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Change to Massachusetts PFMLA Act effectively vetoed

A provision in the Massachusetts state budget would have amended the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA). But the governor has not signed the amendment.

Legislation would have allowed employees to use their accrued paid leave to supplement their PFML benefits while on qualified leave. Basically, employees would have been permitted to “top off” their PFML benefits, up to the full amount of their weekly wages.

Gov. Charlie Baker returned the bill to the Legislature with a recommendation, effectively a veto. The Legislature voted to override the governor’s amendment veto and returned the bill to the governor. The governor has not acted on the legislation, meaning it has not been amended.

As of 2021, most Massachusetts employees are eligible to receive up to 12 weeks paid family leave to care for a family member or bond with a new child and 20 weeks paid leave for their own serious medical issue. The maximum weekly benefit provided by the state is $1,084.

Individuals who want to supplement the benefit can use a temporary disability policy or an employer-sponsored leave program. As it stands, if the employee receives payments from paid time-off policies, the state will not pay PFMLA benefits during the leave.

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