What are Family and Medical Leave Rights?
All employees in Massachusetts, and some independent contractors, now have rights to partially paid, job-protected leave qualifying reasons. These rights overlap with the prior rights of some employees for unpaid, but still job-protected, leave under the federal Family Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"). In brief:
Unpaid FMLA leave allows you up to 12 weeks for your own serious health condition or to help an immediate family member with a serious health condition, if (i) your employer has 50 or more employees; and (ii) you have worked for that employer for a minimum amount of time (in most circumstances, about a year).
Massachusetts PFMLA leave allows you varying amounts of leave for different circumstances: 12 weeks for helping a family member, 20 weeks for your own serious health condition, and 26 weeks to care for a family member in active duty military service. This leave is available to all employees, regardless of the size of the employer, so long as you have earned at least $5,700 over the prior 4 calendar quarters, and earned at least 30 times the benefit amount you are seeking.
If you are eligible for both, you still have only the one leave period. In other words, if you are entitled to 12 weeks under PFMLA, you can't take an additional 12 weeks under FMLA.
Both the FMLA and the PFMLA prohibit retaliation against you for requesting or taking leave.
Learn more here about the Massachusetts Paid Family Leave Law.
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