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[Alert] Employer MA Family and Medical Leave Contributions Delayed For 3 Months




With just three weeks to spare, the Massachusetts House, Senate and Baker Administration issued a joint statement late yesterday agreeing to adopt a three month delay to the start of required contributions to the MA PFML program. This is being done “to ensure businesses have adequate time to implement the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program.” According to the joint statement “technical changes to clarify program design” will also be adopted.

This is welcome news since many employers are struggling to implement various employer requirements under the PFML program in the absence of final regulations.

Note: This is an agreement by MA lawmakers to adopt changes to the MA PFML program. Legislative action by the MA House and Senate is still required, followed by Governor Baker’s signature.

The delay will not affect the overall paid leave timeline. Workers will still be able to access paid leave benefits beginning January 1, 2021. In order to maintain the amount of pre-funding and not reduce total contributions paid to the new family and medical leave trust fund, the contribution rate will be increased from .63 percent to .75 percent of wages when withholding of contribution amounts begin on October 1, 2019.

There is no word currently on:

· Whether there will be a change in the medical/family leave allocation of the .75% contribution rate

· The delay/extension of the workplace poster and employee notification requirements -- however, these requirements will likely be extended as a practical matter given that the content of these notices will be changing

The three month delay will logically result in the following relief:

· Employer payroll deduction of employee contributions will now commence with amounts paid on or after October 1, 2019

             · Employer quarterly wage reporting to MassTaxConnect for Q3 (October 1 to December 31, 2019) will now be due following December 31, 2019

· Payment/Remittance by employers of contribution amounts based on reported Q3 wages will now be payable by January 31, 2020

Details of the proposed delay and technical adjustments will continue to develop. Please stay tuned.

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The foregoing has been prepared as a general overview of the subject matter covered. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and it should not be taken as legal or compliance advice. Do not take, or refrain from taking, any action on legal or compliance issues related to any employee benefit plan(s) based upon this information. Readers of this alert are encouraged to consult with their own professional counsel. RAS Law, P.C. is not obligated to provide updates on the information presented herein. This material may be considered advertising under certain rules of professional conduct.

© 2019 Richard A. Szczebak, Esq. All Rights Reserved.

Matthew Hollister