MA Paid Family Medical Leave Act Resource Center

Massachusetts joined New York this year as one of a handful of states to introduce a paid family medical leave act. The MA paid family medical leave act, or PFML in Massachusetts, provides paid leave to employees who meet FMLA eligibility requirements.

Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave Act: What Employers Need to Know

Paid family and medical leave is underwritten and paid by the state of Massachusetts. But employers have the option of seeking a privatized plan, instead.

By law, private FMLA plans must offer payouts the same or better than the state plan, with premiums equal to or lower than state premiums. Privatized plans may offer faster underwriting, better service, increased benefits, and lower premiums.

FMLA in Massachusetts is a stand-alone benefit. But employers may be able to save money by bundling it with ancillary benefits, including dental, vision, and group life.

If you want to write FMLA without bundling other benefits, though, your choice in carriers may be limited. DBL Center can write FMLA independent of other lines, making it easy and convenient to privatize family and medical leave in Massachusetts.

We are here to help brokers and employers, alike, privatize FMLA through our preferred carriers. You will benefit from our white-glove service, fast and flexible payouts, and potential discounts.

Brokers writing FMLA will gain the advantage of our Broker Dashboard app, which allows them to track commissions, renewals, and cancellations at a glance. The Broker Dashboard enables brokers to retain customers more easily and, as a result, keep more of what they earn for increased commissions and incremental growth.

Implications of the Family and Medical Leave Act in Massachusetts

The MA paid family medical leave act carries significant socio-economic weight and speaks to national trends in supporting “sandwich generation” workers, who may be caring for both young children and aging parents. The legislation seeks to address gaps in federal support of working parents. As with New York and Connecticut PFL laws, the Massachusetts law also provides support for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their family. 

The Massachusetts family and medical leave act gives employers the means to provide affordable benefits to new parents, workers caring for ill or aging family members, and military spouses. It also provides paid leave to those who require short-term disability for their own medical conditions.

Offering these benefits in conjunction with a robust ancillary benefits package that includes dental, vision, and group health can help employers attract top talent across the state and retain quality employees in a competitive environment. Multi-line discounts by bundling ancillary benefits with statutory FMLA benefits can also save employers money.

A generous family medical leave policy along with ancillary benefits can even reduce employee stress, which has been shown to improve employee engagement.

Read on for everything you need to know about the new MA paid family medical leave act.

FMLA Eligibility Requirements

The MA Paid Family Medical Leave Act applies to individuals who need time off:

  • Due to a serious health condition
  • To care for a newborn, newly adopted or new foster child within the first year of the event
  • To care for family while a spouse is deployed in the Armed Forces
  • To care for a family member of any age with a serious health condition

The amount of paid time off varies from 12 weeks to care for a family member with a serious health condition up to 26 weeks per benefit year to care for a family member who is a covered service member with a serious health condition.

The chart below shows the maximum paid family and medical leave Massachusetts workers can take under the policy, with an aggregate maximum of 26 weeks paid family or medical leave in one benefit year.

Reason for FMLA Claim Maximum Leave Time
Serious health condition 20 weeks
New birth, adoption, or fostering of a child 12 weeks
Caring for a family member with serious health condition 12 weeks*
Qualifying event related to deployment of family member in the military 12 weeks
Caring for a family member who is a covered member of the military with a serious health condition 26 weeks

Benefits go into effect on January 1, 2021.

*Benefits available to take time off to care for a family member with a serious health condition go into effect July 1, 2021.

Additional FMLA Eligibility Requirements

Workers quality for benefits under the MA Paid Family Medical Leave Act if:

  • They are W-2 employees of a Massachusetts entity
  • They live in Massachusetts and are 1099 independent contractors for a Massachusetts entity with a workforce made up of more than 50% independent contractors
  • They are self-employed, live in Massachusetts, and opt in to the paid family medical leave act

Job Protection Under the MA Paid Family Medical Leave Act

The law also provides job protection for employees, but not independent contractors. Under the law, an employee must be restored to their previous or an equal position, with the same:

  • Status
  • Pay
  • Benefits
  • Length-of-service credit
  • Seniority as of date-of-leave

These protections also exist on a federal level under the family medical leave act. But it’s important to note that, unlike the Massachusetts family leave act, federal FMLA is not a paid benefit.

MA Paid Family Medical Leave Act Costs and Benefits

MA paid family leave is a shared benefit, which means that costs are split between the employer and employees or contractors. In organizations of fewer than 25 covered workers, the benefit is voluntary and employee funded. The employer is exempt from paying into the medical leave portion of the plan, and contributions to the family portion of the plan are voluntary.

The charts below break down the contributions for policies under and over 50 lives.




Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, employees receive payouts as a percentage of their average weekly wage, up to $850 per week in 2021.

Use our handy MA Paid Family Medical Leave calculator below to determine your premiums based on the number of covered individuals in your organization.

Let DBL Center Help You with MA Paid Family Medical Leave

Because FMLA laws can get confusing, it is best to find a licensed, qualified broker or general agency to guide business owners through the process. You want to be sure you are complying with MA paid family medical leave act requirements and also getting the best value for your money when you write your MA FMLA insurance policy.

Contact DBL Center with any questions about the advantages of privatizing paid family medical leave in Massachusetts under the new Paid Family Medical Leave Act.