Time Off and Other Benefits

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute & Greater Boston Legal Services
Reviewed April, 2022

 

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You may have the right to take time off of work in Massachusetts. Your rights depend on:

  • The reason you need time off. And,

  • Your employer.

Some laws give paid time off, others unpaid time off.  

Find the laws that may help you if you:

 

Domestic Violence

The Massachusetts Domestic Violence Leave Act (DVLA) gives you 15 days off of work if you or a family member survived domestic violence.  These 15 days may be unpaid. You can also take time off to deal with domestic violence using Paid Time Off

See, Need to Take Time off to deal with Domestic Violence?

Short illness or need to see a doctor

Massachusetts Earned Sick Leave Law gives you 40 hours of time off of work to 

  • recover from an illness,

  • to see a doctor, or ,

  • care for a sick family member.

See Sick Time

Serious medical condition

The Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFML)  gives you 20 weeks of paid time off to deal with serious medical health issues. See Paid Time Off of Work.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) gives you up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave so you can care for yourself if you need to recover from a serious illness. See Your Right to Time Off for illness or injury.

You can get paid for the “waiting week” before PFRL or FMLA benefits begin using Sick Time.

Take care of seriously ill family members

Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFML) gives you:   

  • 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition.

  • 26 weeks paid leave to care for the family member if the condition resulted from active military duty. 

See Paid Time Off.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) gives you up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for family and medical reasons.  If you are a covered worker, you can ask your employer for FMLA leave so you can care for a seriously ill family member.

See Your Right to Time Off for illness or injury.

New baby or adoption of a child

Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFML) gives you up to 

  • 12 weeks of paid leave to bond with a new child.

  • 20 weeks of paid medical leave to address your own serious health condition, including medical complications from pregnancy or birth.

See Paid Time Off Work.

If you do not qualify for PFML, the Massachusetts Parental Leave Act (MPLA) gives you up to 8 weeks of unpaid leave following the birth or adoption of a child. 

Or, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) gives you up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave  to care for a new child. You do not have to take the 12 weeks all together or immediately after the child’s arrival.  See Your right to time off for illness, injury or a new child 

Take care of routine family responsibilities

Small Necessities Leave Act (SNLA) gives you up to 24 hours each year off from work to go:

  • To your child’s education-related school activities.

  • With your child to medical or dental appointments. 

  • With your elderly relative to medical or dental appointments. 

See Time off to take care of family responsibilities.

 

Find Legal Aid

You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.

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Other Resources

The Massachusetts Attorney General also provides information on vacations, including information on time off and voting.

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