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April 16, 2021
 
Mass. Nonprofit Workers Now Get Paid Family Medical Leave

January 3, 2021 — New Massachusetts laws instituting paid family medical leave and a higher minimum wage, which boosted benefits for nonprofit, and other, employees, took effect on Jan. 1.

Paid Family Medical Leave (PMFL) is a state-offered benefit for anyone who works in Massachusetts and is eligible to take up to 26 weeks of paid leave for medical or family reasons.

Specifically, it applies to W-2 workers who work in Massachusetts, whether they are full-time, part-time, or seasonal, are self-employed, as well as 1099-MISC workers who work in Massachusetts, do not qualify as independent contractors, and who make up more than 50% of their employer's workforce.

Funding for PMFL is paid by a payroll tax of approximately $4.50 per week (or not more than 0.75% of eligible wages), half from employees, half from employers. The tax went into effect Oct. 1, 2019, to build reserves to pay benefits starting this month.

Most PFML benefits are available beginning on Jan. 1, except for paid family leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition, which will become available on July 1, 2021.

Paid family leave may be taken to:

  • Care for a family member with a serious health condition
  • Bond with a child during the first 12 months after the child’s birth
  • Bond with a child during the first 12 months after adoption or foster care placement
  • Care for a family member who is or was a member of the Armed Forces, National Guard or Reserves and developed or aggravated a serious health condition in line of duty on active duty while deployed to a foreign country
  • Manage family affairs when a family member is on or has been called to active duty in a foreign county while in the armed forces, including the National Guard or Reserves

In addition, paid medical leave may be taken to manage your own serious health condition.

PFML differs from the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), is available for employees to use for themselves or when caring for a parent, child or spouse with a serious health condition and is only a requirement for employers with 50 or more employees. PFML is a Massachusetts law that applies to all Massachusetts employers regardless of size and provides paid, job-protected leave to eligible workers for similar reasons.

Minimum Wage Increases to $13.50

On Jan 1. the minimum wage in Massachusetts increased from $12.75 to $13.50.

The minimum wage will continue to increase to $14.50 on Jan. 1, 2022, and will reach $15.00 per hour on Jan. 1, 2023.

The minimum wage for tipped employees who make more than $20 a month in tips increased to $5.55 on Jan. 1. This rate will go up in steps to reach $6.75 per hour in January 2023.

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