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On May 28, 2021, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a new temporary paid sick leave program for certain reasons related to COVID-19 (MA PSL). MA PSL required eligible Massachusetts employers to provide paid sick leave time to employees for COVID-related illnesses, quarantine, and vaccinations. A state program was established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for employers to apply for MA PSL reimbursement.
MA PSL was scheduled to expire on the earlier of either April 1, 2022, or until the exhaustion of $100 million of funds earmarked for MA PSL. On February 28, 2022, Massachusetts notified employers that the MA PSL program will end on March 15, 2022, due to the exhaustion of funds.
As a reminder, MA PSL requires employers to provide an employee with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave with a maximum benefit of $850 per week, for the following qualifying COVID-related reasons:
An employee’s need to self-isolate and recover due to a COVID-19 diagnosis; receive a medical diagnosis, care, or treatment for COVID-19 symptoms; or receive or recover from a COVID-19 vaccination;
An employee’s need to care for a family member1 who must self-isolate and recover due to a COVID-19 diagnosis; receive a medical diagnosis, care, or treatment for COVID-19 symptoms; or receive or recover from a COVID-19 vaccination;
A quarantine order or similar determination regarding the employee or the employee’s family member by a local, state, or federal public official, a health authority having jurisdiction, the employee’s employer, or a health care provider;
An employee’s inability to telework due to COVID-19 symptoms.
Employers are advised to notify employees of the MA PSL program end date of March 15, 2022, and continue to seek reimbursement from the Commonwealth for MA PSL costs taken between May 28, 2021, and March 15, 2022. Applications for MA PSL reimbursement must be submitted by April 29, 2022. Click here for instructions on how to apply for MA PSL reimbursement.
The compliance landscape around state and local COVID-19 temporary paid sick leave regulations is complex and changing rapidly. Risk Strategies will continue to work diligently to provide our clients with the most up-to-date information.
1 Family member means an employee’s spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, grandchild, grandparent, or sibling, a parent of a spouse or domestic partner of the employee, or a person who stood in loco parentis to the employee when such employee was a minor child.