4.7 Other Types of Leaves

This policy was last updated January 1, 2021. See the update history page for more information.

4.7.1 Personal Leave

4.7.1.1 Personal Leave for Support Staff

MIT's policy on personal leave is intended to provide Support Staff with flexibility in their work situations by allowing paid time away from work to accommodate personal needs which otherwise would have to be charged to vacation balances.

4.7.1.2 Amount of Personal Leave

Support Staff who are scheduled to work at least 50 percent time and who have completed six months of service at the Institute may use up to three days of their accrued Sick Time each year for absences associated with personal situations such as home repairs, or legal or financial business, that necessitate short-term absences. For purposes of tracking the three days of personal leave, the year runs from the employee’s anniversary date.

Employees may also use all or part of their personal time for the illness of a family member, in addition to the 40 hours from their accrued Sick Time leave that they may use for family illness, as noted in Section 4.4.2.1 Use of Accrued Sick Time for Family Member’s Illness and Medical Appointments. Employees in their first year of service may take personal leave following the completion of six months of employment.  

Employees who have exhausted their Sick Time balance have no personal days to their credit. However, as they accrue Sick Time each month, they may use that accrued time for personal reasons, always subject to the limit of three days of personal leave per year.

Personal leave time not used remains available as Sick Time, subject to the maximum accrual of Sick Time. Section 4.3.5, Additional Information on Crediting, Debiting, and Paying Sick Time. There is no payment for personal leave upon termination from the Institute, except as personal leave is part of accrued Sick Time for eligible support staff members. (See Section 4.3.5 for details on payment of accrued Sick Time at retirement for certain support staff.) 

4.7.1.3 Notice of Absence

In keeping with other leave policies, Support Staff will be required to obtain the approval of their supervisors to be absent on personal leave on a given day or part of a day. It will normally be expected that employees will obtain this approval at least three working days in advance of the planned absence. No explanation of the reasons for the absence will be required except when emergency situations cause employees to seek approval for absences on shorter notice.

4.7.1.4 Reporting Personal Leave

Personal leave may be taken in less than full-day periods and is  reported to the nearest quarter of an hour. As in the case of regular sick leave, payment will be chargeable to departments in the same account distribution as provided for in normal salary charges.

4.7.1.5 Personal Leave for Administrative and Sponsored Research Staffs

Members of the Administrative and Sponsored Research Staff are not compensated for time worked in excess of their regular schedules because their duties are judged to satisfy the criteria established under the Federal Wage-Hour Law for exemption from the overtime pay requirements. They are expected to take professional interest in the work under their supervision or in the projects in which they are engaged and, when necessary, to fulfill the requirements of their positions without regard to the number of hours worked. Accordingly, these employees should be extended privileges with respect to occasional absences from work, and allowed to take time off without loss of pay or vacation credit for personal reasons or for needed rest and relaxation after working long hours of overtime.

4.7.2 Bereavement Leave

4.7.2.1 Eligibility

MIT's bereavement leave policy is designed to provide employees with paid time away from work to grieve and to handle matters related to a death in their family. All full-time and part-time employees, , are eligible for bereavement leave. Temporary and term employees working at least 50% time are also eligible for paid bereavement leave but MITemps and student employees are not. (See Section 2.1.2 for definition of temporary, term and MITemps employees.) Bereavement benefits for unionized employees are determined by their collective bargaining agreements.

4.7.2.2 Length of Bereavement Leave

In the event of a death in an employee's family, after discussion with their supervisor, the employee may be granted up to five days of paid leave for bereavement. In unusual circumstances, additional time (paid or unpaid) may be granted at the discretion of the supervisor with the advice of the Human Resource Officer.

A day of bereavement leave is based on the standard workday the employee would have worked on the day(s) taken for bereavement. For example, a part-time employee who usually works 4 hours on a day when he or she is granted bereavement leave would be paid for 4 hours, and a person who usually works 8 hours on such a day would be paid for 8 hours.

4.7.2.3 Definition of Family

For the purposes of this bereavement policy, family includes one's immediate or extended family as well as family of domestic partners, step-families, and other family relationships.

4.7.3 Jury or Witness Duty

The Institute recognizes the duty of employees as citizens to serve on juries or as court witnesses. Employees summoned to serve on a jury, or required by subpoena to appear as a witness in court, are paid by the Institute the difference between any fee received from the court and the employee's normal base pay for the time period involved. In order to receive this pay differential, the employee must have been hired prior to receiving notice to appear in court, must inform the supervisor of his or her intention to be absent from work, and must present a certified statement of earnings from the court for the period of service. As court duty often does not require a full time commitment, employees are expected to report to work on days or reasonable portions of days when attendance in court is not required.

An employee is not paid for witness duty when he or she is a party to the action.

In a case in which the work of a group or the work of a specific project would be seriously hampered by the absence of an employee on jury or witness duty, the supervisor may request, through the Human Resources Department, that the Institute petition the appropriate officers of the court for deferment of jury or witness duty.

4.7.4 Leaves of Absences for Victims of Domestic Violence

MIT's policy on leaves of absence for victims of domestic violence is found in Policies & Procedures Section 7.5.7, Leaves of Absence for Victims of Domestic Violence. This leave is available to all employees, including part-time employees.

4.7.5 Time Off for Voting

Employees are generally expected to vote during non-working hours, as the polls in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are open beyond the hours of most normal work schedules and for many elections, early voting is available.

For elections in which the President of the United States is elected, employees who cannot vote during non-working hours may request up to two hours of paid time for voting. The employee must make their request at least three days in advance; managers will approve requests where possible, but may deny requests due to operational needs. If a request is denied, the supervisor and employee should look for a mutually agreeable time for the employee to vote.

For other elections, an employee who is unable to vote during non-working hours may request, in advance, time off up to a maximum of two hours to vote, which may be granted on a leave without pay basis. Alternatively, the time may be made up at a mutually agreeable time at the discretion of the supervisor. Such make-up time may not incur overtime expense.