Important Updates to Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave
Massachusetts employers that are subject to the Commonwealth’s Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program are reminded that important changes relating to the program’s contribution rates and paid benefits are going into effect on January 1, 2023. Moreover, employers must notify all current employees of these upcoming changes by Friday, December 2, 2022.
Mandated Notice to Employees
Employee notice may be made in hard copy or electronic form and must include an opportunity for employees to acknowledge or decline receipt. For new employees, notice must be provided within 30 days of hire. Employers must also display a poster describing MA PFML benefits in a conspicuous location within the workplace. Sample notices and posters can be found here.
Updates to Contributions and Benefits
As of January 1, 2023, the amount of an employee’s maximum weekly benefit under PFML will increase from $1,084.31 to $1,129.82.
Meanwhile, employer contribution rates will decrease in 2023 as follows:
- For employers with 25 or more “covered individuals” (as defined in the statute), the employer contribution rate will be reduced from 0.68% to 0.63% of eligible employee wages (comprised of 0.52% for medical leave and 0.11% for family leave).
- For employers with fewer than 25 covered individuals, the employer contribution rate will be reduced from 0.344% to 0.318% (comprised of 0.208% for medical leave and 0.11% for family leave).
It is important to highlight that there will be no changes to current withholding amounts. Employers are still authorized to withhold up to 100% of family leave contributions from covered individuals; and with respect to medical leave contributions, up to 100% by employers with less than 25 covered individuals, and up to 40% by employers with more than 25 covered individuals. Employers should take steps now to ensure their payroll systems reflect the new contribution rates as of January 1, 2023.
MA PFML – What’s Next
On December 7, 2022, the MA Department of Family and Medical Leave will hold a public hearing to review proposed amendments to the PFML regulations, which include clarity on the employer’s obligation to maintain health insurance benefits for employees while out on PFML.
If you have questions regarding this update or PFML compliance obligations in general, please contact a member of the Outside GC employment team.
Lorna Hebert (New England team) is an employment, labor, higher education, and litigation attorney with nearly 30 years of experience handling a broad range of complex employment and labor matters. Lorna advises clients on a wide range of employment matters, including workplace investigations, dispute resolution, hiring, performance management, discipline, terminations, reorganizations, accommodations, employee benefits, wage and hour issues, discrimination claims, policies and procedures, and training.
Christy Kotowski joined Outside GC’s California team as Senior Counsel in 2019. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Christy handles a broad range of complex workplace issues at the federal, state and local levels. Previously, she worked as in-house employment counsel for several large companies, and started her legal career in the Silicon Valley office of Morrison & Foerster, one of California’s oldest and largest law firms.
Patricia Lantzy (Washington D.C. team) is a labor and employment attorney with almost 30 years of experience. Trish works with a wide range of clients, from individual executives and small businesses to the Fortune 500, on employment-related issues across the employee lifecycle, including recruiting, hiring, workplace harmony and leave issues, performance and discipline/discharge, corporate reorganizations and reductions in force.
Margaret Scheele (Washington D.C. team) is an employment law attorney with almost 30 years of experience. Margaret has represented a range of clients in a variety of industries, including aviation, food service, telecommunications, health care, and government contracting. Her practice includes the full range of advice and counseling work that arises within the employment context, including most recently COVID-related matters.
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