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Massachusetts Requires Employers to Provide Paternity Parental Leave

 A maternity law for men? That’s what Massachusetts created when they scrapped their female-exclusive law in January and replaced it with a gender-neutral act. Effective April 7, 2015, the new law entitles both male and female employees to 8 weeks of job-protected parental leave. Called the Massachusetts Parental Leave Act (MPLA), the new law will replace the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (MMLA); essentially, the MPLA simply extends the rights described in the MMLA to male employees.

Employees are eligible under the new law if they meet the following requirements:

  • They work for an employer with 6 or more employees in Massachusetts.
  • They have worked full-time for their employer for 3 months.

Employers have the right to decide if the parental leave is paid or unpaid.

Like the MMLA, the MPLA allows employees to take parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child under the age of 18 (or under the age of 23 if the child is mentally or physically disabled). If both parents work for the same employer, they are entitled to 8 weeks in aggregate for the birth or adoption of the same child.

Several additional requirements in the new law remain consistent with the MMLA:

  • Employees must provide at least 2 weeks notice if they intend to take parental leave. In circumstances beyond the employee’s control, he or she may provide notice “as soon as practicable.”
  • Employers must post employee rights in a conspicuous location at the workplace.
  • Employers who permit more than 8 weeks of parental leave must give employees the same rights and benefits for the full duration of that leave, unless they provide a clear statement in writing before the leave begins, stating that a longer leave will result in a loss of those rights and benefits.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the new law!


About Presagia

Founded in 1987, Presagia has a long history of helping organizations solve complex business problems with easy-to-use solutions. Today, this means providing cloud-based absence management solutions that enable organizations to be more efficient, control lost time and risk, and strengthen compliance with federal, state and municipal leave and accommodation laws.


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