By Catherine Reuben May 2, 2019
Complying with the upcoming requirements of Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave Act (“PFMLA”) continues to be a bit of a moving target. The Department of Family and Medical Leave (“DFML”) is providing regular updates that address employer questions and concerns regarding the implementation of the new law.
On May 1, the DFML extended the deadlines for workforce notifications and exemption requests. The notification deadline is now June 30, 2019, and the deadline to file for a private plan exemption is now September 20, 2019.
The DFML also announced that it has requested guidance from the IRS regarding tax treatment of PFMLA contributions. While the DFML anticipates that the IRS will conclude that employee contributions should be withheld from after-tax wages, it is waiting for the IRS guidance before issuing a definitive rule. Until the IRS guidance issues, the DFML has urged individuals and businesses to consult with their own tax advisors about this issue. For further information, click here to read the DFML’s announcement.
The DFML also recently posted new information on their website related to applying for a private plan exemption. Based on this recent posting, it does not appear that the DFML will require private plans to begin providing benefits immediately (rather than in 2021), as we suggested in our last Client Alert might be the case. We are hopeful that the DFML will provide more definitive information on this important issue, including whether and how an employer could discontinue or change a private plan once it is approved.
The DFML also posted new questions and answers.
We expect more changes and/or updates to come. We encourage employers to frequently check the DFML website and to sign up for their email updates.
For more info about the PFMLA or for compliance assistance, feel free to contact any member of the HRW PFLMA team: