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Massachusetts Governor Announces Cybersecurity Program

State and local governments have increasingly become targets of cybersecurity attacks. This year cybersecurity attacks on Baltimore and Lincoln County, North Carolina reportedly will cost those government entities $18.2 million and as much as $400,000, respectively to recover from the attacks. Last year, Atlanta spent more than $7 million to recover from a ransomware attack. A report by cybersecurity firm Coveware shows that governments paid almost 10 times as much money on average in ransom as their private-sector counterparts over the second quarter of 2019.

Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Update: Private Plan Exemptions and Reminders on Notice Compliance

The Department of Paid Family and Medical Leave (DFML) continues to issue updates concerning compliance with the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law (PFML). The DFML’s most recent updates address private plan exemptions and how the DFML has reevaluated and revised its internal review process to more efficiently evaluate these applications. In addition to understanding the impact of these private plan updates, employers should also be aware that failure to comply with notice requirements under the law may result in fines.

Withholdings to Fund Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Set to Begin October 1

After an initial delay, payroll and wage withholdings to fund the Massachusetts paid family and medical leave program are set to begin on October 1. The Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA) established a fund that will allow employees in the Commonwealth to begin taking paid leave in 2021 for their own serious health condition or to care for a family member with a serious health condition. Employers will contribute to the state created fund through a contribution of .75% of employee wages up to the social security cap, currently set at $132,900 per individual for 2019.

Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave: Update on 1099-MISC Workers and State-Provided Training

The deadlines for notice to employees and contribution withholdings required by the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFML) are fast approaching, and employers are encouraged to make sure that they are prepared. Ahead of these important deadlines, the Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) continues to announce updated guidance on the program. Most recently, the DFML issued new guidance regarding 1099-MISC workers and access to PFML training for different organizations.

Massachusetts Update: Paid Family and Medical Leave Contributions

Following the recently announced three-month delay to notice and contribution requirements, and the announcement of updated template notices and final regulations, the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) continues to issue updated guidance on the practical implementation of the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law.

Taking Vacation While on Medical Leave: Massachusetts Court Rules on Liquidated Damages Under the FMLA

On June 5, 2019, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) issued a decision emphasizing that an employer’s well-designed and thorough internal investigations made prior to a termination decision can provide a strong defense to claims, but less carefully conducted investigations do not.

Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave: Final Regulations, Updated Notices, and Educational Sessions

On June 18, 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) issued final regulations regarding the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law (PFML). This follows months of revisions, public hearings, and comments. The DFML has published an unofficial version of the regulations on its website and has stated that the official version will be available on or before Monday, July 1, 2019, from the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

PFMLA Notification and Contribution Deadlines Extended by Three Months

On June 14, 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (“DFML”) posted a new update confirming that the Massachusetts legislature and Governor Charlie Baker have enacted legislation to delay by three months (1) the date on which employers must notify their workforce of their rights and obligations under the Paid Family Medical Leave Act (“PFMLA”), and (2) the start date for employer and employee contributions to the PFML program. The workforce notification deadline is now September 30, 2019, and the contribution start date is now October 1, 2019.

Massachusetts Officially Amends Paid Family Leave Law; Announces Other Changes

After announcing an agreement to delay the start of contributions under the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA), the legislature passed a bill amending the law that the Governor subsequently signed and enacted on June 13, 2019. As announced, PFMLA contributions will begin on October 1, 2019, rather than July 1, 2019.

New Deadlines For Massachusetts Employers Under the Paid Family Medical Leave Program

On June 13, 2019, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed an emergency bill amending the Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) law. The bill, and subsequent guidance provided by the Massachusetts Department of Paid Family Medical Leave (Department), change three key deadlines under PFML.
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