Massachusetts Passes COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Law
Effective June 7, 2021, Massachusetts employers must provide COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave for specific COVID-19-related exposure, diagnosis, illness, treatment, isolation or quarantine of employees or their family members; for employees’ vaccination; and when symptoms inhibit telework.
The costs of leave are reimbursed by the state. The leave requirement ends Sept. 30, 2021, or when the state’s reimbursement fund is exhausted, whichever happens first.
The new COVID-19 paid sick leave law requires the following amounts of leave:
- Full-time employees: 40 hours
- Part-time employees: An amount based on scheduled work hours
Employees receive their regular compensation and benefits, but compensation is capped at $850 per week. Compensation may also be reduced by wages the employee receives under any government program or law.
COVID-19 paid sick leave must be provided in addition to time off under another law or employer policy. Employers may not require that other paid leave be used first, but they may substitute their paid sick leave policy providing the same amount of leave for the same purposes as COVID-19 paid sick leave.
Nonretaliation and employer and employee notice provisions apply.
Employers may not be reimbursed for leave wages eligible for the tax credit for leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), as extended. Reimbursement applications must include, among other things, a copy of the employee’s written request for leave, providing required information.