On April 17, 2019, the newly created Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (the Department) released the notices required to be provided by employers and covered business entities to their current workforce. The notices must be provided no later than May 31, 2019.
The notices may be provided electronically and must include the opportunity for an employee or self-employed individual to acknowledge receipt or decline to acknowledge receipt of the information. Employers may receive these acknowledgements in paper form or electronically. In the event an employee or self-employed individual fails to acknowledge receipt, the Department will consider an employer or covered business entity to have fulfilled its notice obligation if it establishes that it provided notice to each member of its current workforce and the opportunity to acknowledge or decline to acknowledge receipt. The Department has issued two templates of the notice, one for W-2 employees and one for 1099-MISC contractors. The templates may be found here.
Employers may instead elect to create their own notice forms provided such notices include the following: an explanation of the availability of Family and Medical Leave benefits, the employee’s contribution amount and obligations, the employer’s contribution amount and obligations, the employer’s name and mailing address, the employer identification number assigned by the Department, instructions on how to file for Family and Medical Leave benefits, and the mailing address, email address and telephone number of the Department. The notice must be provided in the employee’s primary language.
As of June 1, 2019, notice must be issued to each new employee within 30 days of their first day of employment. For eligible 1099-MISC contractors, notice must be provided when the parties enter into a contract for services. The failure to provide notice may result in fines being imposed in the amount of $50 per worker for the first violation and $300 per worker for each subsequent violation.
Workplace Poster Requirement
In addition to the above notices, all Massachusetts employers must display the “Notice of Benefits Available Under M.G.L. Chapter 175M” poster that contains information regarding Family and Medical Leave entitlements, contribution rates, and important deadlines for implementation of the law. The poster must be displayed at the workplace in a conspicuous location. The poster must be available in English and each language which is the primary language of 5 or more individuals in the employer’s workforce, provided such translations are made available by the Department. Currently, the Department offers the poster in 13 languages. The posters may also be found at the above link.