Client Alert: Massachusetts Emergency Paid Sick Leave to End March 15
On February 28, 2022, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts announced that its COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave (“MEPSL”) law will come to an end, effective March 15, 2022.
Until that time, employers must still comply with the MEPSL, which requires employers to provide eligible employees with up to 40 hours of paid leave (for a maximum of $850 per week) for certain absences related to COVID-19. This expense was reimbursable to the employer from the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Fund. For further detail on the mandate, including employee eligibility criteria, please see our prior alerts on June 1, 2021 and October 4, 2021.
The MEPSL, which was signed into law by Governor Baker last May, was set to expire on April 1, 2022 or upon the exhaustion of $100 million in program funds. However, the Commonwealth announced that since applications for reimbursement have now exceeded $85 million, the law as amended, allowing the Office for Administration and Finance (“A&F”) to end the program with 15-days’ notice.
Further, the A&F has stated that employers will have until April 29 to submit applications for benefits reimbursement.
We will continue to monitor and provide updates on further developments related to COVID-19, as well as other issues impacting employers.
If you have questions, please consult with your Bowditch attorney.