Massachusetts COVID-19 Temporary Emergency Paid Sick Leave

News June 18, 2021

An Act Providing for Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave (MA EPSL) was enacted by the Legislature and signed by Governor Baker, effective May 28, 2021. All employers are required to make paid leave time available to employees for COVID-related illnesses, quarantine, and vaccinations, and then may apply for reimbursement from the state.

This law is effective as of May 28, 2021 and until September 30, 2021 or the exhaustion of $75M in program funds, whichever is earlier.

Employees can take leave for the following reasons:

  • To take care of themselves or get medical treatment due to a COVID-19 diagnosis or symptoms, or to get or recover from a COVID-19 immunization
  • To quarantine as required by a local, state, or federal public official, a health authority having jurisdiction, or a health care provider

Employees can also take leave if they have to care for a family member in any of the above situations

  • Covered family members are an employee’s spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, grandchild, grandparent, sibling, a parent of the employee’s spouse or domestic partner, or a person who stood in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was a minor child

*In general, employers may not require employees to use other types of available paid leave before they use COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave, or require employees to find someone else to cover the time they will miss while using COVID-19 emergency Paid Sick Leave.

*Employers may not interfere with an employee’s ability to use COVID-19 MA EPSL or retaliate against an employee for taking COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave.


  • 40 hours of leave for employees who regularly work at least 40 hours
  • For part-time employees, leave amount is based on average number of hours the employee works

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