Seyfarth Synopsis: The Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) Act requires employers to post a notice and to annually

notify employees of updates to contribution rates and weekly benefit amounts. The 2024 poster and updated template notice forms are now available on the Department of Family and Medical Leave's (DFML's) website. The DFML has also updated the PFML notice employers must provide to new employees to address the recent amendments to the PFML Act. The 2024 poster and notices can be accessed here.

On October 4, 2023, Seyfarth published an alert regarding the DFML's annual update to the PFML contribution rates and maximum benefit amount (i.e., $1,149.90) which go into effect January 1, 2024. The DFML has now issued its updated poster and employee notices reflecting these 2024 figures. In addition to the updated contribution rates and benefit amount, the poster includes an update to the amount employees must earn to be eligible for PFML from $6,000 to $6,300 in the four quarters prior to the leave beginning.

The PFML Act requires employers to provide individual notice of the annual updates to current employees as well as to hang the poster, or otherwise provide the posting to employees. Employers should distribute the notices to employees in a manner consistent with their customary method for informing employees of other policy changes and updates (e.g., hard copy, email, etc.). The DFML has indicated that employers do not need to obtain a signed acknowledgment form from current employees that they received the updated information but should maintain records demonstrating that they provided the required notice.

The DFML has also revised the notice employers must provide to new hires to address the recent amendment to the PFML Act. As noted in our alert, effective November 1, 2023, the PFML Act was amended to allow employees receiving PFML benefits from the Commonwealth to "top off" their PFML benefit with accrued paid leave (e.g., sick time, vacation, PTO, personal time, etc.). Prior to the amendment, this practice was prohibited by the Act except for employers providing benefits through an approved private plan. As noted in our prior Update, there are still a number of open questions regarding implementation of the new PFML requirements. The DFML is in the process of drafting regulations related to the amendments which will be issued some time in 2024.

For new hires, unlike the annual notices provided to current employees, employers must obtain a signed acknowledgment form from each new employee acknowledging that they received the new hire PFML notice, or maintain a record that an employee declined to sign. For full details regarding PFML notice requirements click here. Note that the updated posters and notices are found 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.