Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave Guidance

June 18, 2019

On Monday June 17, 2019, the Department of Family and Medical Leave and the Executive Office of Workforce Development held a Q & A session at the Mass Association of Realtors Conference Center in Yarmouth. The new Director of the PFML Department, Bill Alpine, and the General Counsel of the DUA, Mike Donehy did their best to answer the publics burning questions. As a result of this meeting, here’s an update on what we learned:

What we know:

  1. Contributions – Contributions have been delayed until October 1, 2019, which has resulted in a rate increase to .75%. The contributions are based on Social Security wages, so once an individual reaches $132,900 their contribution will stop. The allocation of this contribution has changed to .62% for medical and .13% for family. The allocated percentages for employee contributions are unchanged at 40% for medical and 100% for family. The changes will result in a new employee deduction amount of $.38 for every $100 earned.
  2. Employee and Covered Contract Worker Notification Deadline – The notification deadline has been moved until September 30, 2019. If you have already received the signed notification back from your employees, you must provide them with an addendum that outlines the new rates. This addendum does not need to be signed. Click here for the addendum.
  3. New Poster – The new poster must be displayed by September 30, 2019. Click here for the mandatory workplace poster.
  4. New Wage Report and Payment – The new wage report and payment will now be due to the Massachustees Department of Revenue by January 31, 2020.
  5. Final Regulations – The final regulations will be issued by July 1, 2019.

What we don’t know:

  1. 1099 Miscellaneous Contributions– Mr. Donehy and Mr. Alpine acknowledged that there is significant confusion regarding this part of the law. The Department is working to clarify the definition of the covered contract worker and hopes to provide additional guidance in the next several weeks.
  2. Exemption from the tax– Mr. Donehy indicated that employees who are currently exempt from Mass Unemployment taxes would be exempt from the new contributions. We interpret this comment to exempt church employees and real estate salespeople from the new PFML tax. We are looking for written confirmation from the Department on this matter.

BizChecks Payroll will continue to monitor the latest development of this new regulation, and we are also available to answer your questions. In the meantime, click here to check out our PFML Compliance Corner Video. We are not just a payroll company; we are your advocate.