The law may have been passed and signed into law by the Governor over two years ago (June 28,2018), but Massachusetts last week issued unofficial final regulations governing the state Paid Family and Medical Leave law. With the benefit of a public hearing and comment period, the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave released their final draft and will publish the regulation tomorrow, July 24. The legislation, which provides employees with as much as 12 weeks job-protected paid leave from work for qualified medical and family reasons, called for employers to begin funding the program last July (2019) through a 0.63% payroll tax, but in the face of opposition and grave concerns from the business community, a legislative delay of an additional three months was signed into law last year. The payroll tax went into effect on October 1, 2019 and employees will become eligible to access the leave benefit for family issues beginning January 1 and to care for a sick relative beginning July 1, 2021. The final regulations provide some further guidance regarding the coverage and eligibility requirements for private plan exemptions and further clarify that the weekly benefit and the leave allotment are based on a worker’s average work week as well as wages at the time of application. There are also several other changes relating substance abuse disorders and the interaction between existing paid leave and PFML benefits.