Beginning January 2021, most workers in Massachusetts will be eligible to receive up to 12 weeks of paid family leave and up to 20 weeks of paid medical leave through the Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave (“MA PFML” or “the Program”). The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (“DFML”) has recently clarified the qualification requirements for an employer to receive reimbursement for benefits paid as part of an employer’s private temporary disability, family or medical leave policy.
Employer Programs Eligible for Reimbursement
An employer that has a private benefit plan, but has not otherwise received an exemption to the MA PFML Program from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, may be eligible to be reimbursed for those paid benefits (see M.G.L. c. 175M, Section 3(c)). For additional information about MA PFML Private Plan Exemptions, please visit our prior article.
To qualify for reimbursement, an employer’s private program must:
- Grant workers benefits for one of the MA PFML’s qualifying reasons; and
- Be provided separately from other types of leave that the employer offers.
According to the guidance released, reimbursement will not be available for payments made to an employee in the event the employee uses sick leave, annual leave, vacation, or PTO to cover their absence.
Employers with private benefit plans that do not otherwise obtain a private plan exemption (and that must make MA PFML contributions) should be aware of the opportunity to qualify for the reimbursement program. It is anticipated that the DFML will continue to release guidance on MA PFML, including information on how employers may apply for these reimbursements.
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