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.
Articles About Massachusetts Labor and Employment Law.
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.
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.
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.
In a late night statement issued from Beacon Hill on June 11, 2019, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, along with state house and senate leadership, announced that they agreed to implement a three-month delay to the state Paid Family and Medical Leave program. In the joint statement, the leaders explained:
Governor Charlie Baker, Senate President Karen Spilka, and House Speaker Robert DeLeo issued a joint statement on June 11, 2019, agreeing to amend the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA) and delay the required contributions until October 1, 2019. Support for delaying the contributions has grown since a coalition of business, labor, and social justice groups sent a letter to Baker, Spilka, and DeLeo on May 20, 2019.
The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (“DFML”) released new guidance on its website about how to comply with several provisions of the new Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (“PFMLA”).
There is some good news for employers subject to the Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) and considering the availability of the private plan exemption.1 Previously, the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (Department) took the position that an employer seeking a private plan exemption from the PFML program would need to provide benefits as generous as those offered under PFML at the time the exemption was approved.
The Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act (Non-Compete Act) has yet to be tested, but its venue provision likely will come under special scrutiny. The venue provision governs the geographical location and forum in which a non-compete lawsuit may be maintained. Due to its apparent conflicts with federal law, the venue provision will likely be unenforceable to limit federal jurisdiction over related lawsuits or to prohibit or otherwise regulate arbitration of such lawsuits.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) issued an important decision on May 8, 2019, in the matter of Sullivan et al v. Sleepy’s LLC et al regarding overtime and Sunday pay requirements for inside salespeople who are compensated entirely by commission.
Adhering to the “plain and ordinary” language of the state’s overtime statute and related regulations, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has held that inside sales employees paid on a 100% commission basis are additionally entitled to pay for overtime hours worked and premium pay for work on Sundays. Sullivan v. Sleepy’s LLC, 2019 Mass. LEXIS 244 (Mass. May 8, 2019).
Complying with the upcoming requirements of Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave Act (“PFMLA”) continues to be a bit of a moving target. The Department of Family and Medical Leave (“DFML”) is providing regular updates that address employer questions and concerns regarding the implementation of the new law.
In an effort to help businesses, on May 1, 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) extended both the deadline to notify employees about the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA) and the deadline for employers to apply for a “private plan” exemption from law. Previously, the DFML required employers to distribute notices to employees regarding the PFMLA by May 31, 2019, and required employers seeking a private plan exemption from the contribution requirements of the PFMLA to apply for an exemption by June 30, 2019.
On May 1, 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (Department) offered Massachusetts businesses a temporary reprieve by extending two key deadlines critical to the implementation of the Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave law (PFML). First, employers will now have until June 30, 2019 to provide written notice to covered individuals of their rights and obligations under the PFML. Second, businesses will now have until September 20, 2019 to file an application for a private plan exemption.
The new Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA) requires that employers issue notices to both employees and independent contractors, providing them with information about their rights under the law.