Submitted by: Curtis Nelson, President/Broker, Nelson Insurance & Financial Services Fall River MA
The Massachusetts Legislature as part of the “Grand Bargain” passed PFML Paid Family & Medical Leave, and Governor Charlie Baker signed it into law last year. The purpose of the law is to provide Massachusetts workers (self-employed and business owners) with short term medical leave pay and family leave pay. The program will replace a portion of a workers pay up to 20 weeks for a serious health condition and 12 weeks to care for a family member. Payments into the program begin this coming October 1st, but workers won’t be able to make a medical claim until January 1st of 2021 or family leave claim until July of 2021.
PFML is going to be funded with a new payroll deduction. The start date for required PFML Paid Family & Medical Leave withholding is October 1, 2019. On that date, employers who do not have an approved exempt private leave plan must begin withholding PFML contributions from employee qualifying earnings. Employers will be responsible for remitting employee and (if applicable) employer contributions for the October 1 to December 31 quarter through MassTaxConnect by January 31, 2020.
Depending on the makeup of your Massachusetts workforce, you may be responsible for remitting contributions for both Massachusetts W-2 employees (full-time, part-time, seasonal) and Massachusetts 1099-MISC contractors. Employers must register on Masstaxconnect.
Beginning Oct. 1, 2019, as an employer, you’re responsible for:
• Reporting wages paid, payment for contract services rendered, and other information about your workforce
• Determining contribution amounts for your workforce and for any contribution due from you as an employer where applicable
• Making deductions to cover worker contributions from payments you make to your workforce, either as wages or as payments for services from Massachusetts 1099-MISC contractors
• Notifying your workforce of the PFML law by September 30th
Employers must also display the Paid Family and Medical Leave workplace poster in a highly-visible location,
provide written notice of contributions, benefits, and workforce protections to Massachusetts W-2 employees and Massachusetts 1099-MISC contractors. There are 2 notices; one for employers with 25 or more employees with 1099 employees and one without. The links to both are:
Employers must collect signed acknowledgments of receipt of such notice from Massachusetts W-2 employees and Massachusetts 1099-MISC contractors by September 30th 2019.
Employers with more than 25 employees MUST contribute to the Medical leave portion.
Some September 2019 wages may be subject to PFML assessments if paid on or after October 1, 2019.
PFML definition of wages has been aligned to match the definition of wages for MA unemployment.
Most foreign visa program workers are covered individuals under PFML.
Self employed individuals can participate in the program if they like.
The above is for informational purposes only and does not represent a complete guide as to the responsibility’s employers have under PFML as such Employers are encouraged to contact their respective payroll providers, accountants or tax preparers for clarification and guidance. Or contact the DFML Department of Family Medical Leave at (617) 626-6565 hours of operation: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Questions about making payments – DOR (617) 887-6367 (800) 392-6089 (toll-free in Massachusetts) DOR hours of operation: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.