4.6 Parental Leave

4.6 Parental Leave

MIT provides three forms of parental leave: (1) Paid Parental Leave of up to 5 days (Section 4.6.1); (2) unpaid leave of up to 8 weeks under the Massachusetts Parental Leave Act (Section 4.6.2); and (3) unpaid leave of up to 12 weeks under the Family and Medical Leave Act (Section 4.5, Leaves Provided under the Family and Medical Leave Act). The eligibility rules for each leave are described in the specific provision. See also Section 4.3.5, Sick Leave for Disability Associated with Pregnancy or Childbirth, for provisions covering birth mothers.

Leaves under the Family and Medical Leave Act, under the Massachusetts Parental Leave Act, and, for birth mothers, under MIT’s paid sick leave related to pregnancy and childbirth all run concurrently. In most cases, the MIT Paid Parental Leave will run concurrently with the Family and Medical Leave Act and Massachusetts Parental Leave Act (see Sec. 4.6.1).

Employees should consult with their Human Resources Officers for information regarding leave provisions for pregnancy, childbirth, family care and adoption, to ensure that they are aware of their full rights under federal and state law as well as Institute leave programs. See also Section 4.3.5, Sick Leave for Disability Associated with Pregnancy or Childbirth and Section 4.5, Leaves Provided under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

4.6.1 Paid Parental Leave

Benefits eligible employees who have been employed at MIT for at least one year are eligible for up to five days of Paid Parental Leave, effective April 7, 2015. As with the Massachusetts parental leave in Section 4.6.2, eligible new parents may take this Paid Parental Leave for the birth of a child, adoption of a child under the age of eighteen (or a child under the age of twenty-three if the child is mentally or physically disabled), or the placement of a child pursuant to a court order. This Paid Parental Leave is available to paid employees in all payroll categories (including academic payrolls) except for faculty; for service staff, this Paid Parental Leave is available only if it has been negotiated with the employee’s union.

The five days of Paid Parental Leave must be taken within four months of the child’s birth, adoption, or placement with the employee. The leave may be taken consecutively or intermittently. For support staff, the leave may be taken in one hour increments and for exempt staff, in half day increments. The five days are pro-rated for part-time eligible staff.

If all or part of the Paid Parental Leave is taken during the eight weeks of Massachusetts parental leave (Sec. 4.6.2) or the 12 weeks of Family and Medical Leave (Sec. 4.5), it runs concurrently with those legally required leaves.

Birth mothers may take Paid Parental Leave after their period of disability or, if being paid on extended sick leave, may substitute a day of Paid Parental Leave for one or more full days of extended sick leave; however, Paid Parental Leave cannot be used to supplement extended sick leave payments. Domestic partners are entitled to this Leave in the same way as spouses. If two MIT employees are parents of the same child, both are eligible for five days of parental leave, which may be taken simultaneously or separately. Employees are eligible for another Paid Parental Leave if they have another child as long as that subsequent Leave begins at least six months after the prior Paid Parental Leave ended.

Parents must request the Paid Parental Leave in advance, to the extent possible, by filling out a Leave of Absence Request Form, and giving the form to their supervisor for approval. Supervisors will accommodate the parent’s preferences on timing of the leave depending on local operational needs. The parent will then send the completed form to the Disabilities and Medical Leaves Office of campus Human Resources or to the Human Resources Office at Lincoln Laboratory.

4.6.2 Massachusetts Parental Leave Act

Under Massachusetts law, eligible new parents may take up to eight weeks of unpaid leave for the birth of a child, adoption of a child under the age of eighteen (or a child under the age of twenty-three if the child is mentally or physically disabled), or the placement of a child pursuant to a court order. Employees are eligible for unpaid leave under this law if they have been employed for at least three consecutive months in a benefits eligible capacity and if they provide MIT with at least two weeks’ notice of the need for leave.

Massachusetts laws provides the eight weeks of unpaid leave per child (e.g., 16 weeks for twins.) However, if both parents work for MIT, only eight weeks’ unpaid leave total is granted to both parents. Domestic partners are entitled to this leave in the same way as married parents.

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