Massachusetts Parental Leave Act

Find out all about the Massachusetts Parental Leave Act at US

The Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act is replaced by the Massachusetts Parental Leave Act (PLA), effective April 7, 2015

You are eligible if you:

  • are a man or women
  • worked at least three consecutive months for the same employer as a full-time employee
  • work for a private employer - with six or more employees in Massachusetts

Leave paid or unpaid and how much?

The Parental Leave Act provides eight weeks of unpaid leave - although employers may provide paid leave - for both men and women when:

  • giving birth,
  • adoption of a child under 18, or 23 when the child is disabled
  • placement of a child under court order

    If a woman is experiencing pregnancy-related complications and is placed on bed rest for the last eight weeks of her pregnancy, this time off from work is not covered or protected by the PLA.  

    If you and your spouse are working for the same employer there are limits to the availability of leave, any two of you are entitled to eight weeks of leave.

Job Protection?

During the eight weeks of leave under the Parental Leave Act you have job protection.
If your employer gives parental leave longer than eight weeks, the job protection will extend to the entire period of that leave, unless your employer specifically limits in writing the job protection after the first eight weeks of leave. 


You have tol give at least two weeks' notice to your employer of the anticipated date of departure and your intended return, or provide notice as soon as practicable if the delay is for reasons beyond your control.

Fair Employment Practices

The PLA leave is protected under the Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices statute. Employers are prohibited from discriminating or  retaliating against you for exercising your rights under the PLA. 
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