Following a June 11th public hearing on proposed revisions to the Massachusetts Family Medical Leave Act (MFMLA) regulations, on July 15th the Department of Family and Medical Leave (Department) has issued revised regulations with some significant changes compared to those in place beforehand.
Among other things, the revised regulations:
Accrued Paid Leave - Expanded definition
Average Working Week – New definition
Continuing Treatment by a Health Care Provider - Added allowance for telehealth
Continuing Treatment by a Health Care Provider - Deleted reference to Substance Abuse
Extended Illness Leave Bank – New definition
Intermittent Leave – Changed to allow usage in 15-minute increments consistent with employer policies provided, however, that payment by the Department will not be made in requests of less than 8 hours.
Job Protected Leave – Clarified that use of a disability policy of an employer, a paid leave policy of an employer and Extended Illness Leave Bank program of an employer will begin job protected leave and such time will run concurrently with the DFML benefits.
Clarified eligibility for covered individuals to require coverage under a private plan.
Extended timeline that Department can notify an employer of a change in the term of an approved exemption from 30 to 60 days.
Clarified criteria for financial eligibility and leave benefits under a private plan.
Clarified coverage where an employer terminates a private plan or leaves the state plan for a private plan or transfers among private plans.
Addresses coverage of former employees and how applications for benefits are filed depending on whether covered individual is employed or unemployed at the time of filing.
New section to address substance abuse.
Clarifies that each request for intermittent leave shall require recertification consistent with new definition of intermittent leave.
Deleted references to allowing the Department to reduce benefits where the covered individual has other benefits under another employer’s private plan or for wages earned from other employment.
Added a new subsection to allow the Department to consider other wages earned by a covered employee as a possible reduction.
Clarified that 7-day waiting period commences job protected leave period.
Clarified situations in which employer is entitled to reimbursement.
Clarified the effect on use of time provided by employer towards DFML benefits.
A link to the Department’s announcement and a copy of the old regulations, the marked up regulations as of June 11, and the preliminary final revised regulations can be found here: https://mailchi.mp/7f12105a9f3e/listening-sessions-on-draft-regulations-announced- 8014118?e=4fc6fe60ac