As most employers know by now, back in June, Governor Charlie Baker signed the “Grand Bargain” bill into law. Among other things, the new law creates a paid family and medical leave program to be administered by a new state agency. That new state agency is supposed to craft proposed regulations by March 31, 2019. Because the statute calls for regulations, rather than mere guidance, the state must hold sessions, open to the public, before finalizing the regulations.
Today the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced that it will be holding public listening sessions regarding draft regulations, which will be released no later than January 23. Sessions are scheduled in Springfield on February 1 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Department of Industrial Accidents located at 436 Dwight Street, Third Floor, and in Worcester on February 5 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce located at 311 Main Street, Suite 2000. Sessions are also scheduled between January 30 and February 19 in Boston, Lawrence, Greenfield, Hyannis, and Fall River. For specific dates and times in your area, check the announcement.
Individuals who attend will have the opportunity to present data, views, and/or arguments related to the draft regulations. The public may also send written presentations to MassPFML@Mass.gov. Employers are strongly encouraged to attend the sessions and share their opinions on the new program and how it will impact their businesses.
The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development has also released FAQs for employers and employees regarding the new law. At this point, those FAQs track the language of the statute, without filling in any holes. As a result, employers will have to wait for the final regulations to get more answers about the new program and how it will impact their businesses.