New Massachusetts Parental Leave

On Wednesday, January 7, 2015, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed the Parental Leave Bill. The new law amends the Maternity Leave Act by extending the eight weeks of job-protected leave for the adoption or birth of a child to a male employee, and expanding on other provisions. Like the Maternity Leave Act, employees are required to provide at least a two-week notice if they plan on taking a parental leave. However, under the new law, employees may provide notice as “soon as practicable” if the two-week notice is not possible. Employers may choose the parental leave to be paid or unpaid.

If an employer allows his or her employee to take a parental leave for more than eight weeks, unless clearly stated in writing, the employee will retain right to reinstatement and other benefits. The leave shall not affect the employee’s right to receive vacation time, sick leave, bonuses, advancement, seniority, length of service credit, benefits, plan or programs for which the employee was eligible at the date of the leave. If both parents work for the same employer, they will only receive an aggregate of eight weeks for the parental leave.

The Parental Leave bill takes effect April 7, 2015. Employers are required to post notice in the workplace detailing the new law. A posting is not expected soon, as further regulations may be issued. Make sure to check back at Compliance Poster Company website for more information!