Massachusetts Expanded Parental Leave Law Effective April 7, 2015

Type:  General 

Effective April 7, 2015, Massachusetts employers with six or more workers will be required to provide male and female employees with eight weeks of job protected leave for the (1) birth, (2) adoption, or (3) court ordered placement of a child.


Important Facts To Remember:

  • * If both parents work for the same company, the company may require the employees to have a combined eight weeks of leave.
  • * Employees will be eligible for parental leave if they have completed the initial introductory (probationary) period set by the terms of employment, not to exceed three months.  If the organization does not have an established introductory period, an employee must have been employed by the same employer for at least three consecutive months in order to be eligible.
  • * If an employer permits an employee to take parental leave for a period longer than the statutorily required eight weeks, the employee retains his or her right to reinstatement for the full duration of the leave, unless the employer clearly informs the employee in writing, before the parental leave begins.
  • * The law states that an employee's rights to receive vacation time, sick leave, bonuses, advancement opportunities, seniority and other benefits for which the employee was eligible as of the date of the leave has to be reinstated (NOTE: The period of the parental leave need not be included in the computation of any benefits as long as this is a policy for any employee taking any type of leave).
  • * Employees may be required to provide at least two weeks' notice to the employer of the employee's anticipated date of departure and his/her intention to return, however, employers need to allow an employee to provide notice "as soon as practicable" if the delay in providing notice is "for reasons beyond the individual's control".

NOTE:  Those employers who must comply with FMLA, may have the MA Parental Leave and FMLA run concurrently.


What To Do Now:

  • Update your handbook and policies:
    • * Employers with "maternity leave" policies should change their policies to "parental leave" and include both male and female employees.
    • * Review your benefits and other practices to ensure male and female employees receive the same protections.
    • * Notify your employees of these changes.

If you should have questions, please contact Lauren Brenner at