As a Massachusetts employer, you're likely going to have new responsibilities under the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law, which goes into effect July 1, 2019. This law applies to all employers. This law applies to employers with a workforce of any size with few exemptions. As a quick recap:
The Massachusetts PFML law was passed to provide paid family and medical leave and make changes to state wage and hour provisions.
- The new law will be implemented in phases over the next five years beginning with a change in the calculation of tipped employees' wages, a decrease in holiday premium pay and an increase in the minimum wage to $12 per hour all effective Jan. 1, 2019.
- Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits will be funded through employer and employee contributions beginning July 1, 2019; benefits will be available to eligible workers in 2021.
Starting July 1, 2019, you should begin:
- Determining contribution amounts for your workforce and for any contribution due from you as an employer where applicable
- Making deductions to cover worker contributions from payments you make to your workforce, either as wages or as payments for services from Massachusetts 1099-MISC contractors
- Notifying your workforce of the PFML law
Recently, our Employee Group Benefits Team received a number of questions about complying with the requirements of this new law. Although the law doesn't impact the employee benefit services that we provide, we strive to help clients stay on top of major changes related to employee benefits by recommending helpful resources.
For PFML, the best source of information is the Mass.gov website, which explains requirements for employers and has a variety of tools to help you calculate contribution amounts. https://www.mass.gov/guides/a-guide-to-paid-family-and-medical-leave-for-massachusetts-employers. If you use a payroll service, they may also have information that may assist you.
As is typical, the state is still finalizing the regulations; however, compliance is still required as they work toward adopting final regulations by 2019. Now is the time to begin planning so that you will be prepared for the July 1 compliance deadline. The state website is the best resource for information, and if you have a vendor that assists you with managing your payroll, they may also have additional insights to share.