On January 7, 2015, outgoing Massachusetts Governor Patrick signed into law the Parental Leave Act with the goal of extending the leave rules related to the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (“MMLA”). Currently The MMLA allows female employees eight weeks of job-protected leave in connection with the birth or adoption of a child.
This new Parental Leave Act expands the law in two ways. First, under the new rules, male employees will now be entitled to eight weeks of job protected leave in connection with the birth or adoption of a child.
It also advises employers how to handle the a leave should the ‘entitled’ mother and father be employed by the same employer. Two employees that are employed by the same employer will only be entitled to 8 weeks of parental leave in aggregate for the birth or adoption of the same child. The other key update allows an employee to take a leave in the event of a placement of a child with the employee if imposed by a court order.
The Parental Leave Act provides additional clarification on rights related to job protection. For more information regarding the law as currently written visit Massachusetts Legislation site specific to this act. Employer’s policies will likely need to be updated to reflect this change. Employers are advised to review the law carefully and seek legal counsel for specific guidance.