[UPDATE: On June 11, 2019, state officials, including Governor Charlie Baker, issued a joint statement noting that the state has agreed to a three month postponement before companies will be assessed fees pursuant to the PFML, meaning the taxes will begin in October, 2019 rather than on July 1, 2019 as previously anticipated. We will continue to update with further developments.

[UPDATE: As of May 1, 2019, the Department of Family Medical Leave extended the deadline for employers to distribute notice from May 31 to June 30, 2019, as a result of feedback from the public. The deadline for employers to file for private plan exemptions during Quarter 1 has also been extended, from June 30 to September 20, 2019. The Department’s extension notification is available here.]

April 18, 2019

As the Department of Family and Medical Leave (“DFML”) prepares to issue final regulations in coming months, the Commonwealth has begun posting a number of documents to assist employers and workers prepare for the new Paid Family and Medical Leave (“PFML” Law), including summary guides of the PFML law (one directed at employers and one directed at workers) and a workplace poster that the Commonwealth will require employers to display in a conspicuous spot on their premises. As of Wednesday, April 17, the DFML has now also issued template notices for employers to provide to each Massachusetts employee and contractor, with a newly established deadline for distributing notice of May 31, 2019 (which is in less than two months). A few additional details bear noting:

  • The notice may be provided electronically or in paper form to all employees or contractors, if those individuals are employed or contracted on June 1, 2019 or later. Notice also must be given within 30 days of the first day of employment for new employees or within the first 30 days of the contract period for new contractors.
  • Although the employer need not use the DFML-issued template notice, the notice must include an opportunity for the employee or contractor to acknowledge receipt or decline to acknowledge receipt. If the individual refuses to acknowledge receipt, a covered business entity can nonetheless demonstrate fulfilment of the notice requirement by showing that it provided the entire workplace with the requisite notice.
  • The notice must also include the following elements:
    • An explanation of the available benefits;
    • Details regarding the employer and employee/contractor’s respective contribution amounts and obligations;
    • Employer’s mailing address and name;
    • Employer’s identification number as issued by the DFML;
    • Instructions on how to file for a claim of benefits;
    • The mailing and email addresses, as well as telephone number, of the DFML.

We encourage you to consult with counsel to ensure that you have complied with these notice requirements in advance of the new upcoming deadline of May 31, 2019.


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Photo of Mark W. Batten Mark W. Batten

Mark W. Batten is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Class & Collective Actions Group.

Mark represents employers nationwide at all stages of complex employment litigation, including class and collective actions on wage and hour matters…

Mark W. Batten is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Class & Collective Actions Group.

Mark represents employers nationwide at all stages of complex employment litigation, including class and collective actions on wage and hour matters and discrimination claims. Ranked by Chambers USA, Mark is hailed as “a fabulous lawyer, handling interesting and complex cases.” Clients “highly recommend him to anyone seeking litigation counsel in the Boston area,” as well as note “he is responsive, pragmatic and team-oriented, and offers excellent legal advice.”

He assists clients with all aspects of employment policies and practices, including hiring, termination, leaves, accommodation of disabilities, and other matters. Mark also handles diverse civil litigation, including litigation of noncompetition agreements, ERISA matters, discrimination and wrongful termination litigation in federal and state courts; proceedings before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination; wage and hour matters; and labor arbitrations. He is also an experienced appellate attorney both in employment cases and other civil litigation, handling appeals at all levels in the state courts and in the United States Courts of Appeals.

Mark also has substantial experience with traditional labor matters. He regularly represents employers in a variety of industries, including a number of newspaper and media companies, in collective bargaining, practice before the NLRB, labor arbitrations, union organizing campaigns, and day-to-day advice on administration of collective bargaining agreements. He regularly advises clients in both union and non-union settings on diligence matters in corporate acquisitions and financings. He also has experience on behalf of securities firms in arbitrations before the NASD and NYSE of customer and employee complaints.

Mark also practices on behalf of newspapers and other media in newsroom litigation, including libel defense and representation of reporters under subpoena, and has substantial experience in litigation involving access to sealed records and judicial proceedings on behalf of media companies.

Before joining Proskauer, Mark was a trial attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, where he was lead counsel in major litigation for over two dozen federal agencies, ranging from the U.S. Air Force, the CIA, and the U.S. Secret Service to the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Mark regularly writes and lectures on employment-related matters, including, for instance, MCLE’s Representing Clients Before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

In his spare time, Mark is an experienced computer programmer, conversant in C, C++, and other languages. He has ported software between computer operating systems and has published several commercial computer games.