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Massachusetts Amends PFML to Permit Use of Paid Time Off During Leave

On July 18, 2022, the state amended Massachusetts’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFML) to grant employees the option to use their accrued paid leave (i.e., sick, vacation, personal leave) to supplement their PFML benefits while on leave. This is a change from when the PFML was first enacted, which required employees to choose either PFML partial wage replacement benefits or paid time off while on leave. Employees are now permitted to “top off” their PFML benefits up to 100 percent of their weekly wages. Notably, this option remains with the employee, and employers cannot force the use of paid time off.

Next Steps for Employers

Massachusetts employers should update their paid time off and leave policies and procedures to information related to the option to supplement paid leave with paid time off. Also, employees that are currently on PFML leave should be notified that they can supplement their PFML benefits with accrued paid time off.

Employers should also ensure that all human resource personnel and managers/supervisors who have responsibilities for addressing leave requests have been trained on available leave options.

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