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SENATE DOCKET, NO. 934        FILED ON: 1/20/2011

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1863


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



Patricia D. Jehlen


To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act clarifying parental rights to unpaid leave .






Patricia D. Jehlen


Denise Andrews

2nd Franklin

William N. Brownsberger


Christine E. Canavan

10th Plymouth

Sonia Chang-Diaz


Cynthia S. Creem


James B. Eldridge


Susan C. Fargo


Linda Dorcena Forry

12th Suffolk

Thomas M. McGee

Third Essex and Middlesex

Denise Provost

27th Middlesex

Frank I. Smizik

15th Norfolk

Karen E. Spilka


Ellen Story

3rd Hampshire

SENATE DOCKET, NO. 934        FILED ON: 1/20/2011

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1863

By Ms. Jehlen, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 1863) of Patricia D. Jehlen, Denise Andrews, William N. Brownsberger, Christine E. Canavan and other members of the General Court for legislation to clarify parental rights for unpaid leave.  Labor and Workforce Development. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



In the Year Two Thousand Eleven



An Act clarifying parental rights to unpaid leave .


              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

                              SECTION 1.  Section 105D of chapter 149 of the General Laws is amended by striking out section 105D and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

                              Section 105D. (a) Any full-time or part-time employee who has completed the initial probationary period, not to exceed six months or, if there is no such probationary period, has been employed by the same employer for at least three consecutive months as an  employee, shall be entitled to eight weeks of parental leave for the birth of the child of the employee, for the purpose of giving birth or adopting a child, or for the birth, placement or arrival of a child under the age of eighteen, or a child under the age of twenty-three if the child is mentally or physically disabled, into the employee’s household whom the employee intends to adopt or for whom the employee will serve as in loco parentis.  The employee shall give at least two weeks’ notice to the employer of the anticipated date of departure and intention to return, as soon as both possible and practicable taking into account the facts and circumstances of the individual’s situation.  The employee shall be restored to the employee’s previous, or a similar, position with the same status, pay, length of service credit and seniority, wherever applicable, as of the date of the leave. At the discretion of the employer, said parental leave may be with or without pay.  If the employer agrees to provide parenting leave for a period of time that exceeds eight weeks, the employer may not deny the employee the rights under this section unless the employer clearly informs the employee in writing prior to the commencement of the parenting leave and prior to any subsequent extension of said leave that taking more than eights weeks of leave will result in the denial of reinstatement or other rights and benefits.

                              (b) Such employer shall not be required to restore an employee on parental leave to the employee’s  previous or a similar position if other employees of equal length of service credit and status in the same or similar position have been laid off due to economic conditions or other changes in operating conditions affecting employment during the period of such parental leave; provided, however, that such employee on parental leave shall retain any preferential consideration for another position to which the employee may be entitled as of the date of her leave.

                              (c) Such parental leave shall not affect the employee’s right to receive vacation time, sick leave, bonuses, advancement, seniority, length of service credit, benefits, plans or programs for which the employee was eligible at the date of the leave, and any other advantages or rights of her employment incident to the employee’s position; provided, however, that such parental leave shall not be included, when applicable, in the computation of such benefits, rights, and advantages; and provided, further, that the employer need not provide for the cost of any benefits, plans, or programs during the period of parental leave unless such employer so provides for other similarly situated employees on leave of absence. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect any bargaining agreement or company policy which provides for greater or additional benefits than those required under this section.

                              (d) A notice of this provision shall be posted in every establishment in which employees are employed.

                              (e) For the purposes of this section, an “employer” shall be defined as in subsection 5 of section one of chapter one hundred and fifty-one B. 

                              (f) For the purposes of this section, a “part time employee” shall be defined as an employee who has been employed for at least 625 hours of service during the 6 month period immediately preceding the leave.

                              (g) This section shall be construed liberally for the accomplishment of its purpose which is to afford employees eight weeks parenting leave and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination shall have the authority to promulgate regulations to effectuate these remedial purposes.

                              SECTION 2.  Section 4 of chapter 151B is hereby amended by striking out paragraph 11A and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:

                              11A. For an employer, by itself or its agent, to refuse to restore certain employees to employment following their absence by reason of a parental leave taken in accordance with section one hundred and five D of chapter one hundred and forty-nine or to otherwise fail to comply with the provisions of said section, or for the commonwealth and any of its boards, departments and commissions to deny vacation credit to any employee for the fiscal year during which said employee is absent due to a parental leave taken in accordance with said section or to impose any other penalty as a result of a parental leave of absence.

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