What you need to know about the new Massachusetts Paid Family & Medical Leave law

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What is it?

In 2018, Massachusetts signed into law a statute that provides paid family and medical leave (PFML) benefits to all Massachusetts workers. This new law establishes a system for paid family leave of up to 12 weeks to care for a family member, and up to 20 weeks for your own illness.

When does it go into effect?

The tax that will pay for paid leave will go into effect in 2019. As of the time this blog was posted, the tax (which was originally stated to begin July 1, 2019) will begin on October 1, 2019. We will keep our clients and followers updated as any additional details or changes emerge.

What kinds of employers are affected?

All Massachusetts employers that employ one or more Massachusetts workers, including contractors and “gig economy” employers.

Who is eligible for benefits?

  • All Massachusetts W-2 employees (full-time, part-time, seasonal, union-represented or not, any age)
  • All Massachusetts 1099-MISC contractors. An MA 1099-MISC contractor is an individual who resides and performs services in Massachusetts for whom you are required to report payment for services on IRS Form 1099-MISC (Reminder: a contractor is considered a 1099-MISC contractor if you paid them at least $600 in the tax year)
  • A former employees who met the financial eligibility requirements and all employment in MA at the time of separation, and has not been separated for more than 26 weeks

Who pays for these benefits?

If your workforce included an average of 25 or more covered individuals last year, you are required to pay:

  • 60% of the medical leave contribution (0.52% of a covered individual’s gross pay)
  • 0% of the family leave contribution (0.11% of a covered individual’s gross pay)

You can deduct the rest of the remitted contribution from your covered individual’s wages.

If your workforce included an average of fewer than 25 covered employees last year, you are not required to pay the 60% of the medical leave contribution and can deduct all of the rest from the covered individual’s wages.

What can PFML benefits be used for?

  • Family leave (12 weeks with exception):
    • Bond with child during first 12 months after birth or after placement for adoption or foster care
    • Qualifying exigency arising out of active duty or notification of impending call or order to active duty of a family member
    • To care for a family member who is a covered service member (26 weeks)
    • To care for a family member with a serious health condition
  • Medical leave
    • Serious health condition of:
      • Covered employee
      • Spouse
      • Domestic Partner
      • Child
      • Parent, Parent of Spouse, Parent of Domestic Partner
      • Person who stood in loco parentis to the employees when he/she was a child
      • Grandchild
      • Grandparent
      • Sibling

Compliance with this law is considered the employer’s responsibility. Make sure you’re up-to-date on this law and have taken the necessary steps to prepare for it to go into effect.

We are providing an implementation service to clients to set them up to comply with this law.

To schedule a meeting with us and ensure you are prepared, email us at info@stratligninc.com.

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