Overview: Massachusetts has released a new guide for employers on
the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act. It has also issued a mandatory workplace
poster, and template
notices employers may use to fulfill the notice requirement to employees and 1099-MISC
Effective Date: The poster should be displayed
immediately. Employers must provide a
notice to their current workforce by May 31, 2019.
Department of Family and Medical Leave has released a new guide for
employers on the
Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA).
The Department also
issued the mandatory PFMLA mandatory workplace poster, and template notices employers may use to
fulfill the notice requirement to employees and 1099-MISC independent contractors.
Deductions, Contributions, Reporting
Beginning July 1,
2019, employers must make deductions from wages (or from payments for services
paid to covered individuals) to fund the Trust Fund that will pay out benefits
beginning in 2021. The guide instructs employers to report their workforce information
and submit contributions through the Department of Revenue’s MassTaxConnect
system beginning in October 2019. Employers not registered with the
MassTaxConnect system can do so at https://www.mass.gov/how-to/register-your-business-with-masstaxconnect.
The guide also
contains information on employers’ reporting obligations under the PFMLA. The
Department expects to release more information before July 1, 2019, with the
specifics of the report. Employers should plan to include at least the names,
social security numbers, and wages of all of their Massachusetts workforce.
Employers also will have to provide their federal employer identification
number. Employers will be required to provide this information for W2 and
1099-MISC contractors, regardless of whether the worker qualifies for
individual coverage under the PFMLA.
Private Plan Exemption Process
The guide clarifies
that beginning April 29, 2019, employers may apply for an exemption from the
PFMLA if they have a “private plan” by going through the employer’s
MassTaxConnect account. Employers can choose to apply for a private plan
exemption from either the medical leave or the family leave contributions, or
both. The private plan offered must provide benefits greater than or equal to
those provided by the PFMLA to be granted an exemption. If the plan is
approved, the employer must upload a copy of the plan. If the plan is denied,
the employer may seek review. Employees continue to be entitled to the job
protection, anti-discrimination, and anti-retaliation provisions under the
PFMLA, even if a private plan exemption is granted. To qualify for an
exemption, the private plan must meet the Department’s minimum requirements.
The PFMLA requires
employers to notify employees of the law and its requirements. The Department’s
mandatory workplace poster for employers provides information on the weekly benefits
available, defines covered individuals and their rights to job protection, and
describes the anti-retaliation and anti-discrimination provisions of the law
and the option for private plans. Employers must display the poster in a
conspicuous place at each of their Massachusetts premises. This poster should
be displayed immediately.
The Department has also released template notices employers may use to
fulfill the notice requirement to employees and 1099-MISC independent
contractors. Employers must provide a
notice to their current workforce by May
The notice must cover
the benefits, contribution rates, and other protections available under the
PFMLA. The notice also includes an acknowledgment, which must be signed by
employees and contract workers and retained by the employer.
The DFML’s notice
templates contain fields that the employer must complete. These fields include
the employer’s name and address, the contribution rates and intended
deductions, and whether the employer will utilize the private plan exemption.
currently offer or are planning to offer a private benefit that meets the
minimum standards of the PFMLA may apply for an exemption from the PFMLA
beginning April 29, 2019.
Employers choosing to
create their own notices, rather than use the templates provided by the state,
must ensure the notices include the following sections:
- An explanation of the
availability of family and medical leave benefits
- The employee’s contribution
amount and obligations
- The employer’s contribution
amount and obligations
- The employer’s name and address
and the identification number assigned by the DFML
- Instructions on how to file for
a claim for family and medical benefits
- The address, email address, and
telephone number of the DFML
The notice provided to
1099-MISC contractors differs slightly from the one provided to employees, such
as requiring an explanation of how the worker can obtain coverage as a
self-employed individual and the contribution obligations they would assume if
they choose to obtain such coverage.
Employers may provide
the notice to employees and contractors electronically and receive the
acknowledgments of receipt electronically as well. Employees’ acknowledgments
of receipt should be placed in the employees’ files. If an employee fails to
return the acknowledgment, the employer still fulfills its notice obligation if
it can establish it provided the notice and an opportunity to acknowledge or
decline to acknowledge receipt of the notice to each member of its current
Employers must provide notice to new employees
within 30 days of employment and to contractors when entering into a contract
The Department also offers employers two
interactive tools for analyzing coverage questions and contribution amounts.
The first allows employers to
determine if they are responsible for paying the employer share of PFMLA
contributions by comparing the number of 1099-MISC contract workers to the
number of W2 employees. The second is a calculator that
provides employers with a breakdown of required contributions based on the size
of their workforce and payroll.
Action Required: Employers should
immediately post the required poster, and provide notice to their current workforce
by May 31, 2019.
also ensure that they are prepared to meet all reporting, contribution and deduction
requirements for the July 1, 2019 effective date.
always, please contact your dedicated service professional with any
in partnership with Jackson Lewis P.C.
This content provides practical
information concerning the subject matter covered and is provided with the
understanding that ADP is not rendering legal advice.