Paid Family Leave is a mandatory benefit for employees who do not fall into an excluded class and work at a Covered Employer, just like DBL. You can read more about those excluded classes here
There are a few limited scenarios under which certain employees may “opt out” by filling out the PFL-Waiver form.
You may file a waiver for paid leave benefits if you:
Deep-dive for employers:
- work 20+ hours per week but not 26 weeks in a consecutive 52 week period.
- work less than 20 hours per week and less than 175 days in a consecutive 52-week period.
If an employee’s work schedule ceases to fall below this threshold, their PFL waiver is automatically invalid within 8 weeks of the change in their work schedule. At that time, you must start counting this employee for premium purposes – and if you are collecting employee contributions for Paid Family Leave, any employee coming off a waiver will need to start contributing, including any retroactive amounts back to the date of hire or inception of Paid Family Leave.
You will need to keep the waiver on file for as long as they are working for you – whether the waiver is still in force or not.
One other scenario where an employee may “opt-out” or exempt themselves is if they are receiving, or are eligible to receive Old Age Social Security benefits. However, in this case the employee would need to opt-out of both
DBL and PFL by sending written notice to the Chair of the Worker’s Compensation Board.
PFL Expert Tip:
It’s best practice to educate employees who would qualify for the waiver about their options, especially if you withhold PFL premium from employees, and have them confirm in writing even if they don’t want to waive.
In summary, unless you meet the very specific criteria above and work for a “Covered Employer,” you must participate in Paid Family Leave – even if you’ve already had children, or have no living family members. Not sure if you’re work for a “Covered Employer”? Take this quick quiz to find out.