by Marti Cardi, Esq. - Senior Compliance Consultant and Legal Counsel,
& Gail Cohen, Esq. - Assistant General Counsel,
March 21, 2019
Big dates are ahead in Massachusetts relating to its paid family and medical leave program. The Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) has announced two key developments:
Massachusetts PFML regulations. The second draft of the PFML regulations will be issued on March 29. You may recall that the first draft was issued on January 23, 2019. These were a start but many key topics were not addressed. The DFML conducted over 10 listening sessions around the state, soliciting comments from attendees on the draft regulations. The DFML also accepted written comments through March 13.
Now the DFML has announced that the next draft of the regulations will be published on March 29, followed by another public comment period. We expect these to be near final due to the extensive outreach the DFML conducted to gather input. Final regulations will be published and effective no later than July 1, 2019.
Private plan applications. Employers can begin filing private plan applications on April 29, 2019. The only detail we have been able to find so far is that applications may be filed through MassTaxConnect. We have submitted over 20 questions to the DFML to identify information that Matrix and employers will need to know in deciding whether to file for a private plan. These address application details, approval process and turnaround time, details on the bond requirement, and much more.
Based on our prior communications with key personnel at the DFML, we anticipate that the application process will be more employer-friendly than our experience in Washington. In fact, there are indications that, unlike Washington State, employers may be able to submit existing plans that meet or exceed the Commonwealth’s requirements rather than designing and submitting a new, Massachusetts-specific plan.
We are currently developing templates for employer-sponsored private plans to satisfy the medical leave benefit, the family leave benefit or both requirements, and will make these available to our Massachusetts clients as soon as they are completely vetted.
Need to catch up? You can read our prior review of the Massachusetts PFML here. Below is a timeline of the Massachusetts PFML journey from inception to launch, as currently represented by DFML.
Matrix has you covered! We’ve been watching for these developments and know employers have many questions that – we are hopeful – will be answered in the next few weeks. In anticipation, we have scheduled webinars to be held on Tuesday, April 23 and Wednesday, April 24. Both webinars begin at 2:00 PM Eastern time. Click the day you prefer to attend and REGISTER today!
We can help! At Matrix Absence Management, we administer FMLA, state leaves, the ADA, and related company policies for employers every day, day in and day out. If you would like more information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or through your Account Manager.