Last year, we passed one of the most comprehensive Paid Family and Medical Leave laws in the entire country. We could not have done it without the support of grassroots activists and volunteers going out, collecting over 177,000 signatures, and making over 50,000 calls to their legislators over the course of two years.

And now, it’s time to see our work come to fruition. Both workers and employers will begin making contributions to the plan starting next week, October 1st, 2019, and wage replacement benefits will be available to workers beginning January 2021. These benefits include up to 12 weeks of family leave, and up to 20 weeks of medical or military exigency leave, capped at 26 weeks.

What You Should Expect:

  • Beginning in October 2019, you’ll see a new payroll deduction on your paycheck – this goes towards funding the Paid Family and Medical Leave program, and it’s an important step to ensure that the plan will be fully funded when workers can start taking leave!

  • Beginning in January 2021, workers can begin taking up to 20 weeks of medical leave to recover from an illness or injury, up to 12 weeks of family leave for the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child, or up to 26 weeks of family leave to take care of a family member who is a covered service member.

  • Beginning in July 2021, workers can begin taking up to 12 weeks of family leave to take care of a family member’s illness or injury.

Common Questions:

  • Am I eligible?

    • All Massachusetts employees and many Massachusetts independent contractors will be covered by the Paid Leave law and eligible for benefits. There are certain employment and earnings requirements, and you can check your eligibility here.

    • Municipal employees are not covered by the Paid Leave law unless the city or town has opted into the plan. However, cities and towns may and should opt into this great program – contact your local elected officials about it!

  • How much do I have to pay?

    • Beginning Oct. 1 employees will see 0.378% of their paycheck deducted for Paid Family and Medical Leave – what does this mean for you?

    • Here are some different cost breakdowns:

If you earn…

Deduction per Year

Deduction per Week













  • Does my employer have to pay into the plan?

    • Generally yes. Most employers will make a payroll contribution based on a complicated formula that is about the same amount as your individual contribution, making it essentially a 50/50 split. Employers with under 25 employees do not need to pay into the pool (but your contribution and benefits stay the same).

  • Can my employer opt-out?

    • No, but employers can be exempted from the state program through a process where employers can establish a private plan which must meet all the guidelines of the state plan and receive state approval.

  • What are the benefits?

    • Workers taking paid leave will receive weekly wage replacement benefits from the state plan, which are calculated as a percentage of your earnings. This means weekly benefits will be different for each individual, and you can estimate your possible estimates here.

  • Where can I learn more?

    • You can visit this link for a guide to the new Paid Family and Medical Leave plan for workers, and visit this link for a guide for employers.

Every employer will display a poster about the new Paid Leave law that explains the benefits under the new law. We’re closely following the implementation of the Paid Leave law, and we can’t wait for the benefits to begin in 2021!