Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave

Beginning in January 2021, Harvard University will offer all eligible employees paid family and medical leave. Harvard’s new paid family and medical leave benefits, which are modeled on the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law, are designed to enhance the many family-friendly and medical leave benefits that Harvard offers its employees.

A detailed overview of the new benefits and important information about how to apply for these leaves may be found in these policy summaries:

For more details, you are encouraged to review the Harvard PFML Policy.

PFML Highlights

Under the new Harvard Paid Family and Medical Leave Policy, eligible employees may be eligible to receive the following consistent with the new Policy:

Paid 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.

Paid Family Leave: 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.

Interplay with Other Types of Leave or Approved Time Off: If an employee takes leave that is associated with a qualifying reason under this policy and is also eligible for leave or approved time off under any other Harvard policy or collective bargaining agreement (including but not limited to Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), parental leave, short and long term disability, vacation time, sick time, personal time, PTO, or any other type of approved absence from work), such absence shall run concurrently with leave under this policy, regardless of whether the employee applies for benefits under this policy.

Applying for PMFL

Questions on leave process and policies and to initiate a leave: contact your local HR office or leaves administrator. To initiate a MA PFML Leave, employees must:

  1. Inform their Leave of Absence Specialist or Local HR Office and their manager of their need for leave; and,
  2. In addition, contact Lincoln Financial Group (Lincoln), Harvard’s third-party administrator, to request a MA PFML leave.

Please refer to the summaries above for application details.

Cover Letter and Notification

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires employers to notify their employees about the Paid Family and Medical Leave Law (effective in 2021). Below are links to the cover letter and required Notice in 13 different languages. These notices cover employees of Harvard President and Fellows.

Cover letter and English Notification
Cover letter and Arabic Notification
Cover letter and Chinese Notification
Cover letter and French Notification
Cover letter and Haitian Creole Notification
Cover letter and Italian Notification
Cover letter and Khmer Notification
Cover letter and Korean Notification
Cover letter and Lao Notification
Cover letter and Portuguese Notification
Cover letter and Russian Notification
Cover letter and Spanish Notification
Cover letter and Vietnamese Notification