Taking a Leave
Provided by: Office of Human Resources, Office of Legal Counsel
It is understood that, from time to time, staff need time away from the workplace to tend to personal life events. As such, Tufts maintains leave and pay policies to support staff with resources and options to manage personal time away from work for a variety of reasons including to care for themselves, their family members, members of their household, or to attend to military-related responsibilities and certain related responsibilities. This policy speaks to those situations.
Tufts provides robust leave options including paid time off options for all employees who qualify. Staff with accrued and/or other paid time off can use those options as outlined in the policy below, which for ease of use, pairs the type of leave with the available paid time off options.
All leaves, regardless of type or payment, run concurrently.
This policy summarizes a number of state and federal laws and regulations, including the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Military Leave adhering to the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) , Massachusetts Parental Leave, Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML), and Massachusetts’ Domestic Violence Sexual Assault ,and Small Necessities Leave Act (SNLA) time off guidelines. In addition, there is the university-sponsored Wellness policy. Where these regulations and laws overlap, the university’s intention is to provide employees with the most advantageous interpretation of those applicable guidelines.
The chart, listed on the next page, provides a summary description of the types of leaves, length and pay options, including new options provided under the Massachusetts PFML (Paid Family and Medical Leave) state regulation.
To apply for leaves, please email UNUM at www.unum.com or call using Policy #: 955633.
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.to 8:00 p.m. EST
For questions about the policy outlined below, please contact Leaves@Tufts.edu
Summary of Leave Types
Employee can make elections between two pay options (“Basic” and “Enhanced”), to their own advantage, for the full length of the leave. Employees can also use one pay option, then move to the other, to their own advantage, for the full length of the leave.
Note that per long-standing University policy, employees may use limited amounts of their paid time off (sick, vacation or personal time) as outlined in the University’s Plan per benefit year.
Reason for Leave
What Kind of Leave Applies (maximum amount of leave, including waiting period)
Basic Leave Pay (after 7 day waiting period) ---using State Calculator for partial wage replacement
Enhanced Leave Pay
– using PTO bank for 100% wage replacement
Receiving treatment for my own serious health condition.
Paid Medical Leave for up to 20 weeks. It can be intermittent.
After 7 day waiting period, paid, with job and benefits protection.
Basic Leave Pay state calculated rate for a maximum of 20 weeks.
Employee can authorize use of sick, vacation, personal time up to 100% of base salary for up to 20 weeks for this purpose.
Taking care of a family member with a serious health condition.
Up to 12 weeks. After 7 day waiting period, paid, with job and benefits protection.
Basic Leave Pay state calculated rate for a maximum of 12 weeks. (available, effective July 1, 2021, under PFML).
Employee can authorize use of sick (up to 10 days), vacation, personal time of up to 100% of base salary.
Having a baby or adopting, fostering a child or in loco parentis
Falls under the FMLA and PFML Family Leave Policy provisions. Paid leave for no more than 12 weeks, can be intermittent ONLY if the employee and employer come to agreement. After 7 day waiting period, paid, with job and benefits protection.
Basic Leave Pay state calculated rate for a maximum of 12 weeks.
Employee can authorize use of sick, vacation, personal time of up to 100% of base salary. If FMLA qualified, can use sick time for full leave.
Being called up for active military service.
Leave for no more than 26 weeks. Job protection rights continue to apply.
USERRA allows for military personnel to opt out in writing and take an unpaid leave.
Manage family affairs when a family member is on active duty in the armed forces
Paid leave for no more than 12 weeks. Paid leave includes 12 weeks paid, with job and benefits protection.
Basic Leave Pay state calculated rate
Employee can authorize use of 10 days sick days, then vacation, personal time up to 100% of base salary.
Caring for a family member returning from military service with serious illness or injury.
Paid leave for no more than 26 weeks. Paid leave includes 26 weeks of paid, with job and benefits protection.
Basic Leave Pay state calculated rate
Employee can authorize use of 10 days sick, vacation, personal time up to 100% of base salary.
Taking a family member to the doctor* - individual instance.
Employee may use accrued sick time for or take the time unpaid
Up to 12 weeks. Can use up to 10 sick days to be paid, beyond that, can use other PTO and pay depends on how much time is accrued
*Temporary and non-benefit eligible employees can use accrued Massachusetts Earned Sick Time of up to 40 hours in one year worked.
Types of Leave
Tufts offers staff members many different types of leaves, including:
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Leave
- Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) Leave
- Domestic Violence Leave Time
- Military Service Leave Time
- Small Necessities Leave Time
University leaves typically require supporting medical documentation from a treating healthcare provider or other official documentation attesting to the purpose and duration of the leave. In general, leaves may be taken intermittently (in smaller amounts and spaced out over time) or through a reduced schedule so long as the intermittent nature of the leave is certified as medically necessary or in the case of parental leaves, with supervisor approval.
All leaves are subject to review and approval by the University and run concurrently, unless otherwise prohibited.
Eligibility for Leave
Most staff members are eligible to apply for a number of leave options. Eligibility for specific types of university leave will depend on the type of leave (see the University’s leave policies and employment type:
- Staff (Non-Unionized) – are covered by these policies.
- Staff (Unionized) – are covered by collective bargaining agreements (CBAs).
- Postdoctoral and PREP scholars - are covered by the postdoctoral handbook.
- Faculty – are covered by the applicable faculty handbooks and by-laws.
Options for Paid Leave: Eligibility, Availability, Uses and Tracking
All leave options permit staff members who qualify to use their accrued vacation and/or other paid time off to cover the available leave. Under the PFML Policy, there is a 7-day waiting period before partial or full pay options begin. However, staff members may choose to use available paid time off to cover this unpaid waiting period.
Part and full-time, benefits-eligible staff members receive vacation, personal and sick accruals depending on their standard hours per week, years of service and employment type – exempt or non-exempt. For more information about the accruals, use and portability of paid time off, please see “Vacation and Scheduling Vacation”, “Personal Days” and “Sick Time” policies.
The university’s official system of record for time off balances is eServe. Staff members may check their current balances of paid time off in eServe, at any time.
Non-Leave Uses of Sick Time
Staff members who need to take three (3) or fewer days off at a time due to illness should review the sick time policy. Consistent with that policy, staff members requesting to use accrued sick time should notify their supervisor and follow their department’s call-out procedures.
To apply for a university leave, a staff member must notify their manager . Staff members must provide thirty (30) days’ advance notice of the need to take a leave of absence, or as soon as practicable. In all cases, staff members taking an intermittent leave of absence are expected to comply with the University’s call-in procedures for taking time off, where it is established.
In addition to notifying your manager, submit a request for medical, family caregiver, or parental leave to:
UNUM at www.unum.com, policy # 955633
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.to 8:00 p.m.
Questions about leave policies, pay types, leave types and other questions can be answered via email: Leaves@tufts.edu or phone TSS at 617-627-7000
If a staff members’ leave arrangement must change, they should update their supervisor and email@example.com as soon as possible.
Staff Members’ Obligations During a Leave of Absence
Staff members on a leave of absence are required to notify their supervisor a week before the end of an approved leave period regarding their status and intention to return to work. Staff members on a leave of absence in a location other than their regular residence must provide the University with a mailing address and telephone number where they can be reached. If a staff member on leave fails to respond to repeated telephone and/or written communications from the University, the staff member will be contacted to confirm whether or not their lack of response should be the employee’s decision to have resigned.
Staff members on a leave of absence are not permitted to hold outside employment or consulting jobs without the written permission of the University.
Staff members who anticipate that they cannot return by the anticipated return date should contact Leaves@tufts.edu to discuss options, such as extending the leave or discussing accommodation processes covered under the American Disabilities Act (ADA).
Benefits and Compensation During Leave
A staff member’s eligibility for continued compensation and benefits during a leave of absence will depend on the type of leave.
Military Service Leave
Staff members who are required to serve a period of time in a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces are allowed an unpaid leave of absence. If military pay is less than the staff member’s University pay, the University will cover difference for up to two weeks of pay. Otherwise the leave will be unpaid. All staff members (except those with jobs that are for a brief, non-recurrent period with no reasonable expectation the job will continue indefinitely or for a significant period), regardless of length of service, are entitled to reserve duty leave. There will be no loss of seniority-based benefits during military leave.
Continuation of coverage under the University’s health care plan during military service leave depends on the length of the leave. For leaves of absence less than thirty-one (31) days in duration, the University will continue to pay its share of the health care premium contribution, and the staff member will be responsible for their own share. For leaves of absence greater than thirty-one (31) days, a covered staff member may elect to continue health plan coverage at their own expense for a period of up to twenty-four (24) months. For more information concerning health care coverage during leave, please contact your Human Resources Business Partner or Leaves@tufts.edu.
A staff member requesting military service leave must request the leave as soon as the need for leave becomes known. A copy of the orders to go to the reserves must accompany the request for the leave.
An eligible staff member may also be able to take FMLA and/or PFML leave in connection with certain situations related to military service: (i) an eligible staff member may take up to twenty-six (26) weeks of leave during a single twelve (12)-month period to care for a covered family member who has suffered a qualifying injury or illness in the line of active duty in the Armed Forces; and (ii) an eligible staff member may take up to twelve (12) weeks of leave during a twelve (12)-month period in connection with a ‘qualifying exigency’ arising out of a covered family member’s active duty or call to active duty in the Armed Forces in support of a contingency plan. See FMLA and PFML policies, below.
See the chart at the beginning of this policy for specific paid and unpaid time off options.
Staff members are eligible for FMLA leave if they have worked for the University for at least one (1) year, for 1,250 hours over the previous twelve (12) months, and if at least fifty (50) staff members are employed by the University within seventy-five (75) miles.
Eligible staff members can take FMLA leave for the following reasons:
Staff members may take FMLA leave for incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or child birth. Such leave may also be used to care for the staff member’s child after birth, or after placement with the staff member for adoption or foster care.
Leave due to the Staff Member’s Own or a Family Member’s Serious Health Condition
Staff members may take FMLA Leave for a serious health condition that makes the staff member unable to perform the staff member’s job. Staff members may also take FMLA leave to care for the staff member’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent, who has a serious health condition.
A serious health condition is 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 either prevents the staff member from performing the functions of the staff member’s job, or prevents the 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 and a regimen of continuing treatment, or incapacity due to pregnancy, or incapacity due to a chronic condition. Other conditions may meet the definition of continuing treatment.
Qualifying Exigency Leave
Eligible staff members with a spouse, son, daughter, or parent on active duty or called to active duty status in (i) the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation, or (ii) the regular armed forces who are in or called to active duty in a foreign country, may use FMLA leave to address certain qualifying exigencies. Qualifying exigencies may include attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending post-deployment reintegration briefings.
Military Caregiver Leave
Eligible staff members may take FMLA leave to care for a son, daughter, parent or next of kin who is a covered servicemember. A covered servicemember is a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who has a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on active duty that may render the servicemember medically unfit to perform their duties for which the servicemember is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy; or is in outpatient status; or is on the temporary disability retired list. The definition of a serious injury or illness for a current servicemember also includes injuries or illnesses that existed before the beginning of the member’s active duty and were aggravated by service in the line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces. Covered servicemembers also include veterans who are undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy for serious injuries or illnesses that were incurred or aggravated in the line of duty during the preceding five (5) years.
Length of FMLA Leave
Staff members may take up to twenty-six (26) weeks of Military Caregiver leave during a single twelve (12)-month period.
For all other types of FMLA leave, each staff member may be granted leave for a period up to twelve (12) weeks (during any twelve (12)-month period). In determining eligibility for leave, a “rolling” twelve (12)-month period is used, measuring backward from the date the staff member uses any FMLA leave.
In circumstances where both spouses work for the University, the staff members will not be limited to a combined total of twelve (12) weeks of leave for parental leave or for leave to care for the staff member’s parent with a serious health condition, or to a combined total of twenty-six (26) weeks of military caregiver leave.
If a staff member is eligible for FMLA leave and takes time off for an FMLA-qualifying purpose, such leave shall be counted as FMLA leave. Leaves taken pursuant to other University policies (i.e., PFML, workers’ compensation, etc.) shall be deemed to run concurrently with FMLA leave.
Staff members seeking leave due to a family member’s serious health condition will be required to submit a completed “Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member’s Serious Health Condition” form. Staff members seeking FMLA leave due to the staff members’ own serious health condition will be required to submit a completed “Certification of Health Care Provider for Staff member’s Serious Health Condition” form.
In all cases of leave due to the staff member’s or a family member’s serious health condition, the University reserves the right to request a second medical opinion at the University’s expense and further medical opinion, where appropriate. Periodic recertification also may be required for requested extensions of medical leave, lengthy leaves of absence and other appropriate circumstances.
Staff members seeking Qualifying Exigency Leave will be required to submit a completed “Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave” form.
Staff members seeking Military Caregiver Leave will be required to submit a completed “Certification of Serious Injury or Illness of Covered Servicemember” or “Certification of Serious Injury or Illness of a Veteran” form, whichever is applicable. In lieu of the form, the staff member may provide invitational travel orders (ITOs) or invitational travel authorizations (ITAs).
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits employers and other entities covered by GINA Title II from requesting or requiring genetic information of an individual or family member of the individual, except as specifically allowed by this law. To comply with this law, the University asks that staff members not provide any genetic information when submitting the required certifications. ‘Genetic information,’ as defined by GINA, includes an individual’s family medical history, the results of an individual’s or family member’s genetic tests, the fact that an individual or an individual’s family member sought or received or received genetic services, and genetic information of a fetus carried by an individual or an individual’s family member or an embryo lawfully held by an individual or family member receiving assistive reproductive services.
Staff members on FMLA leave have the option to apply allowable accrued paid time off while taking FMLA leave in order to be paid.
If a staff member does not have any accrued paid time, and is not eligible for other benefits, such as workers’ compensation payments, the FMLA leave will be unpaid. Staff members may, however, have paid time off under the University’s PFML plan.
A staff member on unpaid FMLA Leave will be retained on the University’s health plan on the same condition as paid FMLA Leave, except that the staff member must make arrangements with Tufts Support Services/Payroll for timely payment of the staff member’s portion of the premium upon return from the leave. In circumstances where a staff member is on paid leave, the appropriate deductions will be made in the same manner as the staff member’s regular paycheck.
Arrangements also may be made for the continuation of certain other benefits during the period of leave. Any FMLA leave will be treated as continued service for purposes of the University’s retirement plans.
In the event that a staff member fails to return from leave, the staff member may be liable for the staff member’s share of the insurance premiums. Reduced Work Schedule/Intermittent FMLA Leave
For all types of FMLA leave except parental leave, a staff member may take leave time intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule when medically necessary and in the case of parental leaves, only if by agreement between the staff member and the supervisor. Intermittent Leave/Reduced Schedule Leave may not be taken in increments of less than fifteen-minute increments.
Staff members must make reasonable efforts to schedule leave for planned medical treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the University’s operations. Further, where a reduced work schedule or intermittent leave is foreseeable based on planned medical treatment, the University reserves the right to temporarily transfer the staff member to a position that better accommodates the staff member’s recurring periods of leave.
Staff members requesting leave will be notified regarding whether they are eligible under FMLA. If they are, the notice will specify any additional information required as well as the staff member’s rights and responsibilities. If they are not eligible, the University will provide a reason for the ineligibility.
The University will inform staff members if leave will be designated as FMLA-protected and the amount of leave counted against the staff member’s leave entitlement. If the University determines that the leave is not FMLA-protected, the staff members will be notified.
Upon return from FMLA leave, most staff members will be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms, except that the staff member will not be entitled to any employment rights or benefits, greater than those they would have had in the absence of taking such a leave.
Use of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of a staff member’s leave.
If a staff member is unable to return from FMLA leave on the date set forth in the leave request and/or certification of healthcare provider, the staff member is expected to contact the University prior to the anticipated return to work date. If the staff member fails to return from FMLA leave when scheduled, the supervisor should contact the staff member directly. If, after both telephone and email communications remain unanswered, including certified letter to the employee’s home address, the staff member may be deemed to have resigned.
The FMLA prohibits the University from:
- Interfering with, restraining, or denying the exercise of any right provided under the FMLA; or
- Discharging or discriminating against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by FMLA or for involvement in any proceeding under or relating to FMLA.
- A staff member may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor or may bring a private lawsuit against an employer for violation of the FMLA.
- The FMLA does not affect any Federal or State law prohibiting discrimination, or supersede any State or local law or collective bargaining agreement which provides greater family or medical leave rights.
Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML)
See the chart at the beginning of this policy for specific paid and unpaid time off options.
A staff member may not take more than 26 weeks, where multiple leaves are taken in one benefit year.
Beginning on January 1, 2021, the University will offer all eligible staff members a paid family and medical leave plan intended to comply with Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML). The University’s private plan has been approved by the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave and will allow eligible staff members to receive paid family and medical leave benefits directly from the University, without having to first seek approval and payment through the Commonwealth. In many cases, this type of paid leave will run concurrently with FMLA leave and offer paid time off for qualifying reasons outlined below (e.g., medical/sick leave for oneself; caregiver leave and military exigency leave).
This policy statement is a summary of a more complete plan document approved by the Department of Paid Family and Medical Leave. A complete copy of the University’s private plan can be found at: https://access.tufts.edu/massachusetts-paid-family-medical-leave-pfml. We encourage all staff members to carefully review this plan and speak with their managers if they have any questions.
Eligible staff members may use paid family leave under the PFML:
• for your own medical condition;
• to care for a family member (as defined by law) with a serious health condition;
• to bond with a child during the first 12 months after the child’s birth or the first 12
months after the placement of the child for adoption or foster care with the staff member
• because of any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a family member is on
active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty in the
Armed Forces, or
• to care for a family member who is a covered service member (as defined by the law).
Intermittent Leave. Staff members can take paid leave intermittently, when medically necessary, for medical leave for a staff member’s own serious health condition and for family leave to care for a covered service member or a family member with a serious health condition. Staff members cannot take family leave intermittently to bond with a child unless agreed to ahead of time with their supervisor.
Interaction with Other Leave: Paid leave taken under the PFML will run concurrently with leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Massachusetts Parental Leave Act. Staff members can choose but may not be required to use paid sick, vacation, or personal time while on family or medical leave.
Rights of Staff member Who Takes PFML Leave.
A staff member who takes PFML leave will be restored to the staff member’s previous, or an equivalent position, with the same status, pay, benefits, length of service credit, and seniority as of the date of leave. This will not apply, however, where the staff member’s status would have changed anyway, for example where the staff member would have been laid off. Paid family or medical leave also cannot affect a staff member’s right to accrue sick, personal, or vacation time, or other employment benefits.
The University will continue staff members’ health insurance benefits, under the same conditions of coverage that would have been provided if the staff member had not taken leave. The University will continue paying the employer portion of health insurance premiums while staff members are on paid family or medical leave as described more detail in the PFML Plan.
Paid Leave under PFML Leave
Eligible staff members may elect either Basic Leave Pay or Enhanced Leave Pay during approved medical, family, or military leaves:
Basic Leave Pay
After satisfying a seven (7) day waiting period, the weekly wage replacement the staff member will receive will be determined according to the Paid Family and Medical Leave Calculated rate. For an estimate, employees can go to the Mass. Benefits Calculator available at: Link to Mass Paid Family Leave Calculator at https://calculator.digital.mass.gov/pfml/your benefits.
During the waiting period, staff members may elect to apply their accrued vacation, or other paid time off to receive up to 100% of their base salary.
Enhanced Leave Pay
Staff members can authorize use of their accrued vacation, or other paid time off to receive up to 100% of their base salary.
Upon requesting leave, staff member must notify Leaves@tufts.edu whether they wish to receive Basic Leave Pay, Enhanced Leave Pay, or a combination of both pay options. If a preferred pay option is not designated, pay during leave will automatically default to Basic Leave Pay.
Paid Leave for Former Staff Members
Former staff members may also be eligible for paid leave benefits. If a staff member has been separated from the university for not more than 26 weeks from the start of the former staff member’s family, medical, or military leave, the staff member may be eligible to continue receiving Basic Leave Pay, wage replacement only.
Massachusetts Parental Leave
Full-time staff members are eligible for eight (8) weeks of unpaid parental leave under the Massachusetts Parental Leave Statute. To be eligible, staff members must have completed the University’s initial probationary period (at least three months of employment). Staff members must provide at least two (2) weeks’ written notice of your date of departure and intention to return to work following the leave, or provide notice as soon as is practicable if the delay in notice is for reasons beyond your control.
Leave may be taken for the purpose of giving birth, for adopting a child under the age of eighteen (18) (twenty-three (23) if the child is mentally or physically disabled), for placement of a child under the age of eighteen (18) (twenty-three (23) if the child is mentally or physically disabled), or for the placement of a child pursuant to a court order. Staff members on Parental leave may, but are not required to, apply unused vacation or sick time or other applicable leave such as personal days towards the leave period. Health coverage will continue on the same basis as before the leave.
Upon returning to work, staff members will be restored to your position, or a similar one with the same status, pay, length of service credit and seniority as of the date of the leave, unless economic or business conditions during the leave period would have resulted in a lay-off had leave not been taken.
Staff members on Parental leave may request unpaid leave in excess of the eight (8) weeks. However, you should be aware that you may not be entitled to the same reinstatement or benefits rights upon your return to work from more than eight (8) weeks leave.
All staff members, regardless of their eligibility for other leave, are eligible under Massachusetts law for up to fifteen (15) days of unpaid leave in any twelve (12)-month period to address the consequences of “abusive behavior” to themselves or family members.
For the purposes of this policy, the following words shall have the following meanings:
“Family members” means spouses, parents and step-parents, children and step-children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, persons with whom you have a substantive dating or engagement relationship, persons with whom you have a child in common, and persons with whom you are in a guardianship relationship.
“Abusive behavior” means:
domestic violence – defined as abuse against a staff member or the staff member’s family member by (i) a current or former spouse of the staff member or the staff member’s family member, (ii) a person with whom the staff member or the staff member’s family member shares a child in common, (iii) a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the staff member or the staff member’s family member, (iv) a person who is related by blood or marriage to the staff member, or (v) a person with whom the staff member or staff member’s family member has or had a dating or engagement relationship;
stalking – defined as willfully and maliciously engaging in a knowing pattern of conduct or series of acts over a period of time directed at a specific person that seriously alarms or annoys that person and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and making a threat with the intent to place the person in imminent fear of death or bodily injury;
sexual assault – defined as rape or assault with intent to commit a rape; indecent assault and battery; enticement of a minor into prostitution, human trafficking, or commercial sexual activity; or subjecting, recruiting, enticing, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining by any means, or attempting to subject, recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide, or obtain by any means, another person to engage in commercial sexual activity, a sexually-explicit performance or the production of unlawful pornography, or causing a person to engage in commercial sexual activity or a sexually-explicit performance or the production of unlawful pornography; or kidnapping.
attempting to cause or causing physical harm;
placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm;
causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat or duress or engaging or threatening to engage in sexual activity with a dependent child;
engaging in mental abuse, which includes threats, intimidation or acts designed to induce terror;
depriving another of medical care, housing, food or other necessities of life; or
restraining the liberty of another.
To be eligible, you must be taking the leave from work to seek or obtain medical attention, victim services or legal assistance, to secure housing, to obtain a protective order from a court, to appear in court before a grand jury, to meet with a district attorney or other law enforcement official, to attend child custody proceedings, or to address other issues directly related to the abusive behavior against you or your family member.
Any staff member who is the perpetrator of the abusive behavior against their family member is not eligible for leave under this law.
Time taken under this policy will not be paid. However, staff members utilizing “Abusive Behavior” Leave may, but are not required, to exhaust any unused vacation or sick time and other applicable leave such as personal days. Sick time and vacation time and other applicable leave such as personal days will not accrue during Abusive Behavior leave.
Health coverage will continue on whether paid or unpaid time.
Upon returning to work, you will be restored to your original or an equivalent position, unless economic, business or other circumstances unrelated to your use of leave under this policy would have resulted in a change in your employment status or position.
The use of leave under this policy shall not result in the loss of any employment benefits accrued prior to the date on which the leave taken under this policy commenced.
Staff members shall not be subject to retaliation for their use of leave under this policy.
Except in cases of imminent danger to you or your family member, you must provide thirty (30) days’ advance notice of the need to take leave when the need if foreseeable. When thirty (30) days’ notice is not possible, you must provide notice as soon as practicable, which should be on the same day or next business day of the date that you become aware that the leave is needed.
If you take leave due to imminent danger to you or your family member and cannot provide advance notice, you must notify the University within three (3) workdays. Such notice may be communicated to us by you, a family member, or any professional person who may be assisting you in addressing the abusive behavior and its consequences, such as a counselor, a social worker, a health care worker, a member of the clergy, a shelter worker, a lawyer, or a legal advocate.
You may be requested to provide documentation within 5 or more business days after you return to work showing that you or your family member has been a victim of abusive behavior and that the leave was taken to address issues directly related to the abusive behavior, as defined above. Any of the following documents are sufficient, and you need not show evidence of an arrest, conviction, or other law enforcement documentation.
A protective order, order of equitable relief, or other documentation issued by a court as a result of abusive behavior against you or your family member.
A document on the letterhead of the court, provider, or public agency stating that you sought assistance relating to the abusive behavior against you or your family member.
A police report or statement of a victim or witness provided to police, including a police incident report, documenting the abusive behavior against you or your family member.
Documentation that the perpetrator of the abusive behavior against you or your family member has admitted to sufficient facts to support a finding of guilt of abusive behavior or has been convicted of, or has been adjudicated a juvenile delinquent by reason of, any offense constituting abusive behavior and which is related to the abusive behavior that necessitated the leave.
Documentation of medical treatment or counseling as a result of the abusive behavior against you or your family member.
A sworn statement, signed under the penalties of perjury, provided by a counselor, social worker, health care worker, member of the clergy, shelter worker, legal advocate, or other professional who has assisted you or your family member in addressing the effects of the abusive behavior.
A sworn statement, signed under the penalties of perjury, from you attesting that you have been the victim of abusive behavior or are the family member of a victim of abusive behavior.
If an unscheduled absence occurs as a result of abusive behavior, no negative action will be taken against you if, within thirty (30) days from the last unauthorized absence in the instance of consecutive days of unauthorized absences, you provide any of the documentation described above.
Any documentation provided to the University in connection with abusive behavior leave will be maintained in your employment record only for as long as required for the University to make a determination as to whether you are eligible for leave under this section.
All information related to your leave due to abusive behavior will be kept confidential and will not be disclosed, except to the extent that disclosure is (i) requested or consented to, in writing, by you, (ii) ordered to be released by a court, (iii) otherwise required by applicable federal or state law, (iv) required in the course of an investigation authorized by law enforcement, including, but not limited to, an investigation by the attorney general, or (v) necessary to protect your safety or the safety of other staff members at the University.
Retaliation and Discrimination Prohibited
It is prohibited to retaliate or discriminate against a staff member for having exercised their rights under any leave policy. It is also prohibited to interfere with a staff member’s rights under these policies.
Tufts Leave Policies and PFML Plan Available Here: https://access.tufts.edu/important-notices-about-benefits
Time Off Options (for staff) https://access.tufts.edu/time-off
Non-Retaliation Rights Statement: https://oeo.tufts.edu/policies-procedures/
Paid Time Off Options for Postdoctoral Scholars: https://viceprovost.tufts.edu/policies-forms-guides/postdoctoral-scholars-handbook
Paid Time Off Options for Faculty: https://provost.tufts.edu/policies/
This Taking a Leave policy is part of the HR Employee Policies and Procedures that can be found at here.
Disclaimer: Changes to this policy and the handbook in which it is maintained may be made at any time, at the sole discretion of the University and is not a contract. Employment by the University is at will and either the staff member or the University may end the employment relationship at any time.
 For any questions, you can request state-provided documents. Additional information is available via https://www.mass.gov/guides/employers-guide-to-paid-family-and-medical-leave for state guidelines and https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla for the federal leave guidelines
 Different Tufts policies define “family” in different ways. Please carefully review the definition of family under each applicable policy (e.g., PFML, FMLA, Bereavement, etc.).