Leave Policies for Non-Faculty Academic Appointees (excluding postdoctoral research fellows)

Benefits-eligible non-faculty academic appointees on the monthly payroll are eligible for parental and medical leave as detailed below. All leaves must be coordinated with the appointee’s faculty supervisor and department and require that the appointee complete the appropriate leave form(s). Paid leaves are supported by school funds. However, because paid leaves may be supplemented by an appointee’s accrued vacation and personal time, as specified below, appointees and departments are urged to maintain accurate records of paid time off accruals, despite the fact that these appointees are not subject to the university’s formal absence management system.

Paid Family and Medical Leave:

Beginning January 1, 2021, employees may take up to 20 weeks of paid Medical Leave in a benefit year due to the employee’s own serious health condition that incapacitates the employee from performing the essential functions of the employee’s job.

Employees may take paid Family Leave for the following reasons beginning January 1, 2021:

  • Up to 12 weeks to bond with a child during the first 12 months after the child’s birth, adoption, or foster placement. (Note that with the new bonding policy, parents with new children in 2020 may be eligible for additional leave time in 2021.)
    Up to 26 weeks to provide care to a family member who is a covered service member.
    • Up to 12 weeks 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.
    • Beginning July 1, 2021, employees may take up to 12 weeks of paid Family Leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition.

Total Leave: Employees may take up to a maximum of 26 weeks, in the aggregate, of paid leave per benefit year for the purposes listed above.

Coordination with Other Types of Leave or Approved Time Off

If an employee takes a leave associated with an MAPFML-qualifying reason under any other Harvard policy (including but not limited to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), parental leave, vacation time, sick time, personal time, PTO, or any other type of approved absence from work), MAPFML leave will run concurrently with the leave whether or not the employee applies for MAPFML leave.

Parental Leave:

Non-birth parents are eligible for up to twelve weeks of paid parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child. A Parental Leave Form (PDF) must be completed by the appointee, signed by the department administrator, and submitted to the Office of Faculty Affairs, 90 Smith Street, 1st floor.

Medical Leave:

Employees may take up to 20 weeks of paid Medical Leave in a benefit year due to the employee’s own serious health condition that incapacitates the employee from performing the essential functions of the employee’s job.

A Medical Leave Form (PDF) must be completed by the appointee and her/his physician, signed by the department administrator, and submitted to the Office of Faculty Affairs, 90 Smith Street, 1st floor.

Family and Medical Leave Act:

In addition to the paid leave policies described above, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) provides an eligible employee with up to twelve weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. A regular employee who works at least 17.5 hours per week is entitled to up to twelve weeks of Family and Medical Leave during a rolling twelve-month period in the following situations:

  • Care for the appointee’s child after birth or placement with the appointee for adoption or foster care.
  • A serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of her/his job.
  • Care for the employee’s spouse (or qualified domestic partner), child (including the dependent child of a qualified domestic partner), or parent with a serious health condition.

Absences from work for the above-stated reasons will be considered as Family and Medical Leave and will count toward fulfillment of the twelve weeks.

A Request for Family and Medical Leave Form (PDF) must be completed by the appointee, signed by the department administrator, and submitted to the Office of Faculty Affairs, 90 Smith Street, 1st floor.

Leave Process

To request Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) or Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (MA PFML), please inform your department administrator and contact Lincoln Financial Group, Harvard’s third-party administrator, at least thirty days prior of your expected leave date:

Employees may contact Lincoln in one of several ways:

  • To file a leave request by phone, employees may call the Harvard-dedicated number at 1-844-600-3978.
  • To file a  leave request online, employees may go to My Lincoln Portal at com and click on “Register for an account” under the “Log In” button. Instructions will be provided on the website throughout the leave submission process.

*Departmental Funding for Leaves:

If an appointee chooses to supplement their leave with vacation or personal time, departmental funds must be used for this supplement.  If the appointee’s salary is paid by grant funding, the department must check with the funding agency to determine if a leave is allowable under the funding terms of the award.*  If the funding agency does not allow a paid leave, the department must use either discretionary or departmental funds to cover the costs that the department is responsible for.

*PLEASE NOTE:  If federal funds are used to supplement Maternity and Parental leave, the approver of the costing confirms that the charging accounts are in proportion to the normal percentage of effort associated with the various projects performed by this employee during the year

Leave Checklists and Resources: 

MA PFML Leave Type and Benefits for Faculty and Academic Appointments (January 2021) 

Faculty and Academic Appointee Checklist (January 2021) 

Department Manager MA PFML Checklist (January 2021) 

MA PFML (University Page) 

OFA Wasabi and Billing Code Tip Sheets (November 2015)