Massachusetts’ Expanded Parental Leave Law Goes into Effect Next Week

As we previously reported, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts enacted a law earlier this year that replaces its maternity leave statue with one affording both women and men with up to eight weeks of unpaid job-protected parental leave. The new laws takes effect April 7, 2015.

While FMLA-eligible employees (both male and female) may already be entitled to up to 12-weeks of bonding leave following the birth or adoption of a child, the Massachusetts leave law will permit such employees to take an additional eight weeks of parental leave if they have already exhausted their FMLA entitlement for reasons other than parental leave. Moreover, while the FMLA applies to employers with 50 or more employees, the Massachusetts parental leave law applies to employers with six or more employees.

Massachusetts employers—or those with employees in the Commonwealth—should take this opportunity to review their leave policies and ensure their leave administrators are aware of these new leave rights available to new dads.