“Small Necessities” Leave Act
An Act Providing Employees Leave for Certain Family Obligations
A statute enacted on August 04, 1998, G.L. c. 149, § 52D (“Act”), mandates that certain eligible employees be permitted to take a total of 24 hours of unpaid leave during any twelve-month period. These 24 hours are in addition to the 12 weeks already allowed under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act. The Office of the Attorney General has been entrusted with the enforcement of the Act. The Act incorporates by reference sections 2611 through 2615 of the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act. 29 U.S.C. §§ 2601, et seq. In order to fully understand the Act, and comply with its provisions, employers and employees must review the parallel federal statute. The 24 hours of leave may be taken by an eligible employee for any of the following purposes: (1) to participate in school activities directly related to the educational advancement of a son or daughter of the employee, such as parent-teacher conferences or interviewing for a new school; (2) to accompany the son or daughter of the employee to routine medical or dental appointments, such as check-ups or vaccinations; (3) to accompany an elderly relative of the employee to routine medical or dental appointments or appointments for other professional services related to the elder’s care, such as interviewing at nursing or group homes. G.L. c. 149, § 52D(b). Given the breadth of the statute, employers are urged to give a liberal interpretation to the purposes for which the leave may be taken. (Excerpt copied from the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General website).
More information may be obtained by visiting the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s website http://www.mass.gov/Cago/docs/Workplace/small_necessities_advisory.pdf