Important Massachusetts Emergency Leave Update

Date: October 05, 2021

Emergency COVID Sick Leave Extended Until April 2022

In March 2021, Massachusetts passed a package of bills that included an unemployment insurance rate schedule freeze, prevented PPP loans from being taxed by the state, and a mandate that employers must offer emergency leave to workers for COVID-related matters. The leave was set to expire this month but is now extended until April of 2022.

 

What Employers Should Know

  • While the federal government ended the original Families First Coronavirus Response Act COVID sick leave mandate in December of 2020, provisions were included in the American Rescue Plan Act to offer qualifying businesses a tax credit for continuing to voluntarily offer paid COVID leave to workers.

 

  • However, in March of 2022 Massachusetts made the emergency leave mandatory again, requiring employers to offer 40 hours of emergency COVID leave to workers. Businesses with fewer than 500 workers could utilize the federal tax credit for reimbursement, businesses ineligible for the tax credit could access a $75 million fund (paid for by CARES Act money) for reimbursement.

 

  • Now that the federal tax credit is expiring (9/30/21), Massachusetts small businesses are allowed access to the $75 million fund to be reimbursed for mandatory COVID-related emergency leave paid to workers.

 

Businesses seeking reimbursement must follow a process on the MassTaxConnect website.

 

To learn more about emergency leave and how to seek reimbursement visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-temporary-emergency-paid-sick-leave-program.

 

Please contact [email protected] or call (617) 482-1327 with any questions or concerns.

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