Massachusetts Paid Family & Medical Leave Law: What You Need To Know

Earlier this year, the Commonwealth signed into law a statute that provides paid family and medical leave (PFML) benefits to all Massachusetts workers, and the tax will be withheld from employee paychecks beginning October 1, 2019. This new law establishes a system for paid family leave of up to 12 weeks to care for a family member and up to 20 weeks for your own illness for all employees, and will impact virtually all Massachusetts employers.

We’re sure you’re aware of the basics, like when it goes into effect (October 1st) and what it can be used for (family leave of up to 12 weeks and medical leave of up to 20 weeks). If you haven’t already, read our blog post on What you need to know about the Paid Family & Medical Leave Law in Massachusetts.

As additional information is released from the State about this new law, we’ve been fielding tons of questions from our clients and colleagues. Here are some of the most frequently-asked questions about the PFML and its impact on some real-world scenarios:

Q: My company does not run payroll but I pay subcontractors, does the PFML law apply to me?

A: Yes! Because you have 0 employees and pay “x” number of subcontractors, your subcontractors are considered “covered individuals” and because they make up more than 50% of your payroll, you are required to pay the tax on their behalf.

Q: How do I determine which subs need to be paid?

A: Collect W-9s for each sub to determine their entity type. You only need to collect tax for Sole Proprietors.

Q: Are Single Member LLCs counted as sole proprietors?

A: For the purposes of counting your workforce, professional corporations (PCs), Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), Sole Member LLCs, partnerships, and corporations are not individuals and should not be included in your count, even if you make payments to them by 1099-MISC. Those types of business entities should not have withholdings taken by an employer.

Q: How is the workforce count determined for a new employer?

A: You should make a good faith estimate as to what you expect your payroll will look like over the next 12 months.

Q: How do I pay the tax?

A: Contact your payroll provider!


Your Guide to Set Up Subcontractors the Right Way

Are you having trouble collecting information from your subcontractors? Download our “Subcontractor Checklist Packet” to know what you need from them for 1099’s, workman’s comp, and liability audits. We’ve even included a contract for reduced liability!

Justice Bragg

Business Development Specialist, Florida

At work, Justice is passionate about helping the team make decisions and connections that propel the business forward. He prioritizes client satisfaction by serving as a medium to facilitate communication to the proper channels making sure every issue is properly addressed.

Outside of work, Justice enjoys exercising by going to the gym and playing pickleball with his friends. He is a self-proclaimed foodie who can’t say no to trying a new restaurant, sometimes even immediately regretting it.

Zachary Williams

Staff Accountant, Florida

At Level Accounting, Zach is responsible for bookkeeping & payroll. He is dedicated to ensuring financial success for our clients.

Beyond the office walls, Zach’s weekends are filled with adventure, whether he’s exploring Florida’s hidden gems with his wife or battling it out in tournaments. When it’s time to unwind, you’ll find him at the movies or casting his line out for a relaxing fishing session.

Melanie Jerome, MBA


Meet Melanie J, one of our senior staff accountants! Melanie ensures your financial health with precision and expertise. Beyond the office, she’s a true crime enthusiast who loves traveling and outdoor adventures. Whether she’s balancing books or exploring new trails, MJ’s dedication and skill set the standard for excellence in our team.

Seren Lunsford, MBA


Meet Seren, one of our dedicated staff accountants here at level accounting! She is responsible for bookkeeping & payroll. Outside of the office, you can find her on the sidelines of a soccer pitch, karting track, or baseball diamond, cheering on her two active boys. Seren is also a proud owner of two gentle giants, her beloved Great Danes. In her downtime, she channels her creativity into baking and decorating sugar cookies, always eager to experiment with new baked goods ideas and recipes. With her expertise in accounting and her passion for family, pets, and baking, Seren brings a unique blend of professionalism and warmth to our team.

Ivette Rivera


Ivette Rivera is our Executive Assistant at Level Accounting, juggling schedules and keeping things running smooth.

When she’s not crushing it at work, Ivette is an avid participant in her church community. As a mom, she’s all about those quality moments, whether it’s baking up a storm, hitting the water for some kayaking fun, or just chilling with a good book or binge-worthy show. And let’s not forget her partners in crime at home: Harley Quinn, the fridge-raiding pit bull, and Atlas, the cat who rules the roost. Ivette’s all about that balance between work hustle and personal bliss.