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Leave Policies

Numerous types of leaves are available to benefited employees, depending on each employee's collective bargaining unit or non-unit status.  Some examples (although not applicable to all collective bargaining units) are education, sabbatical, military, maternity, family and parental leave.  If you are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, please reference your appropriate collective bargaining agreement for details on what leaves are available.  If you are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement, please contact HRD. 

Below you will find the College's policies regarding the Family Medical Leave Act, Small Necessities Leave Act and the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act.  Also, set out below are summaries of benefits regarding sick leave, vacation leave, personal leave, funeral leave, holiday leave, jury duty and voting leave.

The Family And Medical Leave Act

Pursuant with the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 (revised January, 2009), MCLA has established a policy to allow employees to take a period of leave (generally not to exceed 12 weeks) for the care of their own serious health condition or that of specific family members as defined under FMLA.  Employees are eligible if they have worked at MCLA for at least one year, and/or a minimum of 1,250 hours during the previous 12-month period.  The College requires that the employee use any earned sick, personal or vacation leave, as indicated allowable below [see sections a) through e)], before taking leave as unpaid.

Requests for Family Medical Leave must be in writing to the Human Resources Department as soon as feasible. Employees are asked to provide a minimum of 30 days advance notice when the leave is "foreseeable" such as a pregnancy, planned surgery, etc.   You may be required to submit a medical certification of either your own or family member's illness.  You may also be required to present a fitness-for-duty certificate before we restore you to employment if you took leave for your own serious health condition.


FMLA leave may be granted for the following reasons:

  1. For incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or child birth;
  2. To care for the employee's child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care;
  3. To care for the employee's spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition;
  4. For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform his/her job;
  5. Military family leave entitlements (see details below)

For purposes of this policy, 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 employee from performing the functions of the employee'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 consecutive calendar days combined with at least two visits to a health care provider or one visit and a regimen of continuing treatment, or incapacity due to pregnancy, or incapacity due to a chronic condition.   Please refer to the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage & House Division Publication 1420 (revised January 2009) for more details on employee rights and responsibilities under this law.  This notice is posted outside the Human Resources Office.

FMLA leaves may be approved for a maximum of 12 weeks in a 12-month period (see exception for military service members below).  For purposes of this policy, a "rolling" 12-month period will be used, measured backwards from the date an employee last used any leave under this policy.  Spouses who are both employed by the College are allowed a combined total of 12 weeks of family care leave within a 12-month period for the care of a newborn or adopted child.  If leave is requested due to the illness of a child, a spouse, or a parent, then each spouse will be allowed 12 weeks of leave.

With leaves concerning a serious health condition, consideration will be given to take your leave on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis.  (Intermittent leaves will not be permitted for leaves concerning birth, adoption or foster care.)  You will need to coordinate with the Human Resources Office the type of leave to be taken and the anticipated duration of such leave.  Although the College will attempt to accommodate all intermittent or reduced schedule leave requests, there may be instances where the College may have to transfer you to an alternative position in order to satisfy such request.

a)    Employee or Family Member Illnesses: For the employee's own illness, he/she would be eligible to utilize all earned sick, vacation leave and personal time or unpaid leave.  For the care of a sick family member, employees may utilize up to 10 days of paid sick time; the remainder of the 12 weeks leave employees may use vacation leave or personal time or unpaid leave.

b)    Pregnancy or Parental Leave: For employees on pregnancy or parental leave, they may use earned sick, vacation leave and/or other leave. FMLA leave will run concurrently with leave taken pursuant to the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act.

c)    Adoption Leave: Employees must request adoption leave at least four weeks prior to the anticipated leave date, and present a copy of the official adoption papers when available.  Employees who are the primary care giver of an adopted child may use accumulated sick, vacation and/or other leave.

 d) Military Family Exigency: Eligible employees with a spouse, son, daughter or parent on active duty or call to active duty status in the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation are eligible for 12 weeks of leave.  Employees may use accumulated sick, vacation leave and/or other leave, or take leave without pay.  Qualifying exigencies may include attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, etc.

 e)  Military Service Member Illness or Injury: FMLA also includes a special leave entitlement that permits eligible employees to take up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a covered service member during a single 12-month period. Employees may use accumulated sick, vacation leave and/or other leave, or take leave without pay.  During any portion of the leave that is unpaid, employees will be responsible for the cost of their benefits. A covered service member is a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who had a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty while on active duty that may render the service member medically unfit to perform his/her duties for which the service member is undergoing medical treatment, recuperative, or therapy; or is in outpatient status, or is on the military's temporary disability retired list.


During any portion of the leave that is unpaid, employees will be responsible for the cost of their benefits.

Since FMLA requires the continuation of your current health/dental benefits during leave, you need to continue paying your normal premium contribution to avoid a lapse in coverage.  If you are not receiving a salary via earned sick or vacation leave, you will be direct billed by the Group Insurance Commission for the amount normally made by payroll deduction.   After the 12 week period or 26 leave period for Military Caregiver Leave, you must pay 100 percent of full cost premium to continue GIC coverage while on leave of absence.

At least two weeks prior to their date of return, employees are expected to notify their supervisor and the Human Resources Office.   The employee must submit a health care provider's verification of his/her fitness to return to work.  At the completion of the approved FMLA leave period, MCLA will have the right to return the employee to his/her former position or a position of equivalent classification and pay within the College.  If the employee fails to return to work on the agreed return date, MCLA will assume that the employee has resigned his/her position.

While on unpaid medical leave, employees do not accrue additional vacation, sick leave or personal time.  The employee, however, will not lose any benefit rights to the extent that those rights accrued before the leave period.  The accrual of benefits will be restored immediately upon the employee's return to active employment.

An employee will not be entitled to more favorable employment terms as a result of taking medical leave.  Thus, the employee will be subject to any pay or benefit reductions or other adverse actions, including layoff, that he or she would have been experienced if he or she had not been on FMLA leave.

Questions relating to the provisions and eligibility requirements for family care leave should be directed to the Human Resources Department.