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Massachusetts to see minimum wage increase, paid family and medical leave beginning in January

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Those making minimum wage in Massachusetts are about to see a bump in pay.

In June of 2018, Governor Baker signed H.4640, an Act relative to minimum wage, paid family medical leave and the sales tax holiday, also known as the “Grand Bargain.” The legislation created a permanent sales tax holiday, increase in the minimum wage over five years and created a new paid family and medical leave program in Massachusetts.

A raise of the Commonwealth’s minimum wage to $15/hour over five years began in January 2019 with a bump up to $12 an hour. A raise to the minimum base wage rate for tipped workers to $6.75, also phased in over a 5-year period, began in January of 2019 with a raise to $4.35 an hour.

Beginning January 1st 2021, the standard minimum wage will increase to $13.50 and the tipped minimum wage will bump up to $5.55.

The Federal minimum wage will remain at $7.25 per hour.

Also, beginning January 1st of 2021, most workers in Massachusetts will be eligible to get up to 12 weeks of paid family leave and up to 20 weeks of paid medical leave. The program will be funded by premiums paid by employees, employers, and the self-employed. Contributions to the program began on Oct. 1, 2019, and will be managed through the Department of Family and Medical Leave.

PFML is available to covered individuals who work in Massachusetts. Covered individuals include W-2 workers who work in Massachusetts, whether they are full-time, part-time, or seasonal, Self-employed individuals, and 1099-MISC workers who work in Massachusetts, do not qualify as independent contractors, and who make up more than 50% of their employer’s workforce.

PFML is a tax of no greater than 0.75% of your eligible wages paid by you and, potentially, your employer. The amount will vary depending on how much is being contributed by each party.

Paid family leave may be taken to:

•Care for a family member with a serious health condition

•Bond with a child during the first 12 months after the child’s birth

•Bond with a child during the first 12 months after adoption or foster care placement

•Care for a family member who is or was a member of the Armed Forces, National Guard or Reserves and developed or aggravated a serious health condition in line of duty on active duty while deployed to a foreign country

•Manage family affairs when a family member is on or has been called to active duty in a foreign county while in the armed forces, including the National Guard or Reserves

Paid medical leave may be taken to manage your own serious health condition.

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