Changes to Medical and Family Leaves in 2021

MIT has made changes to its medical and family leave policies in response to the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA).

See an overview of what's new in 2021 below. For service staff, these changes are being discussed with your union representatives.

For details, see MIT's Leave Policies in the Employment Policy Manual.

Medical and family leaves for benefits-eligible staff

Sick and medical leaves
  • Benefits-eligible employees may use accrued sick time when they cannot work because of: minor illness, medical appointments, and serious health conditions
    • Sick leave is paid at 100% pay
  • Sick time is accrued on a monthly basis for all staff
    • At hire, employees are credited with 20 days of sick time
    • After 1 year of service, sick leave accrues at the rate of 1 day per completed month of service, like vacation time
    • Sick leave accruals are capped at 132 days for salaried staff and for all new hires
      • Higher caps apply to support staff hired on or before 12/31/20
  • For serious health conditions, employees have a choice to use either their accrued Sick Time (100% pay) or Serious Illness Reduced Pay (SIRP; 80% of pay)
    • SIRP replaces Extended Sick Leave for hourly paid staff
    • SIRP also is used by salaried staff
  • All leaves under the PFMLA are capped at 26 weeks in a 52-week period
    • For leaves due to an employee's serious health condition, the 26 week cap includes time paid under MIT’s sick leave and Serious Illness Reduced Pay policies
      • Example: Employee who uses 10 weeks of sick time for a serious health condition may take up to 16 weeks of SIRP for that same condition (26 week total).
Family leaves
  • For bonding with a new child
    • Benefits-eligible parents of a child by birth, adoption, or foster placement may take 20 days of MIT’s Paid Parental Leave within 1 year of the child’s birth, adoption, or placement
      • Paid Parental Leave is paid at 100% of regular pay
    • Following that, new parents may take up to 8 weeks of Bonding Leave under the PFMLA
      • This leave is paid at the state formula and must also be taken within 1 year of the child’s birth, adoption, or placement
    • The 4 weeks of Paid Parental Leave counts towards the 12 weeks of Bonding Leave under the PFMLA
  • For a family member with a serious health condition | Effective 7/1/21
    • To care for a family member with a serious health condition, an employee may use up to 5 days of their accrued sick time as "sick family" time, paid at 100%
      • Sick family time is limited to 5 days per anniversary year
    • After those 5 days, the employee may take up to 11 weeks of family leave paid at the state formula rate
    • Alternatively, the employee may choose not to take any sick family time and be paid up to 12 weeks at the state formula rate
  • Armed Services members  in the family
    • Qualifying exigencies: 12 weeks
      • Qualifying exigencies are needs arising out of an employee’s family member’s active duty or service (or call or order to active duty), including providing for care of the military member’s child or other family member, making financial or legal arrangements for the military member, and spending time with the military member during a rest and recuperation period or following return from deployment. 
    • To care for an injured family member: 26 weeks
  • All leaves (family and medical) are capped at 26 weeks in a 52-week period

Medical and family leaves for non-benefits eligible staff

Sick and medical leaves

Non-benefits eligible staff working in Massachusetts may take

  • Up to 5 days of accrued sick time (accrued at the rate of 1 hour/ 30 hours worked)
  • Up to 12 weeks paid at the state formula rate for serious health conditions only
    • If the accrued sick time is used, it counts towards the 12 weeks
Family leaves

Non-benefits eligible staff working in Massachusetts may take

  • For bonding with a new child
    • Parents of a child by birth, adoption, or foster placement may take up to 12 weeks of Bonding Leave 
      • This leave is paid at the state formula and must be taken within 1 year of the child’s birth, adoption, or placement
  • For a family member with a serious health condition | Effective 7/1/21
    • To care for a family member with a serious health condition, an employee may use up to 5 days of their accrued sick time as "sick family" time, paid at 100%
    • After those 5 days, the employee may take  up to 11 weeks of family leave paid at the state formula rate
    • Alternatively, the employee may choose not to take any sick family time and be paid up to 12 weeks at the state formula rate
  • Armed Services members in the family
    • Qualifying exigencies: 12 weeks
      • Qualifying exigencies are needs arising out of an employee’s family member’s active duty or service (or call or order to active duty) including providing for care of the military member’s child or other family member, making financial or legal arrangements for the military member, and spending time with the military member during a rest and recuperation period or following return from deployment. 
    • To care for an injured family member: 26 weeks
  • All leaves (family and medical) are capped at 26 weeks in a 52-week period

State calculator for determining rate of pay

The PFMLA requires leave benefits to be paid based on a formula that is applied to the employee’s actual past wages. PFMLA benefits under this formula are currently capped at $850/week.

The state Department of Family and Medical Leave has an online calculator that allows employees to estimate the amount of pay they will receive 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 portion of MIT medical or family leave that is paid at the state rate. 

Request a leave

Employee may request a leave here.

 


On this site:

Overview: New Medical and Family Leaves for 2021

Have questions or need help? Contact leavepolicies@mit.edu.