03 Aug

July 2020 Massachusetts HR Legal Updates

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Massachusetts Issues Final Amendments to Paid Family Medical Leave Regulations

What happened?
The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (“DFML”) has released the unofficial version of the final amendments to the Paid Family and Medical Leave (“PFML”) regulations.

 What are the details?
The DFML has made final changes to the PFML regulations that have been finalized as of July 24, 2020. Some of the final changes made include:

  • Added language to close gaps in coverage when an employee was transitioning to a different private plan or between State Trust Fund and a private plan
  • Changed the time for an employee to notify the employer of a change in the term of an approved private plan exemption from 30 to 60 days.
  • Clarified that if an employee who separated from a company, but less than 26 weeks since separation, is filing for benefits, they will file under their previous employer if still unemployed or their current employer if they’ve since found new work.
  • Substance abuse treatment is now considered a serious health condition, allowing employees receiving treatment for substance abuse issues to be counted as a qualifying reason to take PFML. However, absences caused by the employee using substances do not qualify for leave.

The regulations in their entirety can be found here.

What do employers need to do?
Employers in Massachusetts should update their policies to reflect the final PFML regulations. Training should be provided to supervisors and managers to recognize protected leaves to reduce the chance of violations.


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