4.7 Paid Leave for Medical Examination and Care

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It may be necessary for an employee to seek medical care at the MIT Medical Department or with his/her personal physician from time to time during working hours. The circumstances of each visit determine whether the time away from the job should be paid as time worked or should be charged against sick leave balances.

In general, visits to the MIT Medical Department for reasons relating to or arising on the job should not be charged to sick leave balances. These would include visits for emergency treatment required by accident or sudden illness on the job and for examination to determine whether an employee is well enough to remain at work or to return to work after a period of absence due to illness. Visits required by the Institute in connection with the employee's work, such as special medical examinations required for certain types of work, or tests to determine whether employees have been exposed to occupational hazards, should not be charged. Likewise, visits made in connection with Institute programs, such as medical examinations for prospective retirees, should not be charged.

Visits should be charged to sick leave when they are made for purposes of regular medical or dental care, or for the care of a sick family member. This would include the treatment or monitoring of a specific health problem (usually through a series of visits over a period of time), pre-operative and post-operative visits required in connection with major surgery, visits for the performance of minor surgery not requiring hospitalization, and so forth. Arrangement for such care, including the selection of a medical plan and physician or clinic, is the personal responsibility of the individual. The fact that one employee elects to obtain care through the MIT Medical Department and another through an outside physician or clinic should not be a reason to differentiate with respect to the charging of sick leave.

The line between visits which should and should not be charged to sick leave is not always easy to draw. An initial visit arising from sudden illness on the job, which should not be charged, may lead to a course of treatment requiring a number of scheduled visits which should be charged. As with all personnel policies, fair and consistent application is a paramount objective, and supervisors and employees are advised to consult with their Human Resources Officers when in doubt.