Any request for a leave of absence should be discussed between the Research Fellow and the faculty mentor and are subject to departmental approval. Leaves are intended for extenuating circumstances that require time away from work for more than five (5) workdays and include Active and Inactive leaves for the birth/adoption of a child, medical care, personal illness, and to care for a family member who is ill.
Please refer to the Massachusetts General Hospital, Human Resources Policy and Procedures Manual for a detailed description of policies regarding Leaves of Absences.
Active Leaves are absences in which the supervisor or faculty mentor holds open the Research Fellow’s position or an equivalent position for the duration of the leave. An active leave is defined as one that is covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act. All benefits are maintained as if the Research Fellow was actively working. During an Active Leave, MGH will continue the Research Fellow’s insurance coverage. During any paid portion of a leave, the Research Fellow’s share of the premium will be deducted from the regular pay. During any unpaid portion of leave, the premium due in arrears will be recorded and deducted from the Research Fellow’s regular pay immediately upon return.
Inactive Leaves are absences in which the supervisor or faculty mentor has the option of holding or not holding open the Research Fellow’s position. An Inactive Leave is for an extended absence not covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act or the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to Research Fellows with at least one year of service who have worked at least 1250 hours in the past year. Under the FMLA, a Research Fellow’s position or an equivalent position is held without pay (except as noted below in the Maternity Disability Leave Program) for a maximum of twelve weeks from the date of the leave. All benefits are maintained as if the Research Fellow was actively working. The FMLA offers up to twelve (12) weeks of Active leave within a rolling 12-month period for the following:
- FMLA – Birth/adoption/foster care of a child (applicable to both men and women)
- FMLA – Personal illness
- FMLA – Care of a family member who is ill
Parental Leave Program for MGH Professional Staff
Appointed members of the MGH/MGPO Professional Staff (including Clinical and Research Fellows) are eligible for 8 weeks of centrally funded paid leave upon becoming a parent due to childbirth or adoption.
To facilitate the necessary administration of this program and comply with all state and federal regulations that pertain to protected absences from work, the Research Fellow must apply for a leave of absence under the FMLA and/or the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (MMLA). Research Fellows with at least one year of service who have worked at least 1250 hours in the past year are entitled to apply for a leave of up to twelve (12) weeks under the FMLA. Research Fellows with at least three (3) months, but less than one year, of service, are entitles to a leave of up to eight (8) weeks under the MMLA. The sponsoring department must notify the MGH Professional Staff Benefits Office (PSBO) of the Fellow’s absence so that the PSBO may assist in administration of the benefits programs.
On receipt of the request for leave under the FMLA or MMLA, the MGH leave coordinator will place the Research Fellow on an Active leave of absence for eight or twelve weeks depending upon FMLA eligibility. At least eight weeks of the leave will be paid.
Sponsoring departments may recover salary continuance and employee benefits costs from the MGPO and from the Hospital by submitting a request to the Professional Staff Benefits Office.
Time taken for an approved Leave of Absence does not count toward the 5-year time limit of a Research Fellow’s appointment.