Brokers Need to Know: Massachusetts Paid Family & Medical Leave

Justin Davidson, MAR Legal Counsel, has been working with staff to clearly understand how the new MA Paid Family and Medical Leave Act that will impact all company owners that pay employees or 1099-MISC independent contractors. They have been fielding questions from local association executives, and have been attempting to clarify a lot of the uncertainties in the new law and are continuing to push for a three month implementation delay as well as more clarity regarding how 1099 contractors are to be treated.  While we have flagged this issue for the legislature and regulators, they have not yet acted.

Below is Justin’s update for your assistance, and we encourage you to bring questions to our Legal Luncheon on May 30th as well! MAR wants to make sure you have all the information available and the opportunity to learn more about what effects paid family and medical leave (PFML) will have on you as a real estate broker.


In 2018, Massachusetts signed into law a statute that provides paid family and medical leave (PFML) benefits to workers.

As of July 1, 2019, most businesses, including real estate businesses, will be required to begin taking payroll deductions from their employee and 1099-MISC worker’s wages to contribute to the Department of Family and Medical Leave’s Family and Employment Security Trust Fund.

Most Massachusetts real estate brokerages will be covered by the law because it counts 1099-MISC contractors towards the total number of covered individuals if they make up more than 50 percent of the total workforce.

All existing workers must receive proper notice no later than June 30, 2019:

  • May be electronic or paper;
  • The worker must be given the opportunity to acknowledge receipt or decline to acknowledge receipt in writing; and
  • Must include the applicable contribution structure, which is dependent on the number of workers, as shown in the infographic below.

To estimate what your required contributions will be, the Commonwealth has developed this calculator.

All employers must also hang the Paid Family and Medical Leave workplace poster:

  • In a location where it can easily be read; and
  • Must be available in English and each language which is the primary language of 5 or more individuals in your workforce if such translations are made available from the Department of Family and Medical Leave.

If you have not already set up an account on MassTax Connect, now is a good time to do so. Follow this link to set up an account. All earnings reports and contributions will be made through this system.

More information can be found on the Department of Family and Medical Leave website.

We will also be hosting a FREE webinar on Thursday, June 6 at 10:00AM.

Our presenter, Attorney Steve Perry, partner in Casner & Edwards, LLP, will explain the components of the new Paid Family and Medical Leave law, review important dates, and discuss how the new legislation will affect Realtors® and your business.

Click for the full infographic