Skip to main content

Policy on Family and Medical Leave

Policy Category: Executive

Effective Date: 9/13/2023

Responsible Officer: Vice President of Human Resources

History: Family Medical Leave Act, 2017

Responsible Office: Human Resources

Location: Link


Wentworth Institute of Technology (hereinafter “the university” or “Wentworth”) is committed to holistically supporting employees by ensuring meaningful access to the rights and benefits of Family Leaves and/or Medical Leaves. This policy provides employees with information about paid and unpaid leave options and dictates procedures for the coordination of such leaves.


This policy applies to all university employees who seek to take a paid or unpaid leave of absence for a qualifying purpose related to family leave or medical leave


  1. M.G.L. c. 175M.: Family and Medical Leave 
  2. 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et. seq: Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) 
  3. MGL c.149, § 105D


In compliance with state, federal, and local law and pursuant to the university’s commitment to employee health and wellness, the university provides eligible employees with options for both paid and unpaid leave.


  1. Covered Service Member: An active-duty member of the military suffering from a Serious Health Condition or a former member of the military suffering from a Serious Health Condition incurred or aggravated by active-duty service
  2. Employee: All full and part-time staff, including faculty. Vendors are not typically considered employees.
  3.  Family Member: Spouse, domestic partner, child, parent or parent of a spouse or domestic partner of the employee; a person who stood in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was a minor child; or a grandchild, grandparent, or sibling of the Employee.
  4. Individual Average Weekly Wage (IAWW): An Employee’s average weekly wage, as defined by state; used in conjunction with the state average weekly wage (SAWW) to calculate leave benefits.
  5. Maximum Weekly Benefit: The maximum weekly earnings available to an Employee during PFML leave, as provided by State Law.
  6. Serious Health Condition: An illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical facility; or continuing treatment by a health care provider.
  7. Short-Term Disability Benefit (STD): Optional benefit, available to benefit eligible employees, which provides wage replacement for leaves taken due to injury or illness, up to a maximum of 26 weeks. STD benefits are disbursed in concurrence with all other benefits available under law or university policy.
  8. State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW): Fixed amount established by the commonwealth of Massachusetts every calendar year used in conjunction with the individual average weekly wage (IAWW) to calculate leave benefits.
  9. Qualified Leave of Absence Leave taken pursuant to law pr policy, for the following qualifying purposes: caring for the employee’s own serious health condition, caring for a family member with a serious health condition, bonding with a new child during the first twelve months after the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement, caring for a family member who is a covered service member, and/or managing affairs while a family member is engaged in active-duty service in the armed forces.


Types of Leave

Family and Medical Leave 

The Family and Medical Leave Act (hereinafter “FMLA”) provides eligible employees with up to 12 work weeks of unpaid Family Leave and/or Medical Leave each year.

  1. Eligibility: To be eligible for unpaid leave under the FMLA, an employee must have worked for the university for at least twelve months and must have worked at least 1,250 hours within the 12 months prior to the leave.
  2. Leave Entitlement: Eligible employees are entitled to up to a total of 12 weeks unpaid leave in a 12-month period for all qualifying purposes. Eligible employees are eligible for up to 26 weeks of leave for the purpose of caring for a covered service member, as defined below.

Paid Family and Medical Leave

The Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law (hereinafter “PFML”) provides eligible employees with up to 26 weeks of paid Family Leave and/or Medical Leave each year.

  1. Eligibility: To be eligible for paid leave under the PFML, an employee must have earned at least thirty times the weekly PMFL benefit amount that they are eligible to receive during a requested leave and must have earned at least $5,700 dollars from a Massachusetts's employer during the previous twelve (12) calendar months.
  2. Leave Entitlement: Eligible employees are entitled to 12 weeks of family leave, up to 20 weeks of medical leave, and/or up to 26 weeks of leave for care of a covered service member. Eligible employees may take up to 26 weeks of combined paid family and medical leave during a 12-month period.
  3. Benefit Determination: Monetary benefits for paid leave are determined based on the formula proscribed by law. Benefits are calculated based on the employee’s individual average weekly wage and the state average weekly wage (SAWW), and are limited to the maximum weekly benefit amount determined by law. Where the maximum benefit may be less than an employee’s weekly wage, the employee may supplement the benefit by using earned sick or vacation time.
  4. Waiting Periods: There is a waiting period of seven (7) calendar days between the first day of PFML and the date on which benefits are disbursed. While employees do not receive a paid benefit for the first seven (7) calendar days of a leave, they may choose to use earned sick or vacation time during this period.

Concurrent Application of Leave Policies and Benefits

To the fullest extent possible, all FMLA and PFML run concurrently with one another and with any other available leave under law or policy, including short-term disability.

University Benefits During Family and Medical Leave

Most benefits continue during the duration of the leave, including employer contributions to insurance benefits. The employee portion of insurance benefits shall continue to be remitted by the employee. Employees will not earn vacation, sick time, or other personal days during a leave; Family and Medical Leaves are not regarded as a break in service.

Advanced Notice of Leave

Where possible or practicable, employees should notify the Office of Employee Relations and Engagement of the intent to take paid family or medical leave at least 30 calendar days prior to the scheduled leave. Upon receipt of the request, the university may request additional documentation as applicable. Requests for leave may be submitted via email to the Employee Benefits Director and should include:  

  1. The employee’s name
  2. The name of the employee’s supervisor
  3. The intended start date for the leave
  4. The anticipated duration of the leave
  5. A summary of the employee’s general work schedule
  6. The purpose(s) of the leave
  7. A statement regarding whether the employee is a full-time or part-time employee.

Coordination of Leave

Upon receipt of the leave request, a designated university administrator will set up a meeting with the employee to coordinate the details of the leave. Prior to this meeting, the employee may be asked to complete relevant paperwork including certifications necessary to apply for PFML and FMLA leave.

Notification of Supervisors

Human Resources or designee will notify the employee’s supervisor of any intended leaves, including parental leave and medical leaves relating to pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions. Supervisors should consult with Human Resources about staffing needs that may exist during a leave. The supervisor is responsible for arranging any temporary staffing necessary to support continued operation during an employee’s leave.

Updating Notice of Leave

Changes to the anticipated date of leave or anticipated date of return from leave must be communicated to the Office of Employee Relations and Engagement as soon as possible. Changes must be communicated in writing to the Office of Employee Relations and Engagement and may be submitted via email to the Director of Benefits

Return from Leave

The anticipated return date will be determined prior to an employee’s leave. At least seven (7) business days prior to the scheduled return date, Human Resources will contact the employee via email with any information necessary to coordinate the employee’s return to work. As established above, any changes to the anticipated date of return should be communicated in writing, via email, to Human Resources.

Additional Information & Related Documents

Interpretation & Revision

Any questions of interpretation regarding this policy shall be referred to Employee Relations and Engagement. They will be the final authority regarding the interpretation of this policy.

This policy shall be reviewed every three years, however minor changes and updates can be made at any time.

Wentworth will typically apply the policy in place at the time it receives a report concerning the respected policy.

Additionally, in instances where two or more policies are implicated, a case-by-case determination will be made to determine what policy will be used.

Review and Revision History

This policy was drafted by representatives from Office of Institutional Equity and Human Resources. It was reviewed by Cabinet approved by the President on 9/13/2023.

This policy replaces the Family Medical Leave Act, 2017, and supplements the Parental Leave Policy, 2022.