New Deadlines for Paid Family & Medical Leave Program

With the start of the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program delayed three months, a number of the program’s compliance deadlines have been extended and the initial contribution rate has been increased to account for the loss of three months’ worth of contributions.  Employers should be aware of the following changes.

Notification Deadline: September 30, 2019

Employee notification and workplace poster requirements have been extended to September 30, 2019.  Employers are required to display a program poster in the workplace, provide individual written notice to all workers, and retain written acknowledgement of receipt from each worker, or in the alternative written rejection of such notification. 

Employers that had provided such notice prior to the July 14th delay, must update their workplace poster and provide employees a “Rate Update” sheet which details the new starting date and increased contribution rate.  Employers are required to keep a record that such updates have been distributed, however, written acknowledgment of receipt by workers is not required.  The DFML has published model notifications, workplace posters, and “Rate Update” sheets on its website.

Contribution Rate and Quarterly Collection: October 1, 2019 

Starting October 1st employers must begin collecting required program contributions.  The initial contribution rate set by DFML has been increased from .63% to .75% of all wages, with taxable wages per employee currently capped at $134,900.  Contributions collected from October 1st through December 31st will then have to be remitted through the Department of Revenue’s MassTaxCollect platform along with supporting employment and wage detail reports starting January 2020.  Exact deadlines for the January filing have yet to be established.     

Leave Benefits: January 1, 2021 and July 1, 2021

The delay will have no impact on the start date for taking leave benefits.  Family Leave to bond with a new child and for managing family affairs of an active duty member of the military, as well as Medical Leave for a serious personal health condition begin January 1, 2021.  Family Leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition begins July 1, 2021.

All members are strongly advised to visit the Department of Family and Medical Leave website to familiarize yourself with your rights and obligations under this complex law.