Last night the Massachusetts Senate passed H.4531, a bill designed to provide family medical leave and temporary leave insurance to employees. The entire bill can be found here: BillH4351. This proposed act applies to all employers with one or more employees and provides the following:
- Employees are entitled to leave if they have worked 1250 hours and at least 9 months, whichever occurs later.
- Qualified employees are entitled to 12 weeks of family medical leave.
- Absent special circumstances, employees who take leave under this act are entitled to be restored to the same or similar job after the leave ends.
- Taking leave does not affect right to receive accrued vacation time, sick leave, bonuses, or other employment benefits.
- The leave is paid.
- Violations of the section requiring payment of benefits are subject the Wage Act’s penalties, including treble damages and attorneys’ fees.
- Anti-retaliation provisions that appear to incorporate Wage Act’s penalties, including treble damages and attorneys’ fees.
- Leave taken under this Act will run concurrently with leave taken under the Massachusetts Parental Leave Law and the Family Medical Leave Act.
If passed by the House and signed by the Governor, this law would dramatically impact the workplace. If you have any questions about this proposed law or any other employment issue, please feel free to contact us.