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MA Paid Family & Medical Leave Delay Updates

On June 12, 2019, we released an announcement regarding a delay in the initial compliance requirements relative to the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (MPFML) regulations. New information has since become available. Below are the details regarding the delay, which were made available by the Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) in an advisory notice released on June 14, 2019.

Compliance Deadline for Distribution of Employee/Covered Individual Acknowledgement Notices

The deadline for providing notices that inform employees/covered individuals of their rights and obligations under the law has been pushed from June 30, 2019, to September 30, 2019. Revised model notices can be found on the Department’s website. Employers are required to collect acknowledgements from employees/covered individuals, or declination of acknowledgements, and retain them on file (acknowledgements are not remitted to DFML).

Initial Funding Date Delay

Employers are required to begin payroll deductions relative to the contributions for MPFML as of October 1, 2019. Contributions must be remitted for the first funding period (Oct. 1, 2019 – Dec. 31, 2019) no later than January 31, 2020.

Funding Levels Adjusted Due to Delay

It is important to note that the delay does not affect the total amount of contributions that the Department is required to collect by January 1, 2021. This means that the combined contribution amount will increase from 0.63% to 0.75% of wages over the 15-month initial funding period. The allocation for the medical leave portion will now be 0.62% and the allocation for the family leave portion is 0.13%.

  • Employers may deduct up to 40% of the medical leave contribution from employee/covered individual's wages.
    • Employers with 25 or more employees/covered individuals in Massachusetts must pay at least 60% of the medical leave contribution in addition to the employee portion.
    • Employers with fewer than 25 employees/covered individuals in Massachusetts are not required to pay any portion of the contribution for medical leave and the employee share remains capped at 40% of the total contribution (remaining 60% is not funded).
  • Employers, regardless of number of employees/covered individuals, may deduct up to 100% of the contribution for the family leave portion from employee wages.

Additional details regarding the funding requirements have been updated on the DFML website.

Plan Exemption Deadline Also Extended

Employers that wish to “opt out” of the state program, in favor of a private plan, must apply for an exemption no later than December 20, 2019. Employers are able to apply for an exemption for the medical leave plan, family leave plan or both. This process is performed through the MassTaxConnect portal.

The news and changes around the PFML regulations are coming to light at a rapid pace. Stay tuned for updates regarding the regulations and compliance burdens by visiting the Compliance Confidence Blog.

To learn more on the MA Paid Family & Medical Leave law, or other FMLA laws that might affect your business, contact your local OneDigital Strategist. Our HR, Benefits and Compliance teams are consistently looking around the corner on your behalf to offer insights and learnings to keep up with this rapidly changing healthcare environment.