Paid Family Medical Leave
At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC, our employment law attorneys have the skills, knowledge, and legal experience to protect your rights under the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program. If you have questions about your paid family/medical leave under Commonwealth law, we are here to help. To set up a strictly confidential, no-commitment initial consultation with a Massachusetts employee rights lawyer, please contact us today.
An Overview of the Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave
On January 1st, 2021, the Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) law officially went into effect. Funded through state taxes, Massachusetts PFML benefits provide job-protected, paid leave to most employees working in the Commonwealth. In many ways, the PFML benefits are similar to unemployment benefits, but for workers who have a serious health issue, an immediate family member with a serious health issue, or have just had a child. Here are four important things that employees should know about their rights under the Massachusetts PFML program:
Paid Family Medical Leave in Massachusetts: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
QAm I Entitled to a Paid Leave of Absence for My Own Serious Health Condition?
If you are a Massachusetts employee, the answer is yes. Beginning January 1, 2021, Massachusetts employees are entitled to apply for and receive Paid Family and Medical Benefits. This new law allows employees with a “serious health condition” to receive up to twenty (20) weeks of paid benefits.
Massachusetts employers must also ensure that the leave is “job protected” and ensure that the employee is reinstated to his or her position (or substantially equivalent position) when the leave of absence ends. Not every medical condition will qualify as a “serious health condition.” Under the PFML, only those illnesses, impairments or physical or mental conditions that involve “inpatient care…or continuing treatment by a health care provider” will qualify.
QWhen Can I Take PFML Leave to Care for a Family Member?
Massachusetts paid family and medical leave laws are still being implemented. The initial law went into effect in January 2021. You will not be able to take PFML to care for a family member who has a serious health condition until July 1st, 2021. At that time, the program will be fully implemented and employees will be eligible to access paid leave benefits for workers who have immediate family members with a serious health issue.
QWhat Happens If An Employer Fails to Respect My Rights Under Massachusetts Law?
Companies and organizations that violate the law face liability. Massachusetts employers that fail to grant this leave when required, who do not reinstate employees upon completion of the leave, or who otherwise retaliate against workers who take PFML leave, are liable for three times the employee’s lost wages, plus costs and attorneys fees. If you believe that your rights were violated under the Massachusetts PFML program, contact an experienced employment attorney right away.
Call Our Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave Attorneys for Help
At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC, our Massachusetts employee rights attorneys are skilled, experienced lawyers for workers. If you have questions about the PFML or if you believe that your rights have been violated, we will get you answers. Contact us now for a strictly confidential, no obligation initial employment law consultation. With offices in Springfield and Northampton, we represent employees throughout Western Massachusetts, including in Hampden County, Hampshire County, Franklin County, and Berkshire County. Call (413) 785-1400.