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MASSACHUSETTS RAISES MINIMUM WAGE

Increases Begin January 1, 2019

As of 1/1/17, the Massachusetts minimum wage is $11 per hour ($3.75 for tipped employees). Under a new law in Massachusetts, the minimum wage will increase as follows:

  • $12.00 per hour ($4.35 for tipped employees), beginning January 1, 2019
  • $12.75 per hour ($4.95 for tipped employees), beginning January 1, 2020
  • $13.50 per hour ($5.55 for tipped employees), beginning January 1, 2021
  • $14.25 per hour ($6.15 for tipped employees), beginning January 1, 2022
  • $15.00 per hour ($6.75 for tipped employees), beginning January 1, 2023

The law also phases in the elimination of Sunday and holiday premium pay for retail workers. Click here to read the law.

Special Note Regarding Tipped Employees: A tipped employee customarily and regularly receives more than $20 per month in tips. If the employee’s tips and the cash wage do not equal the minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference.

Special Note Regarding Certain Students or Minor Workers: Employers in certain industries may be able to pay students or minors not less than 80% of the state minimum wage in certain instances.


MASSACHUSETTS ADOPTS PAID FAMILY & MEDICAL LEAVE PROGRAM

Law Requires Employer Contributions via Payroll Tax Effective July 1, 2019

Massachusetts has adopted a paid family and medical leave program, which will be funded by a payroll tax that becomes effective July 1, 2019. Employees can begin taking paid family and medical leave under the program in 2021.

Massachusetts will be requiring employers to provide paid family and medical leaveparental leave, and small necessities leave. The chart below provides general information on these requirements.

Paid Family and Medical Leave Parental Leave Small Necessities Leave
Is this requirement currently effective? No. Employees can begin taking paid family and medical leave in 2021. Yes Yes
Which employers are covered? Employers with 1 or more employees Employers with 6 or more employees Employers with 50 or more employees
Which individuals are eligible for leave? Employees who meet financial eligibility requirements for unemployment insurance (earned at least $4,700 during the last 4 completed calendar quarters, and 30 times the weekly benefit amount they would be eligible to collect) Employees who have worked for 3 months Employees who have worked for 12 months with at least 1,250 hours of service during the previous 12 months
Which life events qualify for leave?
  • The birth of a child;
  • The need to care for a family member with a serious health condition; and
  • The employee’s own serious health condition.
  • The birth of a child;
  • Placement of a child for adoption; or
  • Placement of a child under a court order.
  • To participate in a child’s school activities;
  • To accompany a child to routine medical/dental appointments; or
  • To accompany an elderly relative to routine medical, dental, or other care appointments.
For how long can leave last?
  • Up to 12 weeks in a year for the birth of a child or to care for a family member with a serious health condition.
  • Up to 20 weeks in a year for the serious health condition of the employee.
  • If an employee elects to use leave for more than one life event, 26 weeks in a year at most.

Note: This requirement generally runs concurrently with Massachusetts parental leave and federal FMLA leave.

Up to 8 weeks Up to 24 hours in a 12-month period for:

  • A child’s routine medical or dental appointments; or
  • Appointments related to an elder relative’s care.
Is leave required to be paid? Yes. Beginning July 1, 2019, the state will begin collecting a payroll tax of 0.63% of the employee’s wages. In general, this tax will be split between the employer and employee. No No
May leave be taken intermittently? Generally yes Not addressed by statute Yes
Must an employer maintain an employee’s health benefits while he or she is on leave? Yes Yes Yes
Are employers required to provide a notice to employees about the law? Yes. Employers must:

  1. Conspicuously post notice on the requirement. A model notice is to be released by the state.
  2. Issue a written notice to each employee within 30 days of beginning employment. A model notice is to be released by the state.
Yes. Click here for a model notice. No
Are individuals required to provide notice? Yes. An employee generally must give at least 30 days’ notice of the anticipated starting date of the leave, length of the leave, and date of return, or must provide notice as soon as practicable. Yes. The employee must give at least 2 weeks’ notice of the anticipated date of departure and intention to return, or provide notice as soon as practicable. Yes. If the need for leave is foreseeable, the employee must request the leave not later than 7 days in advance, or as soon as is practicable.
Must an employee be restored to his or her prior position or to a similar or equivalent position? Yes Yes Yes

Additional requirements and exceptions to the information above may apply.

For more information, please contact the Massachusetts Office of Labor and Workforce Development at 617-626-7122.


Please Note: The state laws summaries featured on this site are for general informational purposes only. In addition to state law, certain municipalities may enact legislation that imposes different requirements. State and local laws change frequently and, as such, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information featured in the State Laws section. For more detailed information regarding state or local laws, please contact your state labor department or the appropriate local government agency.

Information provided by HR360, Inc.

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