Paid Family and Medical Leave Update: Contribution Start Date Delayed

On June 11, 2019, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Senate President Karen Spilka, and House Speaker Robert DeLeo announced that they agreed to delay the required contributions to the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program by three months. This agreement will not be official until the Legislature passes and the Governor signs an emergency bill putting it on the books. If passed, the bill will extend the date when employers need to begin collecting payroll deductions and contributions from July 1, 2019 until October 1, 2019.

Whether this extension will affect other requirements, particularly the June 30 notice deadline, remains unclear. The three leaders’ announcement indicated that the bill would “adopt technical changes to clarify program design,” but did not provide further detail. Some sources have speculated that the bill would include an increase in the contribution rate from 0.63% of weekly wages to 0.75% to ensure that the PFML program will receive enough contributions to be fully funded before it starts paying benefits, though that has yet to be confirmed. We will continue to keep you updated as further developments unfold.

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