Determining Your Total Workforce and Excluded Employment

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July 01, 2019
Department of Family and Medical Leave - Newsletter
July 1, 2019
Determining Your Total Workforce 

As a Massachusetts employer, your responsibility for making contributions under the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law (MGL c. 175M) depends on the makeup of your workforce. To make sure you're remitting the correct amount, it's important that you properly report the size and makeup of your Massachusetts workforce to the Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) through MassTaxConnect. 
Based on the information received during the regulatory review process, we are providing additional language that may clarify the process for determining your total workforce.  DFML is defining wages as they are defined under the MA unemployment statute.  In general, your total workforce would include:
All Massachusetts W-2 employees (full-time, part-time or seasonal).  Generally, if you withhold contributions and remit through MassTaxConnect for a W-2 employee that performs services in the Commonwealth, they should be counted.  
All Massachusetts 1099-MISC Contractors. An MA 1099-MISC contractor is an individual who resides and performs services in Massachusetts.  In addition, for the contractor to be covered, you must be reporting payments for the individual’s services on the IRS Form 1099-MISC.
It is important to note that 1099-MISC contractors count toward your total number of covered individuals only if they make up more than 50 percent of your total workforce (W2 employees and 1099-MISC contractors combined) 

In addition, employees performing certain types of employment excluded under the unemployment statute are also excluded under the PFML program, including: 
  • Services provided by real estate brokers/salespeople and insurance agents/solicitors in commission only jobs
  • Employment by churches and certain religious organizations 
  • Services of work-study students, student nurses and interns, work trainee programs administered by non-profit or public institutions  
  • If under 18, services performed for one’s father or mother 
  • Employment in the railroad industry  
This is a partial list of employment excluded.    Please refer to the link at the bottom of the email to find the full list of exclusions.  

Revised Employer Notification Forms Available  

Again, in response to recommendations from our stakeholders, DFML developed a set of notification forms for employers with under 25 employees.  The graphic breakdown of contribution splits the total required contribution for both family and medical leave. 

Employers who have already completed the notification process will need to issue an amendment to the form and distribute it to all employees with the modified contribution rate.  The amendment does not need to be signed by the employee and can be sent electronically.  This process will need to be completed each time that the rate changes. 

The revised forms as well as the amendment can be found via the link provided below. The forms are provided in English and additional languages will be included on the website within the next several weeks. 


Excluded Employment
Revised Employer Notification Forms

Try Our Benefits Calculator

Use our benefits calculator to give your employees an idea of what their benefits will be when benefits begin rolling out in January 2021 here