Maternity Leave Policy
The Maternity Disability Leave Program for MGH Professional Staff
Effective October 1, 1995, and as amended October 1, 2004 to include Clinical and/or Research Fellows, appointed members of the MGH Professional Staff, including Clinical and/or Research Fellows, absent from work due to maternity will be regarded as disabled from work and will receive "salary continuance" for a period of up to eight weeks.
- To facilitate necessary administration of this program, and comply with all state and federal regulations that pertain to protected absences from work, the employee must apply for a leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The sponsoring department must also notify the MGH Professional Staff Benefits Office of the employee's absence so that the PSBO may assist in administration of the benefits programs and anticipate any complication that may arise.
- On receipt of the request for leave under FMLA, the MGH leave coordinator will place the employee on a paid leave of absence for eight (weeks). Compensation ("salary continuance")and benefits will continue as if the person was active at work and will be charged to the sponsoring department.
- Whereas FMLA will permits an absence of up to 12 weeks, the sponsoring department may, at its discretion, instruct the MGH leave coordinator to continue payment for the remaining 4 (four weeks). In the absence of these instructions, the MGH leave coordinator may, with the concurrence of the PSBO, place the employee in an unpaid status.
- Sponsoring departments may recover salary continuance and employee benefits costs from the MGPO and from the Hospital by submitting a request to the Professional Staff Benefits Office.
For more information, see the Professional Staff Benefits Office website at: http://mgpo.partners.org/MGPO-Central/Human-Resources/Professional-Staff-Benefits.aspx
Maternity Disability Leave Program Frequently Asked Questions
Question #1 I am a part-time member of the Professional Staff, does this apply to me?
Answer If you hold a Professional Staff appointment, and are "eligible for benefits" (this currently means your annual salary is at least $30,000) you are eligible.
Question #2 I am a Fellow, am I eligible?
Answer If you are an MGH Clinical and/or Research Fellow, and are "eligible for benefits" (this currently means your annual salary is at least $10,000, and your scheduled hours to work are recorded as at least 1000 hours per year) you are eligible.
Question #3 Why 8 weeks?
Answer Generally, Commonwealth of Massachusetts General Laws recognize maternity as a disability for periods of up to 8 weeks and require that maternity absences be treated as any other disability. Moreover, professionals in many business disciplines (law, technology, etc.) often participate in similar programs that acknowledge disabilities due to maternity for periods of 6 to 8 weeks. MGH, a leader in the national and international health care industry is committed to maintain competitive practices.
Question #4 Doesn't the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) permit an absence of up to 12 weeks?
Answer Yes; but the FMLA does not require any continuance of salary while the employee is absent from work. Consistent with the FMLA a Professional Staff member may remain absent for up to 12 weeks. However, only 8 weeks is compensated under the Maternity Disability Leave Program.
Question #5 If I have accrued vacation on the department books can I use it to pay the remaining 4 weeks I am allowed to be away?
Answer Rules among departments may differ. See your administrative director or chief of service to discuss this matter.
Question #6 If I have another child will I again qualify for salary continuance under the Maternity Disability Leave Program?
Question #7 I am thinking about adoption. Can I use this program?
Answer There is a similar program for those who will be adopting a child. If you are planning to adopt you should discuss these plans with your chief of service and your department's administrative director. You should also notify the MGH Professional Staff Benefits Office. The Adoption Leave Program will provide the same paid benefit as the Maternity Leave Program, and is covered by FMLA, but is not gender-specific in its application.
Question #8 Who should I see if I am anticipating an absence due to maternity?
Answer Your chief of service should be apprised of your intent, as should your department's administrative director. The administrative director will assist with your application for leave under FMLA, will record your disability absence with the MGH Professional Staff Benefits Office, assure salary continuance is paid to you, and will coordinate recovery of funds to your department. If you require additional information you are invited to contact the MGH Professional Staff Benefits Office for assistance.
Question #9 What will be the status of my health care while I am away from work?
Answer You will remain insured while on your maternity leave.
Question #9A Will I still receive pension benefit contributions?
Answer If you are eligible for the pension plan and/or are participating in the Tax Sheltered Annuity Plan (TSA) contributions will continue as long as you are paid your salary. In the event you enter an unpaid status, and are no longer considered disabled, pension plan contributions cease. Except for voluntary participation in the TSA, Clinical and/or Research Fellows are not eligible to participate in an employer funded pension plan.
Question #10 If I am unable to return to work after I have concluded my 12 week absence from work under the FMLA what will happen?
Answer The question assumes that you are unable to return to work due to continuing disability. If you are a participant in the MGH Professional Staff Long Term Disability Plan or the MGH Hospital Long Term Disability Plan you may make a claim to insured benefits after you have been away for a period of 90 days. Generally, you will receive 60% of regular insured earnings and you will be permitted to continue in the MGH benefits plans.
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