Human resources division



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4.05 Limit of Paid Sick Leave
When an employee is absent due to illness, such absence will be charged off against any sick leave credits he/she may have. All absence due to illness must be charged off in multiples of one-half or full hours, but in no case at less than the actual time off because of absence due to illness.
If such employee has no sick leave credits, such absence shall be charged at the discretion of his/her Appointing Authority to leave without pay, to absence without pay or to vacation or personal leave but shall be charged off on the same basis as above.

No employee shall be entitled to a leave of absence with pay due to illness in excess of the accumulated sick, vacation and personal leave then due.

Sick leave credits accumulated following a return to duty after leave without pay or absence without pay shall not be applied against such leave or absence.
4.06 Accrual While on Paid Leave
Employees on any type of leave with pay covered by these rules, or on Industrial Accident leave, will continue to accumulate sick leave credits while on such leave.
4.07 Approved Use of Sick Leave
Sick leave shall be granted, at the discretion of the Appointing Authority, to employees only under the following conditions:


  1. When they are unable to perform their duties due to illness or injury.




  1. When through exposure to contagious disease the presence of the employee at his/her work location would jeopardize the health of others.




  1. When appointments with licensed medical or dental professionals cannot reasonably be scheduled outside of normal working hours for purposes of medical treatment or diagnosis of an existing medical or dental condition.




  1. When an employee, who is absent due to excessive use of alcohol or narcotics, becomes and continues to be an active participant in an approved counseling service program.




  1. An employee may use up to a maximum of 30 days of sick leave per calendar year (concurrent with any FMLA entitlement used) for the purpose of:




  • Caring for the spouse, child, foster child, step child, parent, step parent, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild of either the employee or his/her spouse, person for whom the employee is legal guardian, or for a person living in the employee’s immediate household who is seriously ill.




  • Parental leave due to the birth or adoption of a child, to be concluded within 12 months of the date of the birth or adoption. Eligible employees utilizing sick leave under this section shall not be required to submit a medical certification, unless the appointing authority has reason to believe that the birth or adoption claim was not genuine. This leave benefit shall be in addition to the ten days of paid leave set forth in section 5.02 (A).

 

  • Where an eligible full or part-time employee and his/her eligible spouse are both employees of the Commonwealth, they may be each granted a total of not more than 30 days of accrued sick leave as set forth above for the care of a seriously ill parent or for parental leave due to birth or adoption.




  1. An employee may use up to a maximum of 10 days of accrued sick leave in a calendar year for the purpose of attending to necessary preparations and legal requirements related to the employee’s adoption of a child, except that in no event may an employee charge more than a total of thirty days in a calendar year for adoption related purposes.




  • An employee may use up to a maximum of 10 days of sick leave per calendar year for the purpose of attending to necessary preparations and/or legal proceedings related to foster care of DCF children, such as foster care reviews, court hearings and MAPS training for pre-adoptive parents (this is in addition to the 10 days of paid leave [Rule 5.02] for the initial foster placement); HRD may approve a waiver of the 10-day limit for difficult placements. See also 8.06, Other Leaves of Absence with Pay.


The granting of sick leave is solely in the discretion of the Appointing Authority but if granted the provisions of this rule must be followed.
4.08 Notification
Notification of absence due to illness shall be given as early as possible on the first day of absence. If such notification is not made, such absence may, at the discretion of the Appointing Authority, be applied to absence without pay. For any period of absence due to illness the Appointing Authority may require, for purpose of additional evidence only, a physician's certificate for the necessity of such absence. If such certificate is not filed within seven calendar days after a request is made, such absence may be applied, at the discretion of the Appointing Authority, to absence without pay. Parental sick leave for the birth or adoption of a child does not require a doctor's certificate.
The Personnel Administrator shall regularly review reports of sick leave usage within each department. The Personnel Administrator may require further evidence that such leave comes within the provisions of these rules; and if, upon examination of such evidence, the Personnel Administrator is of the opinion that said leave is not in accordance with these rules, the Personnel Administrator shall so notify the Appointing Authority. Upon receipt of such notice, said leave shall be changed from sick leave to leave without pay, to absence without pay, or to vacation leave.
4.09 Fitness for Duty
Upon return to duty following extended sick leave in excess of five consecutive working days, the Appointing Authority may require a physical examination to determine the employee's fitness to perform his/her duties. At such examination the employee, if he/she so desires, may be represented by a physician of his/her own selection.
4.10 Cashout of Sick Leave Credits Upon Retirement
Employees who retire directly from active employment and who have accumulated unused sick leave credits shall be paid an amount equal to 20% of the value of such credits, computed by multiplying the number of days sick leave available times the daily rate of salary received by the employee at the time of his/her retirement. Such payment for unused sick leave shall not affect the amount of retirement allowance available to such employee. See 4.13 for an exception to this rule.
No cashout of sick leave will be allowed for employees who defer their date of retirement.
4.11 Payment of Sick Leave Credits Upon Death of Employee
If an employee dies while actively employed, his/her estate shall be paid 20% of the value of the unused sick leave credits accumulated by the employee as of the date of death.
4.12 Crediting of Prior Service Upon Reinstatement/Reemployment
Employees who are reinstated or who are re-employed shall be credited with the amount of sick leave credits remaining at the termination of their previous service. No credit for previous service may be allowed where reinstatement/re-employment occurs after an absence of three years or more unless the Appointing Authority secures the approval of the Personnel Administrator for any of the following reasons:


  1. Illness of the employee and not because of illness of his/her immediate family.




  1. Termination due to layoff.




  1. Injury while in the employment of the Commonwealth and for which such employee would be entitled to receive Workers' Compensation benefits.


4.13 Sick Leave in Coordination with Workers’ Compensation
In addition to sick leave benefits provided for in these rules, employees shall be entitled to additional disability benefits provided for by law upon completion of the leave of absence with pay due to illness.
An employee who is entitled to any sick leave allowance may take such of his/her sick leave allowance payment as, when added to the amount of any disability compensation provided by statute, will result in the payment of his/her full salary (M.G.L., Chapter 152, §69). An employee who is receiving weekly benefits for total incapacity under M.G.L., Chapter 152 may not use sick leave for this purpose that has been accrued during the time of total incapacity (M.G.L., Chapter 32, §14).
If an employee is injured in the line of duty, and such injury could result in a potential claim under M.G.L., Chapter 152, he/she shall be paid sick leave, vacation leave and/or personal leave up to the extent of his/her credits until payments under the Workers’ Compensation Law begin. Any adjustments due because of the effects of this rule shall be made thereafter. Any absence resulting from such injury that is in excess of available sick, vacation or personal credits shall be deemed absence without pay (M.G.L., Chapter 30, §58). Whenever an employee is given a leave of absence because of operation of this rule, the Appointing Authority shall immediately furnish the employee "notice of authorization" that the employee must pay to the Group Insurance Commission the appropriate full insurance premium as provided for in M.G.L., Chapter 32A.
Notwithstanding the above provision of this rule, however, an employee who, while in the line of duty, receives bodily injuries resulting from acts of violence of patients or prisoners in his/her custody, and who as a result of such injury would be entitled to benefits under M.G.L., Chapter 152, shall be paid the difference between the weekly cash benefits to which he/she would be entitled under M.G.L., Chapter 152 and his/her regular salary, without such absence being charged against available sick leave credits, even if such absence may be for less than six calendar days' duration. (M.G.L., Chapter 30, §58; and Chapter 152, §69).
In computing a week's salary for purposes of refunds or adjustments in the case of Workers’ Compensation, the periods being compared shall include in both cases the same calendar days used in making such adjustments, irrespective of the number of days in the regularly scheduled work week. At no time may an employee receive more than his/her regular salary for period in question as the result of Workers’ Compensation, except in the case of vacation or overtime credits payable under M.G.L., Chapter 152, §69. An employee who is receiving weekly benefits for total incapacity under M.G.L., Chapter 152, and who subsequently retires from active service, may not consider for cashout purposes the amount of sick leave that was accrued during the time of total incapacity (M.G.L., Chapter 32, §14).
4.14 Transfer of Sick Leave Credits from other Political Subdivisions.
Employees who enter positions covered by these rules from other state agencies not covered by these rules (including the judicial or legislative branches of state government, institutions of higher education, the Constitutional Offices, certain sheriffs' departments, the district attorneys, and other state agencies, but excluding state authorities and all other political subdivisions), and who had unused accumulated sick leave credits at the time of their termination from such other state agencies, may be allowed to transfer such unused accumulated sick leave credits upon approval in writing by the Appointing Authority and the Personnel Administrator.
This transfer of credits will be allowed provided that there has been less than a three-year break in service from the date of termination of employment in such other state agency, and that the employee has not already been compensated for such credits by the previous employer.
The amount of credits to be transferred will be limited to the amount allowed for creditable service under Rule 4.01, and reduced by the amount of credits actually used during such previous employment. For example, a full-time employee who worked one year for a college, earned sick leave credits at the rate of two days per month for a total of 24 days and used three of those days would only be able to transfer 12 of the remaining 21 days (based on the 15 day/year accrual rate in Rule 4.01).
4.15 Sick Leave Positions
Upon the vacancy of any position covered by these rules, the Appointing Authority shall, if he/she assigns an employee in a classification of lower grade and pay to that vacancy for a period of more than 30 calendar days, request approval of the Personnel Administrator for the temporary appointment of the employee to the position. The employee so appointed shall be entitled to the compensation of the higher grade from the first day of assignment. This rule does not apply to assignment of an employee to cover a higher position when the incumbent of the higher position is absent on vacation leave but is intended to apply only when the incumbent of the higher position is on sick leave (M.G.L., Chapter 30, §24B).

5.00 FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE


5.01 Applicability
Rules 5.01 through 5.11 are administered in accordance with regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor under the authority of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, and applicable state law. The FMLA provides an entitlement of up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave during any 12 months for the following reasons. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides for its full-time and part-time employees an unpaid leave of absence of up to 26 weeks for those same reasons:

 


  • Birth and care of the employee's child or placement for adoption or foster care of a child with an employee;

  • To care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent) who has a serious health condition; or

  • For the employee's own serious health condition.

 

In order to be eligible for this leave, the employee must have completed his or her probationary period or, if there is no probationary period, must have been employed for three consecutive months.


An employee is not entitled to more than 26 weeks of family and medical leave combined (including non-FMLA leave, Sections 5.12 to 5.15) in a 12-month period. For this purpose, a rolling 12 month period will be used, measured backward from the date of commencement of the leave.
Refer to Rule 15.00 for information on the Adoption Assistance Program.
5.02 Use of Family or Medical Leave


  • Family Leave


An Appointing Authority shall grant to a full-time or part-time employee who has completed his/her probationary period or, if there is no probationary period, who has been employed for at least 3 consecutive months, an unpaid leave of absence for up to 26 weeks in conjunction with the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child as long as the leave concludes within 12 months following the date of the birth, adoption or foster placement. During family leave taken in conjunction with the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child, an employee shall receive his/her regular salary for 10 days of said leave, at a time requested by the employee. These 10 days of paid leave may be used on an intermittent basis over the 12 months following the birth, adoption or placement, except that the leave may not be charged in increments of less than one day. The 30 days of parental sick leave an employee may take for the birth or adoption of a child (Rule 4.07) is in addition to these 10 days of paid family leave.

 


  • Medical Leave

 

An Appointing Authority shall grant to a full-time or part-time employee who has completed his/her probationary period or, if there is no probationary period, who has been employed for at least three consecutive months, an unpaid leave of absence for up to 26 weeks to care for a spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition or for a serious health condition which prevents the employee from being able to perform the function of his/her position.


5.03 (repealed 11/7/05)

5.04 Notice Requirements for Family and Medical Leave
At least 30 days in advance, the employee shall submit to the Appointing Authority a written notice of his/her intent to take family or medical leave and the dates and expected duration of the leave. If 30 days notice is not possible, the employee shall give notice as soon as practicable. The employee shall provide upon request by the Appointing Authority proof of the birth, placement or adoption of a child.
5.05 Continuation of Benefits During Family Leave
Employees taking an unpaid leave of absence under Section 5.02(A) will accumulate sick and vacation leave benefits only for the first 8 weeks of such unpaid leave. The period of family leave granted under these rules shall not affect the employee’s right to receive any benefits for which the employee was eligible at the start of his/her leave.
5.06 Satisfactory Evidence for Family and Medical Leave
The employee shall provide upon request by the Appointing Authority, satisfactory medical evidence, which is defined as:


  • In the case of the employee’s illness, a signed statement by a licensed physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, chiropractor or dentist stating that he/she has personally examined the employee, explaining the nature of the illness or injury (unless identified as being of a confidential nature), and stating that the employee was unable to perform his/her duties due to the specific illness or injury on the days in question.




  1. In the case of illness of spouse, child or parent, a signed statement by a medical provider as defined above indicating that the person in question has been determined to be seriously ill and needing care on the days in question.

The statement shall be on the letterhead of the attending physician or medical provider or adoption/foster placement agency, and shall list an address and phone number. If the Appointing Authority has reason to doubt the validity of the medical evidence, the Appointing Authority may obtain a second opinion at his/her own expense. If there is a conflict between the second opinion and the original medical statement, the Appointing Authority and the employee may resolve the conflict by obtaining the opinion of a third medical provider, who is approved jointly by the Appointing Authority and the employee, at the Appointing Authority’s expense. This requirement does not apply to the birth or adoption of a child.


5.07 Intermittent Leave and Modified Work Schedules
Intermittent leave usage and modified work schedules may be granted when a spouse, child or parent has a serious medical condition and is dependent upon the employee for care. When such changes to the work schedule are medically necessary, the employee and the Appointing Authority shall attempt to work out a schedule that meets the needs of the employee without unduly disrupting the operations of the workplace.
5.08 Use of Paid Leave to Offset Unpaid Family or Medical Leave
Of the combined total of 26 weeks provided for in this section, a combined total of not more than 10 days shall be paid, with the remainder unpaid, except that if the employee has accumulated sick leave, vacation leave or other personal leave credits, the employee may use such credits for which he/she may be eligible under the applicable rules.
5.09 Payment for Holiday During Family or Medical Leave
Between periods of unpaid family or medical leave, if an employee returns to work for a period of less than two weeks, and if a holiday occurs during that return to work, no holiday pay or compensatory time shall be granted for that holiday.
5.10 Continuation of Group Insurance Benefits During Family or Medical Leave
Employees are entitled to the same group health insurance coverage and benefits that they received at the start of their unpaid leaves, for the entire 26 weeks of unpaid leave, unless prohibited by law.
5.11 Reemployment Rights under Family and Medical Leave
At the expiration of family or medical leave, the employee shall be returned to the same or equivalent position with the same status, pay and length of service credit as of the start of his/her leave. If during the period of the leave, employees in an equivalent position have been laid off through no fault of their own, the employee will be extended the same rights or benefits, if any, extended to employees of equal length of service in the equivalent position in the department.
5.12 Non-FMLA Family Leave
Non-FMLA Family Leave in Rules 5.12 through 5.16 shall refer to rules of the Personnel Administrator governing leave for care of family members that does not come under the jurisdiction of the Family and Medical Leave Act.
An Appointing Authority may grant to a full or regular part-time employee who has completed his/her probationary period or, if there is no probationary period, who has been employed for at least 3 consecutive months, an unpaid leave of absence of up to 10 weeks in order to care for, or to make arrangements for the care of a grandparent, a grandchild, a sister or brother living in the same household, or a child (whether or not the child is the natural, adoptive, foster, stepchild or child under legal guardianship of the employee).
5.13 Notice Requirement for Non-FMLA Family Leave
The employee shall give at least 2 weeks’ prior notice of his/her anticipated date of departure and notice of his/her intention to return to work, at the time of making the request for non-FMLA family leave.
5.14 Intermittent Non-FMLA Family Leave
Ten days of non-FMLA family leave may be taken in not less than one-day increments, with prior approval of the Appointing Authority.
5.15 Use of Paid Leave to Offset Unpaid Non-FMLA Family Leave
If an employee has accumulated sick, personal, or vacation credits at the commencement of his/her family or medical leave, the employee may use such credits for which he/she may be eligible under the applicable rules (Rules 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0).
5.16 Payment for Holiday During Non-FMLA Family Leave
Between periods of unpaid Non-FMLA family leave, if an employee returns to work for a period of less than 2 weeks, and if a holiday occurs during that return to work, no holiday pay or compensatory time shall be granted for that holiday.
5.17 Small Necessities Leave Act: Applicability
Rules 5.17 through 5.20 are administered in accordance with Massachusetts General Law Chapter 149, Section 52D, which became effective on August 4, 1998.
5.18 Use of Small Necessities Leave
An employee shall be entitled to a total of 24 hours of unpaid leave during any 12 month period, in addition to leave available under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, for the following purposes:


  1. to participate in school activities directly related to the educational advancement of a son or daughter of the employee, such as parent-teacher conferences or interviewing for a new school;




  1. to accompany the son or daughter of the employee to routine medical or dental appointments, such as check-ups or vaccinations; and




  1. to accompany an elderly relative of the employee to routine medical or dental appointments or appointments for other professional services related to the elder's care, such as interviewing at nursing or group homes.




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