On Friday, June 14, 2019, we received the following updates...‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 
 
Massachusetts PFML Update

On Thursday we notified you that Governor Baker and the Massachusetts legislature agreed to extend the start date for employers to begin taking employee payroll deductions and making employer contributions to MA PFML. The new date for commencing payroll deductions is October 1, 2019. Employers will be responsible for remitting employee and (if applicable) employer premium contributions for the fourth quarter 2019 (10/1/19 to 12/31/19) through MassTaxConnect by January 31, 2020. As a result of this delay, the premium contribution rates have been increased from 0.63% to 0.75% to make up for the lost premium that would have been collected without the delay. Read Thursday’s email.

On Friday, June 14, 2019, we received the following updates:

  1. Timeline extended for required employee notices:The Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) has extended the timeline for notifying employees of their rights and obligations under PFML from June 30, 2019, to September 30, 2019. We have further revised the Employee notice to reflect this extension and we have made clear within the document that while employees have the opportunity to sign and return the notice, that is not legally required.
  2. Timeline extended for exemption applications: Employers that offer paid leave benefits at least as generous as those required under the PFML law may apply to the DFML for an exemption from making contributions. Employers will now have until December 20, 2019, to apply for an exemption that will excuse them from having to remit contributions for the full period commencing with the October 1 start date. Look for an upcoming email from us about our private plan template.
  3. Modified provisions of the MA PFML law. The amendments to the MA PFML law also make some substantive changes to the law that focus primarily on the standard of incapacity that must be shown to be eligible for paid medical leave benefits.  
    1. The new amendments clarify that an employee is not eligible for paid medical leave benefits without submitting a medical certification that a serious health condition makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the job.
    2. Former employees must submit medical certification that the serious health condition makes them unable to perform the functions of their most recent job or other suitable employment.   
    3. The medical certification for paid medical leave benefits or for paid family leave benefits to care for a family member with a serious health condition or for an injured service member now also must include a statement of the medical necessity, if any, for intermittent leave or leave on a reduced schedule and the expected duration of the intermittent leave or reduced schedule leave.
  4. The DFML has announced that it will post the final MA PFML regulations on its website on Monday, June 17, 2019, and that the regulations will become effective July 1, 2019.  Sun Life is updating its FAQs based on the provisions of the final regulations. Please look for a notice on sunlife.com/mapfml when these are updated.

The state has updated its website to reflect the date changes noted above with regard to providing employee notice and obtaining private plan approvals.

Questions?
Please call your Sun Life Client Relationship Executive or Employee Benefits Representative.

Visit us at www.sunlife.com/mapfml for resources and education about MA PFML. Please leave questions on the site and we’ll include them in upcoming emails. This is your site for MA PFML, visit it frequently for updates!

Sun Life Financial One Sun Life Executive Park, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481
 
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The above-referenced materials are not to be considered legal advice. We recommend Clients speak with legal counsel specializing in labor and employment law to ensure your organization has met all of the requirements under the Massachusetts Paid Family & Medical Leave (PFML) Act.

When available, Sun Life’s self-funded MA PFML solution will be administered by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada. This service is not insurance.

© 2019 Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481. All rights reserved. Sun Life and the globe symbol are registered trademarks of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada. Visit us at www.sunlife.com/us.

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