Massachusetts employers may be thinking at this point that score cards are needed to keep up with the ever-increasing varieties of leave to which their employees are entitled.

In the last year alone, the Commonwealth enacted or revised laws relating to parental (rather than exclusively maternal) leave, sick leave, and domestic abuse leave. The three newer laws join eight older sets of leave law previously established by federal and state statute, with the result that every private sector employer in Massachusetts now has to allow at least seven types of employee leave, an employer with six or more employees has to allow an eighth type of leave, and an employer with fifty or more employees has to allow yet a ninth and a tenth type.

The rules governing that maze can be complex. Each set of rules begins with its own statute. Regulations interpreting some of the statutes are voluminous. And yet sanctions for employer noncompliance can be severe. There often is no substitute for closely analyzing an employee's particular circumstances to determine how they fit within the overall legal framework of leave. The advice of experienced employment counsel therefore can be critical.

Massachusetts employers nevertheless may find the following survey chart useful as a starting point for ensuring that their leave policies are adequate.

Click here to view table.