Massachusetts Extends and Expands COVID-19-Related Emergency Paid Sick Law
October 5, 2021
Update: On February 28, 2022, the Executive Office for Administration and Finance announced that the EPSL program would expire as of March 15, 2022 and that employees could no longer take EPSL leave after this date. Employers have until April 29, 2022 to submit claims for reimbursement under the EPSL program.
On September 29, 2021, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law an extension to the Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave (“EPSL”) program. As we wrote about in detail here, the EPSL program requires Massachusetts employers to provide paid sick leave to employees who are unable to work for certain reasons relating to COVID-19. Originally scheduled to expire on September 30, 2021 or when funding expired, the EPSL program has now been extended to April 30, 2022 or when funding runs out. At this time, only $2 million of the $75 million set aside to fund the program has been used.
The law extending the EPSL program also adds one additional circumstance under which employees may request, and employers must provide, paid time off: if the employee must care for a family member who needs to obtain or recover from a COVID-19 immunization. All other provisions of the EPSL remain in full force and employers should ensure that they are in compliance with their obligations under the EPSL.