Paid Family and Medical Leave Questions From Last Week

Last week was a busy week of questions from people getting ready for the Paid Family and Medical Leave launch on January 1.  Thought I’d share some of the info here.

Q:  We have employees in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and we want to provide the same benefits for all.  How can we do that with the CT plan starting in 2022?

A:   It’s not easy.  Even if the MA and CT PFML plans were starting at the same time, there are differences between them.  The best answer is to set up a short term disability plan for all.  If and when the state plans pay, the STD supplement will smooth out the benefits a bit for your employees.  This will not be perfect, but it’s probably the best solution to the problem.

Q:  Our company is set up as a partnership.  Do I have to include the partners in the MA PFML?

A:  No.  They are not W2 employees, so you don’t have to include them.  They may be able to opt in as self-employed people, however.

Q:  Can I supplement the PFML plan with PTO?

A:  If you’re on the state plan, no.  If you have a private plan, some carriers will allow it up to 100% of pay.

Q:  What do I have to do next for my private PFML plan?

A:  If you haven’t done so already, you need to go onto Mass Tax Connect and apply for the 2021 renewal or first approval for your private plan.  You’ll need the insurance company’s Policy Form Number to do this.

Q:  Is there any chance MA and CT could get together and allow the state of a company’s headquarters to just be the PFML plan for all employees across both states?

A:  Great idea.  So far, no.

Q:  If someone is on an STD claim that starts in December, and it rolls into January, 2021, might they qualify for PFML as well?

A:  Maybe.  Unlike disability plans, PFML does not consider a “date of disability.”  As such, somebody could be on STD claim in December and qualify for PFML in January after the PFML 7 day elimination period.  At that point, the PFML would become “first payer,” and the STD benefit would be reduced by the PFML benefit.

Q:  Is there a way I could hire a company to manage STD, FMLA, and PFML for me so I don’t have to worry about it?

A:  Yes.  There are a few companies that can do it.  Seems that it could be worth consideration.

Q:  Should I cancel my STD plan?

A:  You could make a good argument for either side of this.  I covered this topic in a previous post, linked here:


If you’re interested, we’re hosting an open round table on January 21 at 9:00, “PFML…3 Weeks In.”  Mary Jo Kennedy from Bulkley Richarson will be our guest speaker.  If you’d like to join us, email Sally Felix at or click the link below.


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