The new state law regarding Paternity Leave is big news for new parents in Massachusetts: now most employees across the Commonwealth are entitled to 8 weeks of unpaid parental leave. This new law is an update to the existing law that previously applied only to new mothers. The law now extends parental leave to new fathers and individuals adopting children. Here are a few helpful facts to know:
- This law applies to businesses with six or more employees.
- Parental leave does not just apply to having a newborn child: under the law, a parent can claim the parental leave for the adoption of a child under the age of 18, or under the age of 23 if the child is mentally or physically disabled.
- If you are going to be using parental leave, you must give your employer at least two weeks’ notice before you intend to leave your position, and also let them know when you intend to return.
- An employer can’t turn away an employee who has followed the rules and asks to return to their job following their leave – the employer must take back the employee in their previous position, or one of equal status and pay.
This new law provides a great opportunity for families to bond following the birth or adoption of a child.
If you are having issues with your employer regarding parental or medical leave, or as a small business complying with this new law, it’s best to speak to a lawyer. The Boston Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service can help. We refer to experienced attorneys, and have been a trusted public resource for over 60 years. To connect with us, you make speak directly with the intake staff by calling 617-742-0625, or by submitting an online request.