Seyfarth Synopsis: The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) announced updates to contribution rates and weekly benefit amount under the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law, effective January 1, 2024.

Weekly Benefit Amount: During 2024, the maximum weekly PFML benefit which eligible employees may receive will be $1,144.90 per week. The benefit amount has increased from the 2023 maximum of $1,129.82 per week.

Contribution Rates: For 2024, the overall PFML contribution rate has increased from 0.63% to 0.88% of eligible wages up to the social security taxable maximum for employers with 25 or more covered individuals. The PFML contribution rate for smaller employers – fewer than 25 covered individuals – increased from 0.318% to 0.46%.

Below is additional detail about how those contributions are apportioned between employers and employees.

Employers with 25 or More Covered Individuals: The 0.88% contribution rate is split between required medical leave contribution of 0.70% and family leave contribution of 0.18% of an individual's eligible wages. Employers may withhold up to 0.18% of eligible wages for an individual's family leave contribution and up to 0.28% of eligible wages for an employee's medical leave contribution. Employers must contribute the remaining 0.42% of eligible wages on behalf of employees for medical leave (style="font-family:'Helvetica',sans-serif">i.e., the employer share).

Employers with Fewer than 25 Covered Individuals: The 0.46% contribution rate is split between medical leave contribution of 0.28% and family leave contribution of 0.18%. Employers may withhold the entire contribution from an individual's eligible wages. Unlike larger employers, smaller employers are not required to contribute towards an individual's medical leave contribution amount.

These changes will be effective as of January 1, 2024. Employers should ensure that their PFML policies and payroll systems reflect these changes.

Employers with a private or self-insured plan that has been approved by the DFML do not have to make PFML contributions to the Commonwealth. Such employers will need to adjust their private plan to reflect the new employee contribution rates and maximum benefit amounts.

Employers are required to provide notice of these changes to their employees. The DFML has not yet updated the posting and notices for 2024. We will be monitoring the DFML website and will let employers know when these updated documents are available.

Please reach out to one of the authors or your Seyfarth attorney with any questions.

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.