Massachusetts Family/Medical Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that was passed in 1993 and governs unpaid leave.  The FMLA requires employers to allow employees to:  1) take up to 13 weeks of unpaid leave each year for the arrival of a new child; and, 2) deal with their own serious health condition or one of a family member. 

Once the leave is over, employees are entitled to reinstatement.  Even though an employee does not have to be paid, he or she may keep health benefits.  If the employee does not return, the employer can seek to be reimbursed.    

For maternity and adoption leave employers with six or more employees are covered. Employees who have worked for at least three months or all full-time employees who have completed their “probationary” period are covered under Massachusetts law.  For all other leave, employees who would normally be eligible under the FMLA are covered.  Employers with 50 or more employees must provide unpaid leave.  Employees who have worked an average of 30 or more hours a week for at least 12 consecutive months are eligible under the FMLA.