Parental Leaves of Absence

Caregiver Leave

Caregiver Leave assists employees with balancing the needs of work and family.  The purpose of Caregiver Leave is to assist employees with:

  1. Preparing for or participating in the birth, adoption, or foster placement of their newborn, newly adopted, or foster care child.
  2. Assisting with or arranging for the care of a spouse, domestic partner, parent, step parents, or children with a serious health condition.

Caregiver Leave may be taken consecutively or intermittently within twelve (12) months from the birth, adoption, or foster placement of the employee’s child or from the serious health condition of a qualifying family member.  Intermittent leave for the serious health condition of a family member may only be taken when medically necessary for the care of the qualifying family member.  Employees needing intermittent leave should coordinate with their supervisor to schedule the leave so as not to unduly disrupt operations.

Benefits Eligible Employees with Less than 1,250 Hours of Service

An employee who has completed ninety (90) days of service as of the start date of the requested leave may take up to eight (8) weeks of Caregiver Leave. Caregiver Leave is unpaid.  However, an employee may continue in pay status as outlined below.

Preparing for or participating in the birth, adoption, or foster placement of their newborn, newly adopted, or foster care child

Up to ten (10) days with pay including exhaustion of Sick Leave.

Assisting with or arranging for the care of a spouse, domestic partner, parent, step parents, or children with a serious health condition.

Up to ten (10) days of Sick Leave.

An employee may choose to use accrued vacation or personal days to cover the unpaid portion of Caregiver Leave. 

Benefits Eligible Employees Who Have Worked At Least Twelve Months and Have 1,250 Hours or More of Service

An employee who has worked at least twelve (12) months in a benefits-eligible position and has worked 1,250 hours or more may take up to twelve (12) weeks of Caregiver Leave.  

An employee may continue in pay status as outlined below.

Preparing for or participating in the birth, adoption, or foster placement of their newborn, newly adopted, or foster care child

Up to twelve (12) weeks with pay including exhaustion of Sick Leave.

Assisting with or arranging for the care of a spouse, domestic partner, parent, step parents, or children with a serious health condition.

May use up to ten (10) days of Sick Leave.

An employee shall not receive more than twelve (12) weeks of Caregiver Leave in a twelve (12) month period.

Meaning of Serious Health Condition and Continuing Treatment

A serious health condition includes an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either an overnight stay in a medical care facility, or continuing treatment by a health care provider for a condition that prevents a qualified family member from participating in school or other daily activities.  Subject to certain conditions, the continuing treatment requirement may be met by:

A period of incapacity of more than three (3) consecutive calendar days combined with at least two (2) visits to a health care provider; or,

One (1) visit to a health care provider and a regimen of continuing treatment, or incapacity due to pregnancy or a chronic medical condition. Other conditions may also meet the definition of continuing treatment.

Applying for Leave

Employees requesting Caregiver Leave should notify their supervisor and Human Resources at Leaves@tufts.edu.

Benefits While on Leave

An employee already enrolled in may continue health and other insurance coverages during Caregiver Leave subject to the terms, conditions, and limitations of the applicable plans in which the employee may participate and subject to requirement that the employee pay for their portion of benefit costs.  If the employee fails to return to work at the conclusion of an unpaid Caregiver Leave, the employee will owe Tufts for any insurance premiums made on their behalf during the leave. 

For employees participating in the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DC FSA), payroll deductions will continue during paid leave.  However, under federal guidelines, the flexible spending vendor may not reimburse employees for DC FSA expenses incurred during absences greater than two weeks.  Employees going on an extended leave of absence may discontinue DC FSA enrollment and deductions and re-enroll in this benefit upon return to work.

Return from Leave

Upon return from leave, most employees will be returned to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay and benefits.   If the employee is returning from Caregiver Leave taken in conjunction with their own serious medical condition (i.e., pregnancy or childbirth), the employee may be asked to provide medical certification confirming their ability to return to work with or without reasonable accommodation(s). 

Retaliation and Discrimination Prohibited

It is prohibited to retaliate or discriminate against an employee for having exercised his or her rights under this policy. For more information regarding state and federal laws upon which this policy is based, please see:

Federal Family and Medical Leave Act

https://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/

Massachusetts Parental Leave Act

http://www.mass.gov/mcad/resources/employers-businesses/emp-guidelines-maternity1-gen.html

Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Act

https://www.mass.gov/service-details/earned-sick-time

Massachusetts Small Necessities Leave Acthttps://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXXI/Chapter149/Section52D