How to Calculate Pay Using the State Formula Rate

This page explains how to calculate your pay during a leave at the state formula rate.

About the State Formula Rate

The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (which oversees the PFMLA) has an online calculator that allows employees to estimate the amount of gross pay they will be paid under the state formula, based on the employee’s earnings over the prior four quarters. This calculator is a helpful tool for employees looking to see what their rate of pay would be for any MIT medical or family leave that is paid at the state formula rate. Because the calculator only provides an estimate, the final gross amount may differ.

Deductions will be taken from the gross pay at the state formula rate for items like taxes, your share of health premiums, and other deductions regularly taken from your paycheck. Deductions that are based on a percentage of pay, like a 401(k) contribution, will be reduced if your paycheck is reduced because you are paid at the state formula rate.

Maximum Rate

In 2022, PFMLA benefits under this formula are capped at $1,084.31 per week.

Calculating Your Pay at the State Formula Rate

When leaves are paid at the state formula rate, the payment is calculated based on a formula applied to the staff member's actual past wages and NOT the current salary/hourly rate. In order to use the calculator provided by the state, you will need to gather information from your historical paystubs.

The paystubs you will need are those paid on the last pay date of a quarter. These would be the last paystubs in March, June, September and December.

Your paystub shows the current period gross pay and the year-to-date gross pay, so you will need to calculate the quarterly amount based on the year-to-dates.

Here is an example from the year 2020 showing the section of the stub you need.

Which quarters to use is dependent upon when you will be out on leave and should include the last 4 completed quarters. For example, if a leave begins in August 2021, the last 4 completed quarters would be the last pay date in the months of June 2021, March 2021, December 2020 and September 2020.

Pay Date Example
Pay date Total gross Gross at end of prior quarter Quarterly gross
12/31/2020 $56,567.75 $43,289.35 $13,278.40
09/25/2020 $43,289.35 $28,881.64 $14,407.71
06/26/2020 $28,881.64 $14,227.20 $14,654.44
03/27/2020 $14,227.20 N/A $14,227.20

Once you have your last four completed quarters, go to the state provided online calculator and enter your information.

The result will be a weekly rate that will be used to determine a semi-monthly amount or hourly rate which are MIT’s pay categories. In this example, the weekly rate calculated by the state is $773.75.

Converting the weekly rate to semi-monthly or hourly

To calculate an estimated semi-monthly rate:

$773.75 x 52 weeks = $40,235.00 / 24 pay periods = $1,676.46

To calculate an estimated hourly rate:

$773.75 / # of hours per week for the employee

Presume an employee works 40 hours per week

$773.75 / 40 hours = $19.34/hour

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