Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law – Acknowledgement Needed

September 26, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to provide information about a new state law that was passed in June 2018, and MIT’s current approach to responding to this law.

The Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act will provide eligible Massachusetts employees with certain paid medical and family leaves, starting in 2021. MIT already provides paid medical, parental, and family leave benefits for most of its employees, and those leaves are often more generous than required under this new law. However, the new law will provide many Massachusetts employees with paid leave benefits that they do not currently have.

Overview of Leaves Under the New Law

Medical leave

  • Up to 20 weeks of paid leave per year for an employee’s own serious health condition
     

Family leave

  • Up to 12 weeks of paid leave per year for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child
  • Up to 12 weeks of paid leave per year to care for a family member with a serious health condition
  • Paid leaves relating to a family member in the armed services (either up to 12 weeks or 26 weeks, depending on the reason for the leave)
     

An employee may take up to 26 weeks of paid leave (total) per year. The amount of pay is set by a state formula, up to a weekly maximum which is currently $850 (gross pay).

Responding to the Law

Employers may comply with this new law either by:

  1. participating in the state’s medical and family leave programs or
  2. opting out of the state medical and/or family leave programs as long as the employer has a private plan that provides benefits that are at least as generous as the benefits required by state law
     

The law allows employers to deduct from an employee’s paycheck a tax to fund the cost of these paid leave programs, starting on October 1, 2019.

MIT plans to comply with the new law by opting out of the state medical and family leave programs and providing at least the state-mandated leave benefits as of 2021. MIT does not plan to deduct an employee contribution, so your paycheck will not be affected by this new tax.

Note: MIT is discussing the effects of this law with representatives of its unionized employees.

Notice and Acknowledgment

As part of this new law, we are required to provide a notice of the details of this law along with an opportunity to acknowledge receipt of the notice. Please review this notice in your preferred language and fill out the acknowledgement.

Additional resources and information on this law can be found at hr.mit.edu/pfml. Any questions about this law may be directed to pfml@mit.edu, or to your Human Resources Officer (HRO).

Sincerely,

Anthony P. Sharon