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Massachusetts Paid Family & Medical Leave (MA PFML)

Section 522

This policy is designed to provide employees with information about Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (MA PFML) and how to apply for benefits.

Eligibility

An employee of the college is eligible for PFML if the employee requires leave for one of the qualifying reasons specified above and meets the PFML earnings requirement before applying for benefits.  To satisfy the PFML earnings requirement, the employee must have earned at least $5,100 during the previous four (4) quarters, and at least 30 times more than the employee is eligible to receive each week in PFML benefits.

PFML Entitlement and Paid Weekly Benefit

Under the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law, starting January 1, 2021, an employee may take: 

  • up to 12 weeks of PFML per benefit year for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child, or because of a qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a family member is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call to active duty in the Armed Forces; 
  • up to 20 weeks of PFML per benefit year to care for the employee’s own serious health condition that incapacitates them from work; and 
  • up to 26 weeks of PFML per benefit year to care for a family member who is a covered service member with a serious health condition.

Starting July 1, 2021, an employee may take up to 12 weeks of PFML per benefit year to care for a family member with a serious health condition.  

An employee may be eligible for up to 26 total weeks, in the aggregate, of PFML in a single benefit year.  PFML will run concurrently with all other applicable leave, including but not limited to FMLA Leave, Parental Leave, Family Leave, Sick Leave, and Personal Time, if applicable.

The college has a private PFML plan, which is approved by the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (the Department) and is administered through Lincoln Financial.  During PFML, an employee will receive a weekly benefit amount, based on a percentage of the employee’s earnings, up to a cap of $850 per week.  An employee must apply for PFML directly through Lincoln, which determines whether the employee is eligible for PFML and the employee’s PFML weekly benefit amount.  An employee cannot “top off” PFML benefits with accrued Vacation Time, Sick Time or Personal Time.  

Employees may find more information about filing a claim by contacting the Office of Human Resources.

Notice and Intermittent Leave

An employee must provide Human Resources with notice of the anticipated start date of PFML, the anticipated length of PFML, the type of PFML, and the employee’s expected return date at least thirty (30) days in advance, or as soon as practicable.  

In the case of PFML for the birth or placement of a child, intermittent or reduced hours leave cannot be taken without the approval of Human Resources.  In the case of PFML for the employee’s or a covered family member’s serious health condition, the leave may be taken intermittently or on a reduced hours basis if such leave is medically necessary.  For PFML due to the employee’s own serious health condition, the employee must advise the Lincoln Financial Group or the college of the reasons why intermittent leave is necessary and the employee’s schedule for treatment. 

The employee must consult with the college before applying for PFML and make a reasonable effort to schedule the employee’s treatment so as not to disrupt unduly the college’s operations, subject to the approval of the employee’s health care provider.  In the case of PFML due to a qualifying exigency arising out of a family member's active duty or impending call to active duty in the Armed Forces, PFML may be taken on an intermittent or reduced leave schedule.

Employee Protections 

The college will not discriminate or retaliate against any employee for exercising their right to take PFML.  The taking of PFML will not affect an employee’s right to accrue vacation time, sick leave, or other employment benefits.  During the duration of PFML leave, the college will continue to provide for and contribute to the employee’s employment-related health insurance benefits, at the level and under the conditions coverage would have been provided if the employee had worked continuously during the leave. 

An employee who returns to work from PFML will be reinstated to their previous position or to an equivalent position with equivalent pay, status, employment benefits, and other employment terms and conditions.  The college is not required to reinstate the employee if other employees of equal length of service credit and status in the same or equivalent positions have been laid off due to economic conditions affecting employment during the period of leave.  

If an employee takes PFML to care for the employee’s own serious health condition, the college may require the employee to obtain and provide a fitness-for-duty certification from the employee’s healthcare provider, certifying that the employee is able to resume work.