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 Mass.gov. 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.
William Alpine, Director of the Department of Paid Family Medical Leave, echoed these sentiments. “DFML has a long-standing commitment to strengthening the health of our workers and their families by making PFML accessible to all Massachusetts workers,” he explained. The accessibility tweaks have been executed in phases, and the latest includes the translation of the entire online application process and subsequent communications. Governor Healey’s Executive Order 615, focuses on tailoring the delivery of services and resources for those with limited English proficiency, thus aligning with these recent program improvements.
Should you need assistance with employment issues; discrimination at your workplace, paid family medical leave, wage theft or the receipt of unemployment insurance benefits, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.