Faculty Personal and Family Leave Policies

Faculty members are eligible for a leave of absence from work for qualifying personal or family reasons [1].  This Faculty Leave Policy describes the types of personal and family related absences for which faculty are eligible and their respective requirements.  Academic leaves, such as sabbatical and junior scholar leave, are described in the Sabbaticals and Leaves of Absence including Junior Scholar Leave Policy.

Qualifying personal and family leaves may be paid or unpaid. This Policy incorporates the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other relevant federal and state personal and family leave laws, and presents the University’s general service eligibility requirements for and specific details of each leave type. Additional information about FMLA policies and entitlements may be obtained from the Human Resources Service Center. The table below provides a brief overview of the types of leaves described in this Policy. Click on the link provided to view the detailed requirements of each type of leave.

 

  Category Type of Leave Qualifying Conditions Eligibility Summary Leave/Benefit Entitlement
A Personal Parental Leave (FMLA, MPLA) Pregnancy, Birth, Adoption of a Child or Assumption of new foster care. After 12 months and 1250 hours of employment for FMLA; or

 

3 months of employment for MPLA.

Unpaid, 12 weeks (FMLA)/8 weeks (MPLA) (BU Childbirth Leave runs concurrently if applicable).
B Personal Childbirth Leave (BU) Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Recovery. Upon employment. Paid, six weeks, for birth mother.

 

 

C Personal Primary Caregiver Workload Reduction (BU) Childcare after birth, adoption, foster care for either parent. Minimum of one year of service for workload reduction. Paid, Full teaching and service relief for one semester or half relief for two semesters.
D Personal Medical Leave (FMLA; MESTL) Serious health condition of faculty member.  See Appendix (FMLA) After 12 months and 1250 hours of employment (FMLA); or

 

Upon employment with three-month waiting period (MESTL)

Up to twelve weeks unpaid (FMLA).  May be paid if Temporary Disability Leave (BU) taken is concurrently.
E Personal Temporary Disability Leave (BU) Serious health condition of faculty member. See Appendix (FMLA) Upon employment. Up to three months paid with less than three years of service.

 

Up to six months paid with three or more years of service.

F Personal Personal Leave, Other (BU) Varies and may be discretionary. Upon employment. Unpaid unless extenuating circumstances; period varies.
G Personal Military Leave (USERRA) To fulfill military obligations as members of the United States Armed Forces (including National or State Guard) in accordance with the provisions of applicable federal and state laws. Upon employment. Unpaid, up to 5 years or more.
H Personal Jury Duty Leave (BU) Service on a jury or grand jury. Upon employment. Up to 3 days paid.
I Personal Sympathy Leave (BU) Death of immediate family member. Upon employment. Up to 3 days paid.
J Personal or family Domestic Violence Leave (MDVLL) Issues related to domestic violence against self or family member. See Appendix (MDVLL) Upon employment. 15 days (need not be consecutive), paid under MESTL.
K Family Family Illness/Medical Condition (FMLA; MESTL) Care for serious medical condition of spouse, child, or parent. See Appendix (FMLA) After 12 months and 1250 hours of employment (FMLA); or

 

3 months of employment (MESTL)

Up to 12 weeks unpaid.
L Family Military Leave: Qualifying Exigencies (FMLA) For family member active duty; see qualifying exigencies. See Appendix (FMLA) After 12 months and 1250 hours of employment Up to 12 weeks unpaid.
M Family Military Leave: Service Member Family Leave (FMLA) Care for a spouse, child, parent or next of kin who is a covered service member recovering from a “serious injury or illness” suffered in the line of active military duty. See Appendix (FMLA) After 12 months and 1250 hours of employment

 

Up to 26 weeks unpaid.

 

 

Questions regarding the relationship between this Policy and any other University programs and benefit plans that are not addressed below should be directed to Human Resources.

General Information

Creditable Service Requirements

Service requirements vary by type of leave.  For all types:

  • Continuous service starts from the date of hire.
  • Service includes paid leaves of absence (e.g., sabbatical leaves).

Application of State and Federal Leave Laws

To the extent applicable, leave provided for under federal and state laws will run concurrently with any leave requested or authorized under University policies, including but not limited to leave provided by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act (USERRA), Massachusetts Parental Leave Act (MPLA), Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law (MESTL), Massachusetts Domestic Violence Leave Law (MDVLL), and Massachusetts Small Necessities Leave Act (MSNLA).

Conditions of Re-employment

A faculty member on an approved leave of absence is entitled to return to the same or similar position without loss of the benefits for which he or she was eligible on the date the leave commenced (faculty are responsible for payment of any applicable premiums during the leave).  However, faculty members who fail to update Human Resources and their department chair regarding their intent to return to work and their expected date of return, and who fail to return by their expected return date may be considered to have resigned voluntarily from the University.

The sections below provide more detail on each leave type. Information is provided both on benefits that BU provides and what is mandated under federal and state personal and family leave laws.

[2]

A.      Parental Leave (FMLA and MPLA)

As employees of Boston University, professorial faculty, lecturers, and instructors are eligible for up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave for pregnancy, birth, or adoption of a child, or for the assumption of new foster care, in accordance with the provisions of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and, where applicable, the Massachusetts Parental Leave Act (MPLA), which provides up to eight (8) weeks of unpaid leave.

Parental Leave available under the FMLA or MPLA will be deemed to run concurrently with paid Childbirth Leave as described in Section B below.

Qualifying Conditions

  • Birth or care of a well newborn child or adoption of a child less than eighteen (18) years of age (unless a person over eighteen (18) is incapable of self-care) or foster care placement of child with the employee.

Eligibility Summary

  • After 3 months of full-time employment (MPLA).
  • Must have worked at the University for at least twelve months and for at least 1250 hours over the 12 months immediately preceding the first day the faculty member uses any leave (FMLA).

Leave Entitlement

  • Total of 12 weeks (FMLA) or 8 weeks (MPLA) of unpaid leave, less any leave used during the rolling 12-month period measured backward from the first day the faculty member uses any leave.
  • Eight (8) weeks per child for multiple births (MPLA).

For example, a faculty member who has completed two years of full time service at the University requests 12 weeks of FMLA leave beginning on September 1 after the birth of a child.  To determine the amount of leave they are eligible to take, the University will review the 12 months preceding the first day of the leave (from September 1 to the previous August 30).  If no leave was used during that period, the faculty member is entitled to the full 12 weeks of leave requested.  If three weeks of leave were used from June 1 to June 21, only 9 weeks of unpaid leave remains.

Application Process

Faculty members seeking leave under this policy must complete the Faculty Request for Non-Academic Leave of Absence (http://www.bu.edu/hr/life-career-events/taking-a-leave-of-absence/) and submit it to the chair of their department. The chair is responsible for forwarding the form to the dean’s office, who will then provide the form to Human Resources

B.      Childbirth Leave (BU)

Qualifying Conditions

  • Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Recovery.

Eligibility Summary

  • Upon employment.

Leave Entitlement

  • Up to six weeks of paid leave for the woman who gives birth. The faculty member’s regular monthly salary (twelve months rather than academic-year basis) when Childbirth Leave begins will be the basis for computing the rate of salary entitlement. Payments will be made on each regular salary payment date.

Full-time professorial faculty, lecturers, and instructors who are unable to work for a period of time for medical reasons related to pregnancy and childbirth may take a paid absence for the six-week period following uncomplicated childbirth. Medical certification is not required for this period. Individuals who are unable to work during pregnancy, or for longer than six weeks after childbirth, may apply for paid leave under the policy for Temporary Disability Leave (BU).

Sponsored program-funded professorial faculty, lecturers, and instructors: During a six-week paid absence for childbirth, salary contributions from sponsored awards may continue without interruption, subject to the policies of the sponsor. For absences longer than six weeks, salary contributions from sponsored awards may only be continued with approval of the relevant Dean’s office. Requests for this approval must include a plan to fulfill awarded effort commitments. [3]

Parental Leave available under the FMLA or MPLA will be deemed to run concurrently with paid Childbirth Leave.

Application Process

Faculty members seeking leave under this policy must complete the Faculty Request for Non-Academic Leave of Absence (http://www.bu.edu/hr/life-career-events/taking-a-leave-of-absence/) and submit it to the chair of their department. The chair is responsible for forwarding the form to the dean’s office, who will then provide the form to Human Resources

C.      Primary Care Giver Workload Reduction (BU)

Qualifying Conditions

  • Primary care giver of a child as described below.

Eligibility Summary

  • 1 or 2 years of service, see below.

Benefit Entitlement

  • One semester of paid relief from all teaching duties, committee assignments, and other service; does not include relief from expectations for scholarly and/or creative work.

OR

  • Two semesters of paid relief from half of all teaching duties, committee assignments, and other service; does not include relief from scholarly/creative work.
  • Salary continues as normal during the period of Workload Reduction.

Application Process

Faculty members seeking leave under this policy must complete the form entitled “Professorial Faculty, Lecturer or Instructor Request for Primary Caregiver Workload Reduction” http://www.bu.edu/provost/files/2012/02/Workload-Reduction-Form.pdf and submit it to the chair of their department.

Paid Workload Reduction provides temporary assistance to a professorial faculty member, lecturer, or instructor who becomes the primary care giver of a child by offering a period when some duties are reduced without a reduction in pay. A full-time professorial faculty member, lecturer, or instructor is eligible for Paid Workload Reduction when he or she is employed by the University and becomes the primary care giver for a newborn child, newly-adopted child, new foster care or guardianship placement, or newly-established legal custodial care of a child. The duties that are reduced are teaching and administrative service. The intent is to ease the transition involved when first undertaking primary care, not to support ongoing care situations.[4]

A. Eligibility: Paid Workload Reduction is available to the following full-time, compensated individuals – (1) those with unmodified professorial titles; (2) those with professorial titles modified by Research, Clinical, and of the Practice; (3) Lecturers; and (4) Instructors — provided that the individual meets all of the following conditions:

  1. He or she will be the primary care giver for the child during the requested period of workload reduction;
  2. At the time the workload reduction request is made, the individual either:
    • has a multi-year appointment and has had a minimum of one year of full-time service to the University; or
    • has a one year appointment and has had a minimum of two years of full-time service to the University;
  3. He or she has an appointment that extends at least through the end date of the requested workload reduction period; and
  4. He or she intends to return to full workload, provided they are re-appointed or his or her appointment continues.

B. Paid Workload Reduction Options for Eligible Individuals:

  1. Paid Workload Reduction, Full-Modified Status: This option provides paid relief for up to one semester from all teaching duties, committee assignments, and other service. Persons on Paid Workload Reduction are still expected to advise graduate students and sustain their research program or creative activities. Full-Modified Status Workload Reduction cannot extend across two semesters. Some eligible individuals on the Medical Campus have teaching duties that do not fit within the usual semester structure. For persons in that situation who choose Full-Modified Status Workload Reduction, relief from teaching and committee assignments will be provided for fourteen consecutive weeks. Note that for professorial faculty members, lecturers, and instructors engaged in externally funded grant or contract related activities, Paid Workload Reduction shall include relief from responsibilities to the University, but shall not include release from responsibilities to the external funding sources unless alternative arrangements are approved by such sources.
  2. Paid Workload Reduction, Half-Modified Status: This option provides paid relief for up to two semesters from half of teaching responsibilities, committee assignments, and other service. Individuals on Paid Workload Reduction, Half-Modified Status are still expected to advise graduate students and sustain their research program or creative activities. The normal workload for equivalent individuals in the unit will be used as the basis from which the reduction to one half is calculated. In cases in which the teaching or service responsibilities are not readily divisible by half, these responsibilities may be considered together for the purposes of reduction. Some eligible individuals on the Medical Campus have teaching duties that do not fit within the usual semester structure. For persons in that situation who choose Half-Modified Status Workload Reduction, relief from one half of teaching and committee assignments will be provided for twenty-eight consecutive weeks. Note that for professorial faculty members, lecturers, and instructors engaged in externally funded grant or contract related activities, Paid Workload Reduction shall include relief from responsibilities to the University, but shall not include release from responsibilities to the external funding sources unless alternative arrangements are approved by such sources.

C. Additional Notes Regarding Paid Workload Reduction:

  1. An individual is a primary care giver when he or she is either responsible for more than 50% of the care of the child, or is the sole caretaker of the child for more than twenty hours per week, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.;
  2. To provide maximum flexibility to professorial faculty, lecturers, and instructors, the period of Paid Workload Reduction must be completed within sixteen months of the date the child is born or joins the family by other means, provided that the person requesting the reduction will be the primary care giver during the period of Paid Workload Reduction;
  3. To allow adequate planning for the academic program, under normal circumstances requests for Paid Workload Reduction should be made well before the beginning of the semester in which the Paid Workload Reduction would commence;
  4. Eligible individuals may request one of the two Paid Workload Reduction options per academic year;
  5. Paid Workload Reduction may be taken a maximum of three times over the course of the eligible individual’s employment at the University;
  6. If both parents are eligible professorial faculty members, lecturers, or instructors at Boston University, then both may request the relief to which they are entitled. Their periods of Paid Workload Reduction may not be simultaneous, however, since each reduction presupposes that the person on a reduced workload is the primary care giver.

Paid Absence for Childbirth and Paid Workload Reduction do not by themselves extend any appointment past its original end date, or provide salary past the end date of an appointment.

Interaction of Childbirth Leave and Paid Workload Reduction

Because Paid Leave for Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Recovery is covered by BU’s Childbirth Policy, taking Childbirth Leave does not affect subsequent eligibility for Paid Workload Reduction. However, a woman may wish to use Paid Workload Reduction to have uninterrupted pay and a reduced teaching and service workload if her Paid Absence for Childbirth ends before the semester is over and she is the primary care giver.  A semester that includes Paid Workload Reduction immediately following Paid Absence for Childbirth will be counted toward that individual’s annual eligibility for Paid Workload Reduction.

Consequences of Paid Absence for Childbirth and Workload Reduction for Tenure-Track Faculty in the Probationary Period

It is very likely that the assumption of new primary care giver responsibilities for a child will have an impact on the pace of a faculty member’s career. This impact is most problematic for tenure-track faculty who must receive a decision on tenure no later than their seventh year of service at Boston University. Consequently, a faculty member on the tenure-track who takes a Paid Absence for Childbirth and/or a Paid Workload Reduction will have her or his deadline for consideration for tenure postponed for one year. Please note that:

  1. As described in the section on “Tenure Review Schedule and Notification,” a faculty member holding a Tenure-Track probationary appointment may request Tenure Review prior to the scheduled Tenure Review year. Therefore, a faculty member who has a postponement of the deadline for Tenure Review as a result of a Paid Absence for Childbirth or Paid Workload Reduction may opt, in consultation with her or his Chair and Dean, to be considered for tenure at the end of the original probationary period;
  2. In order to prevent undue prolongation of the probationary period, each faculty member is eligible for only two postponements of the deadline for Tenure Review, regardless of the number of Paid Absences for Childbirth or Paid Workload Reductions taken during the probationary period;
  3. The deadline for Tenure Review cannot be postponed if a faculty member has had a three-year extension of the probationary period granted as an outcome of promotion review;
  4. A faculty member who becomes the primary care giver of a child in the probationary period, but does not take Paid Workload Reduction, may request postponement of the deadline for Tenure Review provided the request is made within one year of the birth or adoption of the child and prior to the initiation of the final Tenure Review process.

D.      Personal Medical Leave (FMLA and MESTL)

Faculty are eligible for Personal Medical Leave under this policy when a faculty member’s own serious health condition, defined as an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition, involves inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider.

Qualifying Conditions

Eligibility Summary

  • Must have worked at the University for at least 12 months and for at least 1250 hours over the 12 months immediately preceding the first day the faculty member uses any leave (FMLA).
  • Upon employment (MESTL).

Leave Entitlement

  • Total of 12 weeks of unpaid leave, less any leave used during the rolling 12-month period measured backward from the first day the faculty member uses any leave (FMLA).
  • One hour of paid sick time is accrued for every 30 hours worked up to 40 hours; available for use after three months of employment (MESTL)
  • FMLA is unpaid, but may be paid under Temporary Disability Leave
  • Faculty are responsible for payment of health and dental premiums during the leave.

For example, a faculty member who has completed one year of full time service at the University requests 12 weeks of FMLA leave beginning on October 15 for their own serious health condition.  To determine the amount of leave they are eligible to take, the University will review the 12 months preceding the first day of the leave (from October 15 to the previous October 14).  If no FMLA leave was used during that 12-month period, the faculty member is entitled to the full 12 weeks of leave requested.  If four weeks of leave were used from March 1 to March 31, only eight weeks of unpaid leave remains.

Application Process

Faculty members seeking leave under this policy must complete the Faculty Request for Non-Academic Leave of Absence (http://www.bu.edu/hr/life-career-events/taking-a-leave-of-absence/) and submit it to the chair of their department. The chair is responsible for forwarding the form to the dean’s office, who will then provide the form to Human Resources

When the need for Personal Medical Leave is foreseeable, a faculty member must give thirty (30) days’ notice; otherwise he/she must give as much notice as possible. The University has the right to designate absences as Personal Medical Leave for qualified events.

Personal Medical Leave will be approved by Human Resources, in consultation with the dean and Provost, as necessary, provided such leave is consistent with this policy and applicable federal and state laws.  Human Resources will notify the faculty member in writing regarding the conditions and terms of the leave.

E.      Temporary Disability Leave (Paid, BU)

Qualifying Conditions

  • Faculty are eligible to receive pay for defined periods of leave under this policy for the faculty member’s own health condition that would qualify as a “serious health condition” under the FMLA. See Appendix (FMLA).

Eligibility Summary

  • Upon full-time employment.

Benefit Summary

Total Creditable Service with the University when Disability Begins Maximum Period of Full Salary
Less than 3 years 3 months
3 years or more 6 months

The maximum periods of benefit eligibility in the table are computed and limited as follows:

  1. This is the maximum amount of paid leave that can be taken for any serious health condition within any consecutive twelve month rolling period, measured backward from the first day a faculty member uses Temporary Disability Leave (BU); and
  2. Once benefits have been utilized for an occurrence of a serious health condition, a faculty member must return to active service for a minimum of three consecutive months in order to once again be eligible for pay continuation under this policy for the same condition.

The three months of active service will be computed on the basis of the member’s regular work schedule; for this purpose, regularly scheduled off-duty periods will be counted as long as the member is certified by a legally qualified physician as being available for active service and no longer disabled.

If a faculty member who has taken paid leave under this policy for a serious health condition then requests leave for a different condition, there is no requirement of an intervening three consecutive months of active service, but the faculty member is still limited to the maximum benefits allowed within a consecutive twelve month rolling period.

Calculation of Pay:

  • The faculty member’s regular monthly salary (twelve months rather than academic-year basis) when the leave begins will be the basis for computing the rate of salary entitlement. Payments will be made on each regular salary payment date.
  • Employee benefits associated with the faculty member’s position will continue (faculty remain responsible for payment of any applicable benefit premiums during leave).

Example 1:  a faculty member with three years of service is eligible for a maximum benefit of six months of paid leave under this policy.  The faculty member begins Temporary Disability Leave (BU) on September 1 and receives full pay while on leave through February 28.  He or she returns to work on March 1 and is next eligible for six months of paid leave under this policy on September 1 of the following year.

Example 2: a faculty member with three years of service is eligible for a maximum benefit of six months of paid leave under this policy.  The faculty member begins Temporary Disability Leave (BU) for an illness on September 1 and receives full pay while on leave through November 30, using three of the six months of paid leave for which they are eligible.  The faculty member returns to work on December 1.  The faculty member must have three consecutive months of active service to be again eligible for paid leave under this policy for the same illness.  As of March 1, the faculty member is again eligible for an additional three months of leave for the same illness.*    On September 1 of the following year, the faculty member is next eligible for paid medical leave, limited by any periods of paid leave taken within the twelve month rolling period prior to September 1.

* As of December 1, the faculty member was eligible to take an additional three months of paid leave for a different illness.

Interaction with FMLA:

FMLA leave runs concurrently with the pay continuation benefit provided under this policy.  Thus, in both examples above, FMLA leave will run concurrently with the faculty member’s first three months of leave (September 1 to February 28).  The faculty member may be eligible again for FMLA leave on September 1 of the following year.

Application Process

Faculty members seeking leave under this policy must complete the Faculty Request for Non-Academic Leave of Absence (http://www.bu.edu/hr/life-career-events/taking-a-leave-of-absence/) and submit it to the chair of their department. The chair is responsible for forwarding the form to the dean’s office, which will then provide the form to Human Resources.

When the need for Temporary Disability Leave (BU) is foreseeable, a faculty member must give thirty (30) days’ notice; otherwise he or she must give as much notice as possible. The University has the right to designate absences as Temporary Disability Leave (BU) for qualified events.

Temporary Disability Leave (BU) will be approved when the dean’s office, in consultation with the Provost and Human Resources, determines such leave is consistent with this policy and applicable federal and state laws.  The dean’s office will notify the faculty member in writing regarding the conditions and terms of the leave.

Reductions to Salary Continuation

In the following cases, salary paid to a faculty member on Temporary Disability Leave (BU) will be reduced by any of the following benefits received or receivable by or for the faculty member for the same period.

  • Disability benefits under the Social Security Act.
  • Benefits, compensation, or other allowances (other than worker’s compensation benefits for a permanent partial disability occurring prior to the condition for which benefits are payable hereunder under a Worker’s Compensation Law.)
    • Faculty who are injured in the course of employment and who are absent from work for such reasons are subject to and paid in accordance with the provisions of the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Law. Faculty will be paid under the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Law for absences that occur after the statutory waiting periods have been satisfied. Faculty may elect to use Temporary Disability Leave (BU) to supplement their weekly Workers’ Compensation benefits to the extent that the faculty’s total compensation does not exceed his or her regular pay.
    • If a dispute should arise as to whether an eligible faculty member is entitled to Worker’s Compensation benefits for any period of disability, salary will be paid under this policy in the first instance, and the University will be entitled to reimbursement from any award of Worker’s Compensation benefits.
  • Salary is considered receivable if the only condition the faculty member must fulfill is to apply or file as required for that benefit.

Long-Term Disability Plan

Faculty members who are unable to work for longer than six months because of a disability may also be eligible for benefits pursuant to the University’s Long-Term Disability Plan, administered through the Office of Human Resources.  Additional information regarding the Plan is available at the following link:   http://www.bu.edu/hr/health-wellness/disability/long-term-disability/.

F.      Personal Leave, Other

Qualifying Conditions

  • Discretionary

Eligibility Summary

  • Upon employment.

Leave Entitlement

  • One semester or more of additional leave for personal reasons.
  • Usually unpaid, but pay and benefits continuation in extenuating circumstances (see below).

Application Process

Faculty members seeking leave under this policy must complete the Faculty Request for Non-Academic Leave of Absence (http://www.bu.edu/hr/life-career-events/taking-a-leave-of-absence/) and submit it to the chair of their department. The chair is responsible for forwarding the form to the dean’s office.  If the leave is being requested for medical reasons, the dean’s office will then provide the form to Human Resources Although Personal Leave is unpaid, under special circumstances, a faculty member may request leave with compensation.

When the need for Personal Leave is foreseeable, a faculty member must give thirty (30) days’ notice; otherwise he/she must give as much notice as possible. The University has the right to designate absences as Personal Leave for qualified events.

Personal Leave will be approved when the dean’s office, in consultation with the Provost and Human Resources, determines such leave is consistent with this policy and applicable federal and state laws. Human Resources will notify the faculty member in writing regarding the conditions and terms of the leave.  Faculty on leave without pay should consult with the University Office of Human Resources regarding the continuation of employee benefits. Requests for pay continuation must be separately approved by the dean and provost.

G.      Personal:  Military Leave (USERRA)

Qualifying Conditions

  • Fulfill military obligations as members of the United States Armed Forces (including active and Reserve components of Armed Forces, Army and Air National Guard, Commissioned Corps of National Health Service, or any other category of persons designated in war or national emergency).

Eligibility Summary

  • Upon employment.

Leave Entitlement

  • The length of Personal Military Leave is determined by the faculty member’s military obligation and as required under the provisions of applicable federal and state laws.
  • Federal law does not require that the faculty member be paid.

Application Process

Faculty members seeking leave under this policy must complete the Faculty Request for Non-Academic Leave of Absence (http://www.bu.edu/hr/life-career-events/taking-a-leave-of-absence/) and submit it to the chair of their department. The chair is responsible for forwarding the form to the dean’s office

When the need for Personal Military Leave is foreseeable, a faculty member must give thirty (30) days’ notice; otherwise he/she must give as much notice as possible. The University has the right to designate absences as Personal Military Leave for qualified events.

Personal Military Leave will be approved when the dean determines such leave is consistent with this policy and applicable federal and state laws.  The dean’s office will notify the faculty member in writing regarding the conditions and terms of the leave.

H.     Personal:  Jury Duty Leave (BU)

Jury Duty Leave is an authorized paid absence from work that enables faculty members to complete compulsory jury duty service in an established federal or state court without sustaining financial loss.

Qualifying Conditions

  • Jury duty services required in an established federal or state court.

Eligibility Summary

  • Upon employment.

Leave Entitlement

  • The length of paid Jury Duty Leave is determined by the faculty member’s jury duty obligation and as required by the applicable federal or state court.
  • Pay for the duration of jury duty leave is the difference between the jury duty pay and the faculty member’s regular salary.

Application Process

When Jury Duty is scheduled, the faculty member should consult with his or her chair well in advance to ensure coverage for classroom teaching responsibilities on the day of Jury Duty. If Jury Duty extends beyond three days the faculty member must complete the Faculty Request for Non-Academic Leave of Absence (http://www.bu.edu/hr/life-career-events/taking-a-leave-of-absence/) and provide it to his or her chair, together with a copy of the official notice from the court. The chair is responsible for forwarding the form to the dean’s office

Jury Duty Leave will be approved by the chair of the department when the chair determines such leave is consistent with this policy and applicable federal and state laws. Human Resources will notify the faculty member in writing regarding the conditions and terms of the leave.

I.       Personal:  Sympathy Leave (BU)

Sympathy Leave is an authorized paid absence from work granted when a death occurs in a faculty member’s immediate family.

Qualifying Conditions

  • Death in a faculty member’s immediate family (faculty member’s spouse, parents, parents-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandparents, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, children, and members of the same household).

Leave Entitlement

  • Upon employment.

Benefit Summary

  • Up to three days paid leave.

J.      Personal:  Domestic Violence Leave (MDVLL)

Domestic Violence Leave is an authorized absence from work for a faculty member to use to address issues directly related to domestic violence against the faculty member or his or her family member.

Qualifying Conditions

  • A faculty member or his or her family member is a victim of domestic violence.
  • The faculty member cannot be the perpetrator of domestic violence against the family member.
  • See also Appendix (MDVLL) for definitions/types of domestic violence leave.

Eligibility Summary

  • Upon employment.

Leave Entitlement

  • Up to 15 days of job-protected leave in a 12 month period. (The days may be used on a consecutive or non-consecutive basis.) Unpaid, except that up to 40 hours of Domestic Violence Leave may be paid in accordance with MESTL.

Application Process

Except in cases of imminent danger to the health or safety of a faculty member or a family member of faculty, faculty members seeking leave under this policy must complete the Faculty Request for Non-Academic Leave of Absence (http://www.bu.edu/hr/life-career-events/taking-a-leave-of-absence/) and submit it to the chair of their department, together with the documentation specified in the Appendix.  See Appendix (MDVLL) for definitions/how to request domestic violence leave. The chair is responsible for forwarding the form to the dean’s office.

When the need for Domestic Violence Leave is foreseeable, a faculty member must give thirty (30) days’ notice; otherwise he/she must give as much notice as possible. The University has the right to designate absences as Domestic Violence Leave for qualified events.

If there is a threat of imminent danger to the health or safety of the faculty member or a family member of faculty, the faculty member shall not be required to provide advanced notice of leave; provided, however, the faculty member shall notify the University within three (3) work days that the leave was taken under this policy.  Such notification may be communicated to the University by the faculty member, a family member of the faculty member, or the faculty member’s counselor, social worker, health care worker, member of the clergy, shelter worker, legal advocate, or other professional who has assisted the faculty member in addressing the effects of the abusive behavior on the faculty member or the family member of the faculty.  In the case of an unscheduled leave, the faculty member will need to submit appropriate documentation within thirty (30) days from the unauthorized absence to qualify for domestic violence leave.

Domestic Violence Leave will be approved when Human Resources determines such leave is consistent with this policy and applicable federal and state laws.  Human Resources will notify the faculty member in writing regarding the conditions and terms of the leave.

Faculty are eligible for Family Medical and Family Military-Related Leaves under the circumstances described below.

K.      Family: Illness/Medical Leave (FMLA and MESTL)

Qualifying Conditions

Eligibility Summary

  • Must have worked at the University for at least 12 months and for at least 1250 hours over the 12 month period immediately preceding the leave (FMLA).
  • Upon employment; available for use after three months of employment (MESTL).

Leave Entitlement

  • Total of 12 weeks of unpaid leave, less any leave used during the rolling 12 month period measured backward from the first day the faculty member uses any leave. (FMLA)
  • One hour of paid sick time is accrued for every 30 hours worked up to 40 hours; available for use after three months of employment. (MESTL)

For example, a faculty member who has completed 15 years of full time service at the University requests 12 weeks of FMLA leave beginning on February 15 to care for a spouse with a serious health condition.  To determine the amount of leave they are eligible to take, the University will review the 12 months preceding the first day of the leave (from February 15 to the previous February 14).  If no leave was used during that 12 month period, the faculty member is entitled to the full 12 weeks of leave requested.  If six weeks of leave were used from September 1 to October 15, only six weeks of unpaid leave remains.

Application Process

Faculty members seeking leave under this policy must complete the Faculty Request for Non-Academic Leave of Absence (http://www.bu.edu/hr/life-career-events/taking-a-leave-of-absence/) and submit it to the chair of their department. The chair is responsible for forwarding the form to the dean’s office, who will then provide the form to Human Resources

When the need for Family Illness/Medical Leave is foreseeable, a faculty member must give thirty (30) days’ notice; otherwise he/she must give as much notice as possible. The University has the right to designate absences as Family Illness/Medical Leave for qualified events.

Family Illness/Medical Leave will be approved by Human Resources, in consultation with the dean and Provost, as necessary, provided such leave is consistent with this policy and applicable federal and state laws. Human Resources will notify the faculty member in writing regarding the conditions and terms of the leave.

L.      Family:  Military Qualifying Exigencies Leave (FMLA)

Qualifying Conditions

Eligibility Summary

  • Must have worked at the University for at least 12 months and for at least 1250 hours over the 12-month period immediately preceding the first day of the leave.

Leave Entitlement

  • Total of 12 weeks of unpaid leave, less any leave used during the rolling 12-month period measured backward from the first day the faculty member uses any leave.

For example, a faculty member who has completed four years of full time service at the University requests two weeks of FMLA qualifying exigency leave beginning on November 1st to provide temporary childcare to their two grandchildren after their daughter, a member of the Armed Forces, is called to covered active duty.  To determine the amount of leave they are eligible to take, the University will review the 12 months preceding the first day of the leave (from November 1 to the previous October 31).  If no leave was used during this 12-month period, the faculty member is entitled to the full two weeks of leave requested.  If nine weeks of leave were used from March 15 to May 23, only three weeks of unpaid leave remains.

Application Process

Faculty members seeking leave under this policy must complete the Faculty Request for Non-Academic Leave of Absence (http://www.bu.edu/hr/life-career-events/taking-a-leave-of-absence/) and submit it to the chair of their department. The chair is responsible for forwarding the form to the dean’s office, who will then provide the form to Human Resources.

When the need for Family Military/Qualifying Exigencies Leave is foreseeable, a faculty member must give thirty (30) days’ notice; otherwise he/she must give as much notice as possible. The University has the right to designate absences as Family Military/Qualifying Exigencies Leave for qualified events.

Family Military/Qualifying Exigencies Leave will be approved by Human Resources, in consultation with the dean and Provost, as necessary, provided such leave is consistent with this policy and applicable federal and state laws. Human Resources will notify the faculty member in writing regarding the conditions and terms of the leave.

M.     Family:  Service Member Family Leave (FMLA)

Qualifying Conditions

Eligibility Summary

  • Must have worked for the University for at least 12 months and for at least 1250 hours over the 12 months immediately preceding the first day the faculty member uses any leave (FMLA).
  • Upon employment (MESTL).

Leave Entitlement

  • Total of 26 weeks of unpaid leave during the 12-month period measured forward from the first day the faculty member uses any leave.
  • One hour of paid sick time is accrued for every 30 hours worked up to 40 hours; available for use after 3 months of employment (MESTL).

For example, a faculty member who has completed eight years of service at the University requests 16 weeks of FMLA service member leave beginning on September 1 to care for their son, a member of the Armed Forces, who is undergoing treatment for a serious injury incurred during military service.  The faculty member is entitled to 16 weeks of unpaid leave from September 1, provided they worked at least 1250 hours over the 12 months immediately preceding September 1.

Note that the faculty member has a remaining balance of 10 weeks of FMLA leave that they may use for any other FMLA qualifying reason during the same the 12-month period that was used to calculate their entitlement to service member leave (beginning on September 1).

Application Process

Faculty members seeking leave under this policy must complete the Faculty Request for Non-Academic Leave of Absence (http://www.bu.edu/hr/life-career-events/taking-a-leave-of-absence/) and submit it to the chair of their department. The chair is responsible for forwarding the form to the dean’s office, who will then provide the form to Human Resources

When the need for Service Member Family Leave is foreseeable, a faculty member must give thirty (30) days’ notice; otherwise he/she must give as much notice as possible. The University has the right to designate absences as Service Member Family Leave for qualified events.

Service Member Family Leave will be approved by Human Resources, in consultation with the dean and Provost, as necessary, provided such leave is consistent with this policy and applicable federal and state laws. Human Resources will notify the faculty member in writing regarding the conditions and terms of the leave.

APPENDIX

This appendix sets forth provisions relevant to certain types of leave described in the Faculty Leave Policy.

FMLA

The Family and Medical Leave Act allows eligible employees to take a period of up to 12 weeks in a 12-month period of job-protected leave under the following qualifying events:

  • birth or care of a well newborn child or adoption of a child less than eighteen (18) years of age (unless a person over eighteen (18) is incapable of self-care) or foster care placement of child with the employee;
  • employee’s own serious health condition;
  • or care of a family member with a serious health condition.

–  A “serious health condition” is defined as an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider. The “continuing treatment” test for a serious health condition under the regulations may be met through (1) a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive, full calendar days plus treatment by a health care provider twice, or once with a continuing regimen of treatment, (2) any period of incapacity related to pregnancy or for prenatal care, (3) any period of incapacity or treatment for a chronic serious health condition, (4) a period of incapacity for permanent or long-term conditions for which treatment may not be effective, or (5) any period of incapacity to receive multiple treatments (including recovery from those treatments) for restorative surgery, or for a condition which would likely result in an incapacity of more than three consecutive, full calendar days absent medical treatment.

  • A qualifying exigency arising out of the employee’s spouse, child, or parent’s active duty (or notification of an impending call or order to active duty) in the National Guard or Reserves in support of contingency operations.
  • A “qualifying exigency” under the Family and Medical Leave Act is defined as:
    • Short-notice deployment
    • Military events and related activities
    • Childcare and school activities
    • Financial and legal arrangements
    • Counseling
    • Rest and recuperation
    • Post-deployment activities
    • Additional activities

Each absence from work for the above-stated reasons will be considered as Family and Medical Leave and will count toward fulfillment of the twelve-week FMLA leave.

  • For Service Member Family Leave: Eligible employees may to take up to 26 weeks of service member family leave in a 12-month period to care for a spouse, child, parent or next of kin who is a covered service member recovering from a “serious injury or illness” suffered in the line of active military duty.
    • The covered service member must be undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise on outpatient status, or is on the temporary disability retired “list” for a serious injury or illness. The serious injury or illness must be one that renders the service member unable to perform the duties of his or her office, grade, rank, or rating.

MPLA

The Massachusetts Parental Leave Act provides employees who have completed an initial probationary period, or if there is no such probationary period, has been employed by the same employer for at least three consecutive months as a full-time employee, with an authorized absence from work for up to eight weeks for the purpose of giving birth or for the placement of a child under the age of 18, or under age 23 if the child is mentally or physically disabled, for adoption with the employee who is adopting or intending to adopt the child.

Any two employees of the same employer shall only be entitled to eight weeks of parental leave in aggregate for the birth or adoption of the same child (e.g., 16 weeks for the birth of twins).

MESTL

Under the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law, employees have an authorized paid absence from work to:

  1. care for the faculty member’s child, spouse, parent, or parent of a spouse, who is suffering from a physical or mental illness, injury, or medical condition that requires home care, professional medical diagnosis or care, or preventative medical care;
  2. care for the faculty member’s own physical or mental illness, injury, or medical condition that requires home care, professional medical diagnosis or care, or preventative medical care;
  3. attend a routine medical appointment or a routine medical appointment for the faculty member’s child, spouse, parent, or parent of spouse;
  4. address the psychological, physical, or legal effects of domestic violence; or
  5. travel to and from an appointment, a pharmacy, or other location related to the purpose for which the time was taken.

Domestic Violence

Definitions:

Abuse: (i) attempting to cause or causing physical harm; (ii) placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm; (iii) 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; (iv) engaging in mental abuse, which includes threats, intimidation or acts designed to induce terror; (v) depriving another of medical care, housing, food, or other necessities of life; or (vi) restraining the liberty of another.

Abusive behavior includes domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, and kidnapping.

Domestic violence: abuse against an employee or the employee’s family member by: (i) a current or former spouse of the employee or the employee’s family member; (ii) a person with whom the employee or the employee’s family member shares a child in common; (iii) a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the employee or the employee’s family member; (iv) a person who is related by blood or marriage to the employee; or (v) a person with whom the employee or employee’s family member has or had a dating or engagement relationship.

Family member: (i) persons who are married to one another; (ii) persons in a substantive dating or engagement relationship and who reside together; (iii) persons having a child in common regardless of whether they have ever married or resided together; (iv) a parent, stepparent, child, step-child, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild; or (v) persons in a guardianship relationship.

Types of Domestic Violence Leave:

An employee may request Domestic Violence Leave for the following reasons: seek or obtain medical attention; counseling, victim services, or legal assistance; secure housing; obtain a protective order from a court; appear in court or before a grand jury; meet with a district attorney or other law enforcement official; or attend child custody proceedings or address other issues directly related to the abusive behavior against the employee or family member of the employee.

How to Request Domestic Violence Leave:

Documentation Needed

An employee requesting Domestic Violence Leave must provide documentation showing that the employee or employee’s family member has been a victim of abusive behavior and that the leave taken is consistent with the domestic violence leave policy. An employee is not required to show evidence of an arrest, conviction, or other law enforcement documentation for such abusive
behavior.

An employee shall provide such documentation to the University within 15 days after the University requests documentation relative to the employee’s absence:

  1. A protective order, order of equitable relief or other documentation issued by a court of competent jurisdiction as a result of abusive behavior against the employee or employee’s family member.
  2. A document under the letterhead of the court, provider or public agency which the employee attended for the purposes of acquiring assistance as it relates to the abusive behavior against the employee or the employee’s family member.
  3. A police report or statement of a victim or witness provided to police, including a police incident report, documenting the abusive behavior complained of by the employee or the employee’s family member.
  4. Documentation that the perpetrator of the abusive behavior against the employee or family member of the employee 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 under this section.
  5. Medical documentation of treatment as a result of the abusive behavior complained of by the employee or employee’s family member.
  6. 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 the employee or the employee’s family member in addressing the effects of the abusive behavior.
  7. A sworn statement, signed under the penalties of perjury, from the employee attesting that the employee has been the victim of abusive behavior or is the family member of a victim of abusive behavior.

All information related to the employee’s leave under this section shall be kept confidential by Boston University and shall not be disclosed, except to the extent that disclosure is:

(i) requested or consented to, in writing, by the employee;
(ii) ordered to be released by a court of competent jurisdiction;
(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 the safety of the employee or others employed at the workplace.

FOOTNOTES

[1] School of Medicine professorial faculty, lecturers, and instructors who have employment contracts with practice plans do not receive the benefits described by the BU Faculty Handbook, but instead receive benefits in accordance with the policies adopted by the Faculty Practice Foundation, Inc.

[2] This policy was adopted by the University Council, February 16, 2011, to take effect July 1, 2011.

[3] For example, NIH and NSF currently require notification in the event that the PI/PD or key personnel will be absent for any continuous period of three months or more, or when reducing effort by 25% or more from the level in the application, averaged over the remaining duration of the project. Notification is generally not required for shorter absences. For additional information and assistance regarding sponsored award effort commitment requirements, please contact the Office of Sponsored Programs.

[4] Requests for leave or workload reduction for other circumstances related to family responsibilities are not covered by this Policy, but will continue to be considered on a case by case basis by the appropriate Provost.

Approved October 17, 2017