Paycheck contributions to family, medical leave program begin Tuesday

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- Starting Tuesday, you and your employer will begin making contributions to the state’s paid family and medical leave program.

The $800 million program allows for up to 12 weeks of paid leave to take care of a family member and up to 20 weeks of paid leave to take care of your own illness. The benefits are funded by .75 percent of your paycheck that Massachusetts employees and employers will begin paying Tuesday.

22News spoke with Amelia Holstrom an Attorney at Skoler Abott and Presser, a labor and employment law firm. She told 22News what would happen if employees decide not to use those benefits.

“Employees who don’t use the paid leave…their contributions remain in the system and they can’t get their money back. The contributions are to fund a trust that the state will use to pay people as they need to take this leave.”

-Amelia Holstrom an Attorney at Skoler Abott and Presser

Workers will not be able to take advantage of the benefits to care for a new child or manage a health issue until January 1, 2021.

It becomes available for people who need to take care of ill family members on July 1, 2021. Holstrom explained how this paid leave will differ from paid sick time employees already receive.

“To take this paid family and medical leave employees will have to apply to the state and send a medical certification. We don’t know what it is going to look like yet. They are going to have to prove that they have a serious health condition that makes it so that they can’t perform an essential function of their job.”

-Amelia Holstrom an Attorney at Skoler Abott and Presser

Employees would be capped at receiving $850 per week while on leave.

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