United States: Department of Family and Medical Leave Releases Final PFML Regulations And New Template Worker Notice Forms

Seyfarth Synopsis: Earlier today, the Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) issued its final regulations for the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) Law. While the final regulations do not contain many substantial changes from the March 29, 2019 proposed regulations, there are a number of noteworthy changes and clarifications. Separately, the DFML also released new template worker notice forms, due to be distributed by September 30, 2019, and posted clarifying information for those employers that already distributed notices to their workers.

DFML's New Notice Forms And Addendum For Employers That Already Issued Notices

Although not part of the final regulations, we wanted to alert our readers that the DFML has posted updated template notice forms. The English version for employers with 25 or more covered workers can be accessed here; and the English version for employers with fewer than 25 covered workers can be accessed here. The DFML also announced on its website that if an employer provided written notices to its workforce prior to the July 14 delay announcement, the employer will need to provide covered workers with an addendum sheet explaining the updated program dates and contribution rates. A template of this addendum will be provided by the DFML this week.

Noteworthy Highlights From Final Regulations

The final regulations will go into effect on July 1, 2019. They will be codified at 458 CMR 2.00 and may be accessed here. While this summary is not meant to capture all changes between the proposed regulations and the final regulations, we highlight the changes and clarifications most noteworthy to employers.

  • The regulations adopt the October 1, 2019 contribution start date and the initial 0.75% contribution rate we reported yesterday, here.
  • The final regulations clarify that the statutory exclusions from the definition of "employment" set forth in the Massachusetts unemployment statute (M.G.L. ch. 151A, § 6) also apply to the PFML Law. For example, service performed by a student in the employ of a school, college, or university, who is also enrolled in that school, is not covered by the PFML Law.
  • The final regulations confirm that employers may deduct different percentages from the wages of different groups of covered workers, provided that the deductions do not exceed the maximum percentages set by the PFML Law. For example, employers may deduct a greater percentage of the family leave or medical leave contribution from exempt employees than deducted from non-exempt employees. Likewise, employers may deduct a greater percentage from its non-unionized workers than from its unionized workers (depending on its collective bargaining with the union).
  • The final regulations permit employers to require intermittent leave to be taken in increments not smaller than a designated minimum time period, provided that the minimum period does not exceed four consecutive hours. Employers should be sure to include this requirement in their paid family and medical leave policies. The final regulations also clarify that the initial seven-day waiting period for intermittent leave or reduced schedule leave is seven consecutive calendar days, not the aggregate accumulation of seven days of intermittent leave.
  • The final regulations clarify that employers' quarterly reports to the State do not have to report earnings of 1099-MISC contract workers unless the contract worker has elected coverage under the public PFML program, or if the employer is a covered business entity (i.e. more than 50% of the employer's Massachusetts workforce is comprised of 1099-MISC contract workers).
  • With respect to job protection and reinstatement requirements, the final regulations have added an exception for employees who are hired for a specific term or only to perform work on a discrete project. In those situations, if the employment term or project is over and the employer would not have otherwise continued to employ the employee, the employer does not need to reinstate the employee after leave. This is an important clarification for staffing industry employers.
  • Several of the final regulations' key revisions and clarifications pertain to private plans, including:
    • If an employer has applied for and received approval for a private plan exemption and subsequently fails to maintain or renew its private plan exemption prior to January 1, 2021, the employer may be responsible for retroactive contributions to the public Trust Fund. The regulations do not clarify whether employers will be responsible for retroactive contributions if they fail to renew a private plan after January 1, 2021.
    • An employer may apply for a private plan exemption only once per quarter.
    • The final regulations establish a three-year record keeping requirement for employers with approved private plans with respect to any records relating to the plan, including those relating to PFML benefits claims under the plan.
  • The final regulations adopt a provision allowing the DFML to waive or modify any penalty imposed under the PFML Law for an employer's failure to make the required contributions if the employer can make a showing of good cause.
  • The final regulations clarify that it will refund contributions to an employer that overpays its contributions.
  • The DFML has clarified that the DFML may contact a covered worker's health care provider directly for clarification or authentication of a certification form when necessary.

Please note that the mandatory poster is still required to be posted by July 1, 2019. Otherwise, with the regulations now final and the various dates and deadlines set, businesses can now finalize their decision-making and preparation for the September 30th notices and the October 1st commencement of payroll deductions. For our prior reports on the PFML Law and the proposed regulations, you may refer here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions