employed by the same employer for at least three consecutive months as a full-time employee.

Which Massachusetts Businesses Need to Provide Parental Leave?

The new Massachusetts Parental Leave Act applies to businesses with six or more employees in Massachusetts or if at least one employee is classified as a “domestic worker” under the Massachusetts Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.

What if Both Parents Seeking Massachusetts Parental Leave Work for the Same Employer?

Two employees seeking protected leave for the birth or adoption of a child are allowed only eight weeks in total for the same child. In other words, two employees taking leave for the birth of one child cannot claim eight weeks each for one child, but rather eight weeks total for both employees.

Employee Responsibilities Under the Massachusetts Parental Leave Act

An employee needs to provide at least two weeks’ notice to the employer of the anticipated date of departure and also provide an anticipated date of return.

Employee Protections Under the Massachusetts Parental Leave Act

An employee using parental leave is able to return to his/her previous position or one that is comparable with the same status, pay, length of service credit, and seniority as of the date of leave.

Employees on parental leave for the adoption of children are entitled to the same benefits offered to employees on parental leave for childbirth.

If an employer agrees to provide parental leave longer than eight weeks, the employee is eligible for the same protections as provided within the initial eight weeks of protected coverage unless the employer clearly informs the employee prior to the extension of parental leave about denial of reinstatement or loss of other rights and benefits.

Massachusetts Parental Leave Act Posting Requirements

Beginning April 7, 2015, Massachusetts requires employers to display a notice describing this section and the employer’s policies related to this section. The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) Parental Leave Fact Sheet can be incorporated by employers in a notice to their employees as it sets out the major new requirements of An Act Relative to Parental Leave, however employers’ notices must include their own policies regarding parental leave – company policies presumably in line with the Massachusetts Parental Leave Act.

NOTE: The GovDocs Research Department confirmed that this new notice does not replace the Maternity Leave Act Fact Sheet. Employers must display both as the Parental Leave Act is merely an expansion of the Maternity Leave Act.

GovDocs provides postings required for Massachusetts employers in our GovDocs Massachusetts Poster Compliance Package, which includes:

  • Parental Leave Act Fact Sheet
  • Maternity Leave Act Fact Sheet
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Minimum Fair Wage Law
  • Fair Employment Law
  • Child Labor Law
  • Sexual Harassment
  • No Smoking Poster

GovDocs blog subscribers can save 20% on Massachusetts workplace postings by using coupon code BLOG20.

 

Delaware Protects Pregnant and Transgender Workers

The Delaware Department of Labor revised the Delaware Labor Law Poster required for all employers to reflect the inclusions of pregnant and transgender employees as workers who are protected from employment discrimination.

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What Changed on the Delaware Labor Law Poster?

The revised posting includes Gender Identity as a class protected from discrimination in hiring and employment, and it adds a section informing employers that pregnant workers must receive reasonable accommodation in the workplace.

Delaware Gender Identity

Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed into law the Gender Identity Nondiscrimination Act (SB 97) in 2013. The Act added gender identity to Delaware’s existing law (Title 19) prohibiting discrimination in the workplace and in housing. The original legislation in 1999 had been rewritten without gender identity included. Employers may not treat transgender workers any differently than other workers in hiring, firing, promotion, or pay.

According to the Delaware statute, Gender identity means “a gender-related identity, appearance, expression or behavior of a person, regardless of the person’s assigned sex at birth.”

Employers may still require all workers “…to adhere to reasonable workplace appearance, grooming and dress standards not precluded by other provisions of state or federal law, except that an employer shall allow an employee to appear, groom and dress consistent with the employee’s gender identity.” [§ 711 (m)]

Delaware Pregnancy Discrimination

Pregnant workers or those who have given birth or suffer from pregnancy-related medical conditions are protected from workplace discrimination under the Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act (DDEA). The Act covers employers with 4 or more employees, including state and local governments. Women who are pregnant or affected by related conditions must be treated in the same manner as other applicants or employees with similar abilities or limitations.

If a pregnant worker is unable to perform her typical job duties because of pregnancy or pregnancy-related medical condition, then the employer must provide reasonable accommodation [see § 710 (17)], such as light-duty assignments, or allow the worker to take disability leave or time off without pay.

After giving birth, the worker must be allowed to return to her former job with no adverse effects to pay or promotion.

In addition to displaying the Delaware Labor Law Poster, Delaware employers must notify [§ 716 (b)(1)]:

  • New employees in writing about Delaware’s pregnant worker protections.
  • All other employees verbally or in writing by January 7, 2015.
  • Pregnant workers verbally or in writing within 10 days after they alert the employer about pregnancy.

Delaware Labor Law Poster

The Delaware Labor Law Poster is available as part of the Delaware Poster Compliance Package from GovDocs. Order now and save 20% with coupon code BLOG20.

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