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MA Legislature Announces Comprehensive Proposal on Family and Medical Leave, Minimum Wage, and Sales

BOSTON - The Massachusetts House of Representatives and the Massachusetts State Senate announced today a legislative proposal to raise the minimum wage; create a framework for paid family and medical leave for most workers; phase out time-and-a-half pay on Sundays; and establish a permanent sales tax holiday.

The legislation is based on months of negotiations with stakeholders sponsoring proposed ballot questions for the November 2018 election. It is scheduled to come to the House and Senate floors on Wednesday.

Among other initiatives, this legislative proposal does the following:

  • Creates a permanent sales tax holiday, beginning in 2019;

  • Increases the minimum wage to $15.00 over the next five years;

  • Increases the tip wage to $6.75 over the next five years;

  • Phases out premium pay on Sundays and holidays over the next five years;

  • Establishes a Department of Family and Medical Leave within the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development;

  • Creates a framework for family leave of 12 weeks; family leave for the care of a service member of 26 weeks; and medical leave for up to 20 weeks; and

  • Exempts small businesses from financial contribution to the paid family and medical leave fund.

The proposal leaves the sales tax unchanged, and does not impose a teen sub-minimum wage.

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