Massachusetts Delays Family and Medical Leave Act Payroll Contribution Three Months

Late Tuesday evening, news broke from Beacon Hill that the payroll tax funding the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act – scheduled to take effect on July 1st – is being delayed three months to October 1, 2019.  According to a joint statement issued by Governor Baker, House Speaker DeLeo, and Senate President Spilka, the delay is intended “[t]o ensure businesses have adequate time to implement the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program….”  It is expected that the legislature will pass, and the Governor will sign, an emergency bill over the next few days to officially delay the implementation of the payroll tax.

The joint statement also foreshadowed the legislature’s intent to “adopt technical changes to clarify program design.”  At this time, it is not clear what “technical changes” the legislature is considering.  It appears, however, that to maintain the amount of pre-funding and not reduce total contributions paid to the new family and medical leave trust fund, the contribution rate will be increased from .63 percent to .75 percent of wages when withholding of contribution amounts begin on October 1, 2019.

We will continue to monitor all developments regarding the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act.  Please contact any member of the Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Group if you have any questions.

About Brian Casaceli

Brian is an associate in the firm's Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Group. He focuses his practice on representing employers in federal and state courts in Massachusetts, as well as before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in defense of claims of discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, breach of contract, and wage payment violations. Brian also has experience in representing employers in wage and hour investigations by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Massachusetts Attorney General. Brian further counsels employers on day to day employer issues, and has experience drafting employer handbooks and other employer policies.
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