On May 1, 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) issued guidance and announced changes to two key deadlines concerning the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law.

Employee Notice Deadline Extended to June 30, 2019 DFML extended the deadline for employers to provide notice to their employees. That deadline has been extended from May 31, 2019 to June 30, 2019. Employers may provide notice electronically, but must include an opportunity for employees to acknowledge or decline receipt of the information. Moving forward, employers and covered business entities are required to notify employees within 30 days of starting employment. DFML has provided sample notices and translations on its website.

Private Plan Exemption Deadline Extended to September 20, 2019 The most recent DFML guidance requires that exemptions for private plans must be approved in the quarter prior to the quarter in which they will go into effect. The deadline for Quarter 1 of 2019 has been extended from June 30, 2019 to September 20, 2019. This will provide employers some additional time to consider private plan options. In the future, the DFML will continue to accept applications on a rolling basis, but applications must be approved in the quarter prior to the quarter in which they go into effect.

Contributions to the Trust Fund are set to begin on July 1, 2019, and the private plan exemption deadline only impacts contributions if the exemption request is approved. If the exemption request is denied, the employer will be responsible for remitting its full contribution amount from July 1, 2019 forward.