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15 Mar

March 2022: Massachusetts COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Ending Soon

Posted at

7:11pm

in

Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of Massachusetts

What happened?
On February 28, 2022, state officials have announced that the Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave (MEPSL) will expire on March 15, 2022.

What are the details?
Under the law, employers are required to make paid leave time available to employees for COVID-19–related illnesses, quarantine, and vaccinations. Employers then apply for reimbursement from the state.

Meanwhile, when the law was extended last year, the state also expanded the reasons employees may take leave.

Until March 15, 2022, employers must provide 40 hours of paid leave to full-time employees. For employees working less than 40 hours a week, the leave provided must equal the average number of hours the employee works during a week.

The expanded reasons for use announced last fall covered family members, in addition to employees, to take leave:

  • To isolate and care for themselves because of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis
  • To get care, treatment, or a diagnosis
  • To get the vaccine or recover from its effects

Other covered use for COVID-19 paid sick leave in Massachusetts include:

  • Quarantine orders, both governmental and through a healthcare provider
  • Inability to work remotely because of COVID-19

Generally, employers cannot require workers to use other types of available paid leave before using COVID-19 paid sick leave. Also, employers may not require workers to search for or find a replacement employee to cover the time the employee will miss while using COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave.

The maximum amount an employer is required to pay per employee, and the maximum amount for which the employer may seek reimbursement for any one employee, is $850 (including the cost of benefits).

Additionally, employers have until April 29, 2022, to file for reimbursement through the Department of Revenue’s MassTaxConnect website. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ website released steps on how to file for reimbursement here.

For more information, please see the links below:

Announcement

Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave

Steps to File for Reimbursement

MassTaxConnect

Article 1Article 2

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and continue to provide their full-time employees with 40 hours of paid leave and the average number of hours the part-time employees work during a week until MEPSL ends on March 15, 2022. Employers who are seeking to file for MEPSL reimbursement will need to be aware of the April 29, 2022 deadline.

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