Mass. lottery to pay medical leave tax

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The Massachusetts State Lottery has agreed to fully cover the payroll tax that will fund the state’s new family and medical leave law.

“I’m excited that our members are not going to have to pay any additional money for the new law,” said John Kallmerten, the Local 888 lottery chapter’s president. “I’m very pleased with the overall agreement with management that made this possible.”

The state’s new Paid Family and Medical Leave Act began took effect Oct. 1. SEIU locals in Massachusetts helped pass the new law as part of the Raise Up Coalition.

Under the law, companies with more than 25 workers have to pay a 0.75 percent payroll tax. Municipalities are exempt from the law, but they can opt in.

In general, all employees must cover a portion of that tax, up to about 40 percent of it. That amounts to a maximum of $190 for a worker making $50,000 annually. Now, lottery workers won’t have to worry about that.

Gov. Charlie Baker has told State House News Service that it’s “only fair” that public employees pay the new tax.

Under the state’s new Paid Family and Medical Leave program, the maximum amount of paid time that’s available in one year is 26 weeks.

Workers will be eligible for the following on Jan. 1, 2021:

  • Up to 12 weeks of paid family leave to care for a new child or sick family member.
  • Up to 20 weeks of paid medical leave for a serious health condition.

Up to 26 weeks of paid family leave to care for a service member.

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