Personal Life – New Children, Ombuds, and more

photo by Cydney Scott

Childbirth Leave and Primary Caregiver Paid Workload Reduction Policy for Professorial Faculty, Lecturers, and Instructors

Boston University has several policies that describe the support provided to professorial faculty, lecturers, and instructors who become the primary care giver of a new child through birth, adoption, foster care or guardianship placement, or newly-established legal custodial care. The support may take the form of unpaid leave, Paid Absence for Childbirth, and/or Paid Workload Reduction, depending on the individual’s needs and eligibility.

Childbirth Leave and Primary Caregiver Paid Workload Reduction Policies

Link to Provost Form Library, which contains the Workload Reduction form, which the faculty member initiates and gives to his or her Chair.

FAQs about the new Childbirth Leave and Workload Reduction Policies

Family and Medical Leave Act,  FMLA (UNPAID)

Family and Medical Leave Act policies may be obtained the Office of Human Resources.  Unpaid leave for birth or adoption available to faculty under the FMLA  runs concurrently with the paid Childbirth Leave described above in the case of a faculty member who has given birth. If you have further questions, please contact Ginny Gregory in the Provost’s Office.

Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act, MMLA (UNPAID)

Massachusetts allows 8 weeks of unpaid leave for women (only) who give birth or adopt. MMLA usually runs concurrently with FMLA, but if an employee has used up her FMLA entitlement for the year, MMLA can provide additional unpaid leave. In addition, MMLA allows 8 weeks of unpaid leave per newborn child (i.e. 2 x 8 weeks for twins, 3 x 8 weeks for triplets etc.).  It also allows additional leave for multiple children adopted at the same time. A faculty member giving birth to multiple babies or adopting multiple children can use MMLA to have additional unpaid leave after her 6 weeks of Childbirth Leave plus additional 6 weeks of FMLA leave ends. If this information is relevant to your situation, please discuss MMLA needs with the same individual in your unit who sets up your Childbirth Leave.  If you encounter questions, please contact Ginny Gregory in the Provost’s Office.  You can read more about the MMLA at the MMLA website.


The Ombuds office provides a safe place for faculty, staff and students to voice concerns and develop options for solving problems related to working and studying at Boston University. Francine Montemurro is the Ombudsperson.  All discussions with the Ombudsperson are informal and strictly confidential. In addition to providing information and helping you understand your options in difficult situations, with your permission the Ombudsperson can help mediate disputes. More information about the activities and services of the Ombudsperson, as well as contact information  is available at the Office of the Ombuds website.

Faculty Staff Assistance Office (FSAO)

The Faculty Staff Assistance Office is available to all Boston University faculty members, staff, and family members for free, confidential consultation and referrals regarding a wide variety of work-related and personal issues. Free short term professional counseling is also available through this office, and counselors can make arrangements for longer term counseling by community professionals when that would be helpful. The FSAO website also contains information about what steps you can take when you notice an employee or colleague in distress.  In addition to helping people with personal problems the FSAO is a valuable resource when you want to help someone else but don’t know what to do.

Equal Opportunity Office (EOO)

The Equal Opportunity Office works to ensure that the environment for faculty, staff and students is free of of unlawful harassment and discrimination. The EOO receives and investigates complaints against faculty and staff, and works actively with all parties to resolve the situation. You do not need to file a formal complaint to take advantage of the services of the EOO and the EOO is a valuable resource for faculty and staff who are unsure about an uncomfortable situation. A second important function of the EOO is to advise and assist any employee who needs to request reasonable workplace accommodations because of disabilities. The office also advises faculty and staff on the provision and implementation of accommodations. Finally, the EOO is a critical component in the University’s efforts to fulfills its Affirmative Action obligations with regard to equal opportunity in hiring and workplace policies.

For Parents

The Work/Life section of the Human Resources website has information for faculty and staff who are adding a child to their family. In addition, the Office of Family Resources offers childcare referrals, school vacation programs and on-line resources of interest to parents.

For parents of children with disabilities, a group of University faculty and staff members has launched a peer support website: Parents of Children with Disabilities. The site, which requires a BU Kerberos password to log in, steers readers to resources and services and offers parent-to-parent advice for those at the University with disabled children.

Buying or Selling a Home?

One benefit that is available to Boston University employees (faculty and staff) is the Real Estate Advantage Program. It can provide a cash-back bonus or mortgage credit when buying or selling a home.