With the original July 1, 2019 deadline for numerous provisions of the Commonwealth’s Paid Family and Medical Leave (“PFML”) legislation approaching in mere weeks, Massachusetts lawmakers have now issued a much-welcomed enforcement extension. The extensions comes as employers in the Commonwealth worked to comply with the new law.  The amended legislation, announced earlier this week and signed into law on June 13, provides as follows:

  • Required withholding now begins on October 1, 2019, rather than July 1. When the PFML takes effect, employers will be required to withhold PFML contributions for covered individuals, and must remit their contributions through MassTaxConnect by January 31, 2020. The extension gives Massachusetts employers more time to count their workforce, determine who is a covered individuals, and prepare to make the requisite withholdings. Notably, as a result of the extension, the total combined contribution rate has increased from 0.63% to 0.75% of employee qualified earnings. This rate, which is subject to change year to year, accounts for the three month delay in collections.
  • The date by which Massachusetts employers must notify their workers of the PFML has also been extended, from July 1 to September 30, 2019. By September 30, employers are required to notify those individuals covered by the PFML of their rights under the law, how to file a claim, and other key details, as discussed further here.
  • Those employers which already offer paid leave benefits may now have until December 20, 2019 to apply for an exemption from PFML requirements.
  • Finally, the Department of Family and Medical Leave announced that final regulations will be posted on Monday, June 17, 2019, and will be effective July 1. A discussion of the draft regulations is available here.

Employers should continue to monitor this space for further developments, and should be sure to consult with counsel as these updated deadlines approach.