The MA Parental Leave Act, which went into effect in 2015, requires employers with 6 or more employees to provide 8 weeks of unpaid leave to full-time employees for the birth or adoption of his or her child. Adoption includes the placement of a child under the age of 18, or under the age of 23 if the child is mentally or physically disabled. The law applies to both male and female employees who have completed a probationary period of no longer than 3 months. If both mom and dad work at the same company, then they are entitled to a combined 8 weeks between them. If the employer agrees to parental leave for longer than 8 weeks, then the employer must reinstate the worker unless the employer provided written notice before the initial 8 week leave and before any extension of the leave, that taking longer than 8 weeks will cost the worker their benefits, rights or job.
The employee must be permitted, but not required, to use his or her accrued paid vacation or personal time during all or part of his or her parental leave. An employee may use paid sick leave during all or part of his or her parental leave if the employer’s sick leave policy is satisfied.
Upon return from parental leave, the worker’s position must be restored to the same status, pay, seniority and length of service credit as before the worker left on leave.