Massachusetts Leave of Absence (FMLA) laws & HR compliance analysis

Massachusetts Leave of Absence (FMLA): What you need to know

Massachusetts does not have a comprehensive family and medical leave law. However, the state does have leave laws for birth, adoption, and placement, as well as a paid sick leave law, and the Small Necessities Act, which grants a small amount of leave for certain family-related activities. In addition, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires that employers of 50 or more employees grant family and medical leave under certain circumstances.
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The Massachusetts Supreme Court has ruled that state laws excluding same-sex couples from marriage violate the state constitution, allowing same-sex couples to marry in Massachusetts (Goodridge v. Dep't of Pub. Health, 440 Mass. 309 (Mass. 2003)).
Interaction with federal FMLA. Under the federal FMLA, a covered "spouse" is a husband or wife as defined or recognized under state law for purposes of marriage in the state where the marriage was celebrated.
In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all states, nationwide (Obergefell v. Hodges 576 U.S. ___ (2015)). As a result, the federal FMLA’s definition of “spouse” will apply to employees in a same-sex marriage.
Under the state Parental Leave Act (PLA), formerly known as the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (MMLA), employers with six or more employees must provide qualified employees with a maximum of 8 weeks of unpaid leave for specified purposes. An employee is eligible for leave under the PLA if he or she has completed the initial probationary period of employment, not to exceed 3 months or, if no such period exists, has been employed for at least 3 consecutive months by the same employer ...

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