Massachusetts Tax Changes as of October 1, 2019

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Rights and Obligations under the Massachusetts Family and Medical Leave Law

 Employer/Employee Contributions to the DFML Family and Employment Security Trust Fund

On October 1, 2019, contributions to the Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) Employment Security Trust Fund will begin. An employer will be responsible for sending contributions to the DFML for all employees.

Currently, the total contribution amount is 00.75% of wages.  Of that 00.75% total contribution amount, there is a split: 17.5% is a family leave contribution and 82.5% is a medical leave contribution.

Under the law, employers are permitted to deduct from employees’ wages up to 40% of the medical leave contribution (82.5% of 00.75% of wages) and up to 100% of the family leave contribution (17.5% of 00.75% of wages).

Explanation of Benefits

  • Beginning January 1, 2021
    • Employees may be entitled to up to 12 weeks of paid family leave in a benefit year for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child, or because of a qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a family member is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call to active duty in the Armed Forces;
    • Employees may be entitled to up to 20 weeks of paid medical leave in a benefit year if they have a serious health condition that incapacitates them from work
    • Employees may be entitled to up to 26 weeks of paid family leave in a benefit year to care for a family member who is a covered service member undergoing medical treatment or otherwise addressing consequences of a serious health condition relating to the family member’s military service.
  • Beginning July 1, 2021
    • Employees may be entitled to up to 12 weeks of paid family leave in a benefit year to care for a family member with a serious health condition.
    • Employees may be eligible for up to 26 total weeks, in the aggregate, of paid family and medical leave in a single benefit year.
    • An employee’s weekly benefit amount will be based on the employee’s earnings, with a maximum benefit of $850 per week.

Job Protection, Continuation of Health Insurance, No Retaliation

  • Job Protection: Generally, an employee who has taken family or medical leave under the law must be restored to the employee’s previous position or to an equivalent position, with the same status, pay, employment benefits, length-of-service credit and seniority as of the date of leave.
  • Continuation of Health Insurance: The employer must continue to provide for and contribute to the employee’s employment-related health insurance benefits, if any, at the level and under the conditions coverage would have been provided if the employee had continued working continuously for the duration of such leave.
  • No Retaliation: It is unlawful for any employer to discriminate or retaliate against an employee for exercising any right to which such employee is entitled under the paid family and medical leave law. An employee or former employee who is discriminated or retaliated against for exercising rights under the law may, not more than three years after the violation occurs, institute a civil action in the superior court.

Original date for implementation was July 1, 2019, but was voted on June 12th to delay 3 months.

For additional resources please visit: Mass.Gov Website

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