Massachusetts Expands Language Access to Paid Family and Medical Leave

by | Jan 17, 2023 | Employment Law |

In a notable shift toward inclusivity, the Healey-Driscoll administration has rolled out multilingual support for the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave program. Residents can now navigate the benefits system in Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, or Chinese, in addition to English. “Massachusetts is proud of our strong Paid Family and Medical Leave Program, and we want all of our residents to access information about the benefits available to them in their primary language,” said Governor Healey, as reported by The initiative is a move toward dismantling the language hurdles that have long stood in the way for non-English speakers.

According to the administration, this update is a major stride in their mission to promote equity across the state. Lt. Governor Driscoll backed this sentiment, highlighting the potential lifesaving impact of clear communication regarding state benefits. “Eliminating language barriers for these benefits can be lifesaving for people,” Driscoll stated. Apparently, the Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) has been coordinating with various stakeholders to make the implementation of the law as smooth and comprehensive as possible. This collaboration has led to marked improvements, with a reported 38 percent increase in benefit payments in FY23 compared to FY22.

The DFML, under the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, offers income replacement and job protection for those hit by serious illness, caring for relatives, or welcoming a new child. “The Healey-Driscoll Administration is committed to increasing equity in our service delivery of programs and benefits for Massachusetts residents, and this enhancement increases accessibility for PFML applicants,” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Lauren Jones. Her words underscore a growing recognition that understanding state-provided benefits is critical to supporting workers’ needs.

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