Massachusetts workers have five different laws to help balance the demands of work and life better. The laws give us the right to take time off from work:
- to deal with domestic violence,
- for the birth or adoption of a child,
- to take care of seriously ill family members,
- to recover from our own serious illnesses,
- or to take care of routine family responsibilities.
Each law covers different conditions and different employers.
- The Massachusetts Act Relative to Domestic Violence provides employment leave for victims and family members who have suffered domestic violence.
- The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) gives covered workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for family and medical reasons. If you are a covered worker (see Does this law apply to me?) you might ask your employer for FMLA leave so you can care for:
- your newborn
- your newly adopted child
- a seriously ill family member, or
- yourself if you need to recover from a serious illness.
- The Massachusetts Parental Leave Act (MPLA) allows covered workers of any gender to take up to eight weeks of unpaid leave following the birth or adoption of a child.
- The Small Necessities Leave Act (SNLA) allows covered workers to take up to 24 hours per year off from work to go to their child’s education-related school activities, or to accompany a child or elderly relative to medical or dental appointments.
- Beginning in January of 2021, the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFML) will allow covered workers to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected paid family leave a year to bond with a new child. The law also provides up to 12 weeks of job-protected paid family leave to care for a loved one with a serious health condition (up to 26 weeks if the serious health condition resulted from active military duty); and 20 weeks of job-protected paid medical leave to address your own serious health condition, including medical complications from pregnancy, birth or postpartum recovery.