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MA Paid Leave Updates: Assigning a Contact and Communicating PFML Program to Employees

The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) recently sent an email out to employers requesting that they supply contact information for the leave administrator.

This contact will be the person that DFML will communicate with when an employee files for a leave. The email went out to anyone that is on the DFLLM mailing list. The MassTaxConnect master email address for each employer contained the code needed to set up this information. Here is a link to the DFML site to input the contact information you wish to use for your organization.

If your organization is using a public plan, you must provide DFML with this information. If your organization has an exemption and will be implementing a private plan, this information is not required.  You may still wish to provide DFML with a contact in case an employee inadvertently files a leave claim through the public plan instead of going through your private plan. This would provide the state with a contact in case they need to reach out.

You may recall that employers were required to provide employees with information regarding MA PFML prior to October 1, 2019. The notification requirements included both a direct communication to employees as well as placing an advisory poster in your workplace(s). Employers are also required to provide the employee notice to any new hires within 30 days of hire.

Many employers have asked if they must re-communicate the program on an annual basis. Although this is not required in the regulations, it will be important to send out a new communication any time that there will be changes to the benefits, claim process, or the costs to employees. If you were approved for an exemption, and will be implementing a private plan on January 1, 2021, it is important that you communicate this information to your employees. They will need to be aware of how claims should be submitted and how much they can expect to see deducted from their paychecks.

OneDigital has created a model communication that employers can use to communicate these changes to their employees. The model includes the required information and is customizable to support your claims process and costs for employees.

We have also included sample language to explain how your disability benefits may coordinate with the MA PFML benefits. This same model notice can be provided to new hires. This communication may also be used by employers accessing the public plan option.

In addition, your payroll provider will need updated information regarding the amounts for payroll deductions that will begin on January 1, 2021. OneDigital has built a calculation tool that can be used to determine these amounts and can be provided to your payroll provider. Keep in mind, the IRS has yet to provide guidance regarding taxation of payroll deductions and/or benefits. Absent of this guidance it is advised that deduction be made on a post-tax basis.

The model communication and employee cost calculation tool are both available through your OneDigital representative. We look forward to supporting you with these materials and answering your questions regarding MA Paid Family & Medical Leave.