As American citizens, we are constantly seeing money deducted from our paychecks. It's a part of life. We see it in the form of State and Federal taxes, Social Security, and medical insurance premiums. The last thing we want to hear about is another deduction. Well, there’s another deduction. Starting on July 1st, the initial phase of the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act will take effect in Massachusetts. What does this mean for you and your wallet? Well, if you work for a private company in Massachusetts, you will start to see a deduction from your paycheck to help fund the new program. It might hurt a bit to see that extra amount missing from your check, but if you ever need to take a medical leave from your employer, you’ll be happy that this program is in place.

The Family Leave Act, as opposed to the new Massachusetts program, is a federal program that is unpaid. The Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act is designed to improve upon the federal program and will allow employees of private companies to apply for 12 to 26 weeks of paid time off when the plan go fully into effect in 2021.

The Berkshire Eagle reports that the amount of your deduction depends on several factors. If you work for a company with fewer than 25 employees, then you will likely see a larger deduction. Employers with less than 25 employees would be allowed to pass the total cost of the contribution onto its employees. Companies with more than 25 employees would be responsible for paying at least 60 percent of an employee’s contribution.

Without any formal state guidance on how to implement the program expected until after the programs launch in July, Berkshire business owners and tax professionals got together this past Monday morning at Pittsfield City Hall for a presentation on the legislation. The session was organized by 1Berkshire. More sessions have been scheduled to take place in North Adams and in Stockbridge.

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