PFML frequently asked questions for employees (2023)

General information

How do I create a PFML account or log in to my PFML account?

Use this linkto log in to your accountor create an account.

When is the Contact Center open?

The Department of Family and Medical Leave's Contact Center is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For questions about benefits and eligibility, call (833) 344-7365.

Does PFML take the place of FMLA?

No, PFML and FMLA are separate programs thatwillrun at the same time if you are eligible for both. FMLA is a federal program that provides unpaidtime offand offers certain job protections. PFML is a paid family and medical leave program offered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that also offers job protections.Learn how PFML is different than FMLA.

Can Iaccrue vacation and sick timewhilereceiving PFML benefits?

It depends on your employer's policy. Check with your Human Resources department.

What is the 7-day waiting period?

When you begin your paid leave,in most casesthere is a waiting period of 7 calendar days before payments begin.The exception is if youtransitionimmediatelyfrom medical leave to family leave to bond with a child, there is not a second 7-day waiting period.You will not receive any benefits payments during this waiting period. Also, these 7 days will count against your total available leave for the benefit year.

If you havebeen approvedfor intermittent leave, the waiting period will be 7 consecutive calendar daysfrom the first reported day of leave.

CanIuse vacation time, sick time,or other paid time off while receiving PFML benefits?

If you are on continuous leave, youcannot receive PFMLbenefitsanduseaccrued vacationtime,sick time,or other paid time offonthe sameday.If you are onreduced orintermittentleave, you can receive both within the same week but not on the same day.Learn more about how other leave and benefits can affect your PFML benefits.

Can I use vacation time, sick time, or other paid time off during the 7-day waiting period before PFML benefit payments start?

Yes. You can use paid time off from your employer during the waiting week without affecting your benefit payment.

Canmyemployer mandate when thepaidleaveis taken?

Youshould work outyourleave schedule withyour employerbeforeapplying forPFMLbenefits.Try togiveat least 30days' noticeto your employer before the start of your leave. You mustprovide the date thatyou told your employer about yourleave request in the application for benefits. Ifyouwant to take full-time leave and meet the other program requirements,youremployer cannot denyyouthe ability to take leave.


IfI'ma new employee, how long doIhave to work to be eligible?

There is no minimum length of employment,provided thatyoumet the othereligibility requirements for benefitsat a previous employer.

Can I apply for PFML benefits ifIhave accruedpaid time offavailable from my employer?

Yes. Having available accrued paid time off does not disqualify you from applying for benefits. However, you can’t use paid time off and PFML benefits at the same time.Learn more about how other leave and benefits can affect your PFML benefits.

Applying for paid family or medical leave

Ifmy employerhas a private planthat offers benefits equal to or greater than PFML,shouldIstill open a PFML account?

No.You should contact yourHuman Resources Department for instructions for filing for benefits under a private plan.if your employer offers a private plan and you apply for PFML, your application will be denied.

IfIplan to use continuous leave and then use intermittent leave throughout the remainder of the year, shouldIfile two separate applications?

Yes. In most situations, using two different types of paid leave benefits requiresseparate applications.

IfItake separate leaves for the same situation, is there a waiting period each time?

Yes. Each separate application for paid leave benefits requiresa new 7-day waiting period. The only exception is when medical leave related to pregnancy rollsintofamily leave to bond with a child.

Family leave to bond with a child

What is the total number of weeks available for medicalleaveand family leave for the birth of a baby?

In total,youcan take 26 weeks ofpaidleave per benefit year.You can split the 26 weeks between medical leave and family leave to bond with a child.Howeveryou divide it, you can’t exceed20 weeks of medical leave or 12 weeks of family leave to bond with a child.Youcan take medical leaveafter childbirth orbeforedelivery ifyourhealth care provider verifiesyou havea serious medical conditionrelated to your pregnancy.Learn more abouttransitioning from medical leave to family leave to bond with a child.

IfIgave birth, doIneed to apply for medical leave first or canIjust apply forfamilyleaveto bond with a child?

Youcan apply forfamily leave tobondwith a childas long it is within 12 months from the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of the child. There is no requirement thatyoutake both family and medical leave at the time of a child’s birth.

Is family leaveto bond with a childavailable to both parents?

Yes. Each parentor legal guardianmay qualifyfor12 weeks offamilyleave to bond with their child during the first year of the child’s life, adoption, or foster care placement.You can choose to take family leave to bond with a child at the same time or separately,as long asyou complete the leave before the child’s first birthday, or the one-year anniversary of their adoption or foster care placement.

CanIstart the application process early?

Yes.You cannotapply more than 60 days before the intended leave date. Estimated dates canbe usedto applyand modified as necessary.

CanIsplit upmyfamilyleavetobond witha childor does it have tobe takenall at once?

There is no restriction as to howyou splitthe timeif it is taken as continuous leaveas long as it iswithin 12 months of the child’s birth,adoptionor foster care placement. The last day of leave must be the day before the child’s birthday or placement anniversary.If you want to take family leave to bond with a child on an intermittent or reduced schedule, your employer must agree to it.

Payments and taxes

Are taxesbeing takenout of the weekly checks?

The IRS has not yet made a ruling on whether your PFML benefitsare considered“taxable income.” Massachusetts tax treatment will follow the guidance provided by the IRS.

During your application, you have the option to have state and federal taxes withheld from your weekly benefit. This preference cannotbe changedonce your application has been approved. If you choose to have taxes withheld,we will withhold 5% for state taxes and 10% for federal taxes.These amounts are an approximation and what you owe may be more or less than what is deducted.

Willbenefit paymentsbe madeweekly or every other week?

Continuous leave benefit payments willbe madeweekly.For reduced leave, paymentis madeafter you take your first 8 hours of leaveor if 30 days have passed since the first reported leave.For intermittent leave, whenyou report leave timeyouwill receive paymentafter it’s verified with your employer.

IfI’m receiving PFML benefitsandIbecome eligible tocollectunemployment, canIdouble dip?

No, the benefits would offset each other.YourPFML paymentwillbe reducedby the amount paid by Unemployment Insurance. It is a dollar for dollar offset of benefit payments.

If I’m receiving PFML benefits and I become eligible tocollect workers’ compensation, can I double dip?

No, the benefits would offset each other. Your PFML payment will be reduced by the amount paid by workers’ compensation. It is a dollar for dollar offset of benefit payments.

Is there retroactivepay ifmyapplicationisn't approveduntil later?

Yes,youwillbe retroactively paidfrom thestart ofyourleaveafter the 7-day waiting periodifyourapplication is approved.

How soon will someone receive benefit payments once an application hasbeen approved?

Once your applicationis approved, you can expect weekly payments to begin 2-4 weeks after your leave begins. If your leave has already begun, you can expect your first payment to arrive 2 weeks after itis approved. After that, you will receive your payments every week.

When you begin your paid family or medical leave, there is a7-day waiting periodbefore benefit payments start. You will not receive benefit payments during this waiting period. Also, these 7 days will count against your total available leave for the benefit year.

Changing your leave

Do I need to submit a new application to extend my leave? Will there be another7-day waiting period?

There is no waiting period for an extension. You must let your employer know you want to extend your leave at least 30 calendar days before yourcurrentleaveexpires or as soon as possible.Go online to orcall the Contact Centerat (833) 344-7365to request an extension at least 30 calendar daysafter your currentleaveexpires.

If you don't request an extension 30 calendar days after your leave expires, you may have to submit another leave application and there may be a second 7-day waiting period.

IfI'm onreduced schedule leave two days per week, canIchange this later to be more orfewerdays per week, or change to a continuousor intermittent leave schedule?

Youcan always modify a current approved leave. However, it may require a new applicationandnewdocumentation.The new application will be sent to your employer for review.Learn more about changing your approved leave.


Get answers to your questions in English, Español, and Português. Translation services for up to 240+ languages are also available. (833) 344-7365

Department of Family and Medical Leave - Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Fraud Reporting Hotline: (857) 366-7201

Department of Family and Medical Leave - Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m - 5 p.m.

For questions about contributions and exemptions: (617) 466-3950

Department of Revenue - Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


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What questions should I ask HR about FMLA? ›

Questions Employees May Ask About the FMLA
  • How much leave am I entitled to under FMLA? ...
  • How is the 12-month period calculated under FMLA? ...
  • Does the law guarantee paid time off? ...
  • Does workers' compensation leave count against an employee's FMLA entitlement?

What are the employer responsibilities for PFML in MA? ›

Employers must withhold PFML contributions from employees' paychecks. Employers are only required to send an employer contribution if they have 25 or more covered individuals in their workforce. The PFML law follows the unemployment statute for determining what counts as wages.

What to do if an employee asks for FMLA? ›

The employer is required to respond to the employee within five business days of receiving a request or of becoming aware of the need for FMLA leave. The easiest way to comply with this response requirement is to use the FMLA model form Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities (WH-381).

How much do employees pay for MA PFML? ›

Between 0.63%, the medical leave contribution is 0.52% and the family leave is 0.11%. For medical leave, employers can deduct a maximum of 40% of the contribution from the employee's wages. And, employers can deduct up to 100% of the contribution required for family leave from employees' wages.

Can your manager question you about FMLA? ›

Qualifying Reasons

If an employee takes FMLA leave, it must be for a qualifying reason. You can ask questions regarding the nature of the leave to determine if a qualifying reason exists.

Can my manager call me while on FMLA? ›

Human resource professionals and managers should not call an employee into work for any reason during Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) time off, employment law attorneys say. Occasional phone calls may be OK, but workplace investigations and even promotion discussions should be postponed until the employee's return.

Can my employer ask me questions about my FMLA? ›

Under the FMLA regulations, once an employer receives notice that an employee may be eligible for FMLA leave, the employer is permitted to request a medical certification to confirm the employee's need for leave.

Can you say someone is on medical leave? ›

If it is necessary for business purposes to communicate that an employee is or will be out of work, you can indicate that they are “on leave,” but do NOT disclose they are on “medical leave”.

What is the maximum pay for PFML in Massachusetts? ›

Your benefits payment is based on your individual average weekly wage, the state average weekly wage for Massachusetts workers, your benefit year, and the type of leave you are taking. In 2022, the maximum weekly benefit is $1,084.31.

What is the income limit for PFML in MA? ›

You meet the earnings requirement if you earn enough to meet the threshold: For 2022, the requirement is $5,700 in earnings and 30 times the PFML benefit amount. For 2023, the requirement is $6,000 in earnings and 30 times the PFML benefit amount. Threshold amounts are updated annually.

What is the salary cap for PFML in Massachusetts? ›

68% in 2022) capped at the 2023 Social Security wage base ($160,200). The maximum weekly PFML benefit will also increase to $1,129.82 (from $1,084.31 in 2022).

Can you use PTO while on MA PFML? ›

An employee can choose to use PTO instead of PFML benefits. They cannot use PTO and receive PFML benefits on the same day.

Do you have to pay taxes on MA PFML? ›

An individual may pay taxes on benefits if they received payments from PFML in a given calendar year. Contributions to the PFML Family and Employment Security Trust Fund are withheld from Massachusetts employees' paychecks to fund the program.

Is Ma PFML mandatory? ›

If you employ Massachusetts employees, you're required to comply with the PFML law. Learn more about the law, your obligations, how to make contributions, and other employer responsibilities.

What are 5 questions to ask a employee? ›

Here are five questions you can ask your employees every week to jumpstart your journey and help lead your people to greatness.
  • What's going well in your role? ...
  • What challenges are you facing? ...
  • How are you feeling? ...
  • On a scale of 1-10, how fulfilled are you? ...
  • Ask for feedback on ways you can become a better leader.

What are 3 questions to ask an employee? ›

Best questions to ask about the job
  • What does a typical day or week look like in this role? ...
  • What are the most immediate projects that need to be addressed?
  • Can you show me examples of projects I'd be working on?
  • What are the skills and experiences you're looking for in an ideal candidate?
Mar 3, 2023

What are the 7 most common interview questions and answers pdf? ›

How to master these 7 common interview questions
  • Where do you see yourself in five years time? ...
  • What are your strengths/weaknesses? ...
  • Why should I hire you? ...
  • Tell me about yourself/your work experience. ...
  • Why do you want this job? ...
  • What are your salary expectations? ...
  • Why are you the right fit to succeed in this role?

Does your employer know why you are on FMLA? ›

Your employer does not need to know your or your family member's medical history. Your employer can request that you provide medical certification containing sufficient medical facts to establish that you are using FMLA leave for a qualifying serious health condition.

Do I have to explain why I'm calling out? ›

In the United States you're legally not required to give the reason for calling in sick. Many employees believe it makes them sound more credible if they give details of their illness.

What are the rules around FMLA? ›

In order to be eligible to take leave under the FMLA, an employee must (1) work for a covered employer, (2) work 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of leave, (3) work at a location where 50 or more employees work at that location or within 75 miles of it, and (4) have worked for the employer for 12 ...

Can an employee check emails while on FMLA? ›

Employees are allowed to volunteer to help out by checking their email or taking some calls while on FMLA.

Can my boss tell my coworkers I am on FMLA? ›

Whether an employee is on continuous or intermittent leave, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) restrict sharing information about the employee in virtually the same way and emphasize keeping medical information confidential.

Can I talk to coworkers while on FMLA? ›

Avoid contacting employees on FMLA leave unless necessary. If it can wait until the employee returns, it is better not to contact the employee.

What happens when my 12 weeks of FMLA is exhausted? ›

When employees exhaust twelve weeks of FMLA leave and still cannot return to work due to their own medical impairment, the employer may have an obligation under the ADA to grant additional unpaid leave as a reasonable accommodation, in some situations.

What is the longest you can take FMLA? ›

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave.

What should I tell my coworkers about FMLA? ›

I want to let you know that I've been working a different schedule than normal because of some family health issues. I've worked out an arrangement with Jane and HR, but wanted to give you a heads-up, too.” “I'm taking intermittent FMLA leave so you may notice me working different or fewer hours than usual.”

Is it a Hipaa violation to say someone is on FMLA? ›

Other records are considered employment records rather than health care records and are not protected by HIPAA, including: Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) medical certifications.

Can my boss tell my coworkers my medical condition? ›

Unless a manager, supervisor, or human resources employee has a legitimate need to know, it's safe to say that an employer that discloses private medical information to other employees is breaking the law.

Can my boss not approve my leave? ›

However, an employer has the right to deny a vacation or personal day off request, but they must usually provide a reasonable explanation for such a denial. If you recently encountered problems while trying to request time off from work, contact a Los Angeles employment attorney to determine if the refusal was legal.

What is the average weekly wage for ma PFML in 2023? ›

For 2023, the new state average weekly wage is $1,765.34 and the new maximum weekly benefit rate is $1,129.82.

Can you extend PFML in Massachusetts? ›

You must let your employer know at least 30 calendar days before your current leave expires or as soon as possible. If you need to extend your leave, you must go online to or call the Contact Center. You can request an extension up to 30 calendar days after the expiration of your original leave.

What is the MA PFML 2023 rate? ›

Contribution Rates: For 2023, the overall PFML contribution rate has decreased from 0.68% to 0.63% of eligible wages for employers with 25 or more covered individuals. The PFML contribution rate for smaller employers – fewer than 25 covered individuals – decreased from 0.344% to 0.318%.

What is the new weekly maximum for PFML in Massachusetts? ›

Beginning in January 2023, the maximum weekly benefit that employees are eligible to receive through the PFML will be $1,129.82, an increase of $45.51 from the current maximum weekly benefit of $1,084.31.

What employers are exempt from MA PFML? ›

Businesses and organizations with one or more employees are subject to the MA PFML law. Exceptions include: Self-employed individuals (may opt-in to the state plan). Municipal employers (may opt-in to the state plan if they decide to participate in the program).

Who pays for MA paid family leave? ›

Who pays for PFL? PFL is funded by mandatory payroll deductions from covered workers. This means that your previous paychecks helped pay for your own benefits and the benefits of millions of other eligible Californians.

Who qualifies for PFML in MA? ›

Both full and part time employees are eligible for MA PFML benefits—there is no minimum hours worked requirement. Eligibility is based on the amount of compensation that the employee has earned while working for any employer in Massachusetts during the last 4 completed quarters—not the specific employer.

What are 4 situations in which one may take FMLA? ›

Eligible employees can take FMLA leave to care for a child, spouse, or parent who has a serious health condition. Caring for a family member under the FMLA includes assistance with basic medical, hygienic, nutritional, safety, transportation needs, physical care, or psychological comfort.

What do you say when using FMLA? ›

Include a request for FMLA leave and why you think it qualifies for FMLA protection. Date the leave will begin. Expected date of return to work. Specific dates and times of absence, if applicable.

Can you talk to coworkers while on FMLA? ›

Limit contact to urgent matters only.

FMLA interference includes not only refusing to authorize FMLA leave, but also discouraging an employee from using leave. Therefore, while an employee on FMLA leave has no right to be left alone, any contact should be limited to urgent matters and should be kept brief.

Can employer tell other employees you are on FMLA? ›

Whether an employee is on continuous or intermittent leave, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) restrict sharing information about the employee in virtually the same way and emphasize keeping medical information confidential.

Is anxiety a serious health condition under FMLA? ›

A chronic condition whether physical or mental (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, anxiety, dissociative disorders) that may cause occasional periods when an individual is unable to work is a qualifying serious health condition if it requires treatment by a health care provider at least twice a year and recurs over an ...

How to use FMLA for burnout? ›

Go to your Human Resources department and let them know you would like to take an FMLA-approved absence for stress leave. They will provide you with the necessary paperwork that you must take to your doctor.

Should you tell your boss about FMLA? ›

When to Let Your Employer Know You Might Need FMLA Leave. To take FMLA leave, you must provide your employer with appropriate notice. If you know in advance that you will need FMLA leave, you must give your employer at least 30 days advance notice.

What is the difference between FMLA and intermittent FMLA? ›

Intermittent FMLA leave is an option for employees who want to use FMLA leave in a more flexible manner. Intermittent leave involves the use of days or hours, broken down into increments, to care for a family member with a serious illness or to receive treatment for your own serious illness.

What is the difference between CFRA and FMLA? ›

FMLA is a federal program, while CFRA is state based in California. Simply being pregnant under FMLA qualifies, while CFRA only covers time off for pregnancy complications. It is more difficult to be covered as a domestic partner by FMLA than by CFRA.

Who is eligible for FMLA CFRA? ›

Employee Eligibility for FMLA/CFRA Leave

An employee must have worked for a covered employer for at least 12 months and must have worked for 1,250 hours in the 12 months before the start of the leave.


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