7.10 MIT Employees Working Outside Massachusetts (Domestic or International)

This policy was last updated January 23, 2019. See the update history page for more information.

MIT employees who work outside Massachusetts, whether elsewhere in the United States or in other countries, are generally covered by the same Institute employment policies that apply to employees working in Massachusetts. These employment policies apply regardless of whether the out-of-state work is required by MIT or whether it reflects the personal preference of the employee. See the MIT Employment Policy Manual Section 3.1, Job Flexibility regarding off-site work.

For all work outside Massachusetts – whether in another US state (domestic) or outside the United States (international) – departments, labs, and centers and/or employees must provide prior notification of each individual employee as specified in Section 7.10.5.2. In addition, MIT work outside the United States for more than 30 consecutive days must be approved in advance.

Exceptions to specific policies as they apply to employees working outside Massachusetts may be requested as outlined below. In reviewing requests for exceptions, MIT will consider the following principles: compliance with United States and local laws, costs to MIT, and fairness to employees.

7.10.1 Time Off Exceptions: Holidays, Vacation and Other Time Off

Local conditions may warrant exceptions to certain employment policies, particularly regarding time off, for employees working in other US states or in other countries.  

7.10.1.1 Holidays

Domestic Out-of-State Locations

The Institute’s Holiday and Special Holiday policies generally apply to benefits-eligible employees working outside of Massachusetts but in the United States. See the MIT Employment Policy Manual Section 4.1; Section 5.9.

However, where employees are required by MIT to work in a US state other than Massachusetts and that state observes holidays that MIT does not observe, the supervisor may request a change in the holiday schedule to substitute a local holiday for a Massachusetts holiday (but not to expand or reduce the number of holidays). If approved, the substituted holiday applies to all MIT employees working for the program at that site. Employees who work outside Massachusetts due to personal preference generally observe MIT holidays and not local state holidays. The supervisor may request an exception in unusual circumstances.

International Locations

Employees who work outside the United States generally observe the holidays of the work location, regardless of whether they work abroad for business or personal reasons. Generally, employees will be granted at least 12 holidays per year (like employees working domestically), even if the host country legally observes fewer than 12 annual holidays. The supervisor should follow the process for exceptions in Section 7.10.4 to request any changes in the number of holidays or their dates.

7.10.1.2 Vacation and Other Time Off  

Domestic Out-of-State Locations

Employees working outside Massachusetts but in the United States generally receive the same amount of vacation and other paid time off as other MIT employees in the same payroll category working in Massachusetts, except where an Institute policy specifically provides otherwise (for example, the MIT Employment Policy Manual Section 4.3.22.8, Sick Time under the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law; Employees Not Working in Massachusetts).  If the law of the state or locality requires more paid time off for a specific purpose than is provided by MIT’s policies, the supervisor should request an exception under Section 7.10.4 in order to comply with local laws. Any additional time off is generally unpaid unless payment is required under applicable law.

International Locations

Employees working outside the United States general receive the same amount of vacation and other paid time off as similar MIT employees working domestically (see above) or the legally required amount of vacation and paid time off in the host country, whichever is greater.

If, however, adding the host country’s legally required holidays and vacation time results in more paid time off than for domestic MIT employees, the supervisor may request a decrease in the amount of vacation (if consistent with local law), by following the process in Section 7.10.4. Also, if the supervisor believes that additional time off is warranted, for example, if the local practices (not the laws) provide more vacation or for an annual home leave during a long international assignment, they may request an exception by following the process in Section 7.10.4.

7.10.2. Employee Benefits

Domestic Out-of-State Locations

MIT’s employee benefits generally apply to employees working in other states in the US unless specifically stated otherwise. Employees working outside the New England area for more than three consecutive months must contact the Benefits Office if they participate in MIT’s health care plans.

International Locations

To the extent feasible, MIT employees working outside the United States participate in the employee benefits in which they would participate if working domestically. The Administrative Officer or departmental human resources representative is encouraged to contact their Human Resources Officer to discuss benefits before any employee works outside the United States. Employees working outside the United States for more than six consecutive months must contact the Benefits Office if they participate in MIT’s health care plans.

7.10.3 Other Exceptions

Requests for any other exceptions to policies, including exceptions to pay policies or practices, follow the process described in Section 7.10.4.

7.10.4 Process for Exceptions to Policies

If a supervisor believes that an exception to an Institute employment policy is warranted for one or more employees working outside Massachusetts, the following steps must be followed:

  • Departmental discussion: The employee’s supervisor discusses the reasons for the exception with their Administrative Officer or departmental human resources representative.
  • Written request: The Administrative Officer or departmental human resources representative submits a written request to their Human Resources Officer explaining the need for the exception. For international locations, the Human Resources Officer will work with the offices of the Provost or Executive Vice President and Treasurer, as appropriate.
  • Written approval: Exceptions must be approved in writing:
    • For domestic out-of-state locations: By the Vice President for Human Resources and by the Vice President for Finance (or by their designees).
    • For international locations: By the Provost or by the Executive Vice President and Treasurer (or by their designees).
  • Employees paid with sponsored funds: Policy exceptions that apply to employees paid with sponsored funds, whether for domestic or for international work, must also be approved in writing by the Vice President for Research (or designee).
  • Communication to employees: The supervisor is responsible for communicating any approved exceptions in policy to their employees.
  • Subsequent changes: If a supervisor later wishes to modify or end any exception, prior approval must be obtained in the same manner as for the initial exception, and the supervisor must communicate any changes.

Any exceptions to Institute employment policies for a program or an individual employee working outside Massachusetts in effect as of December 2018 are deemed approved, though such exceptions may later be modified or revoked by the Provost or Executive Vice President and Treasurer. Any additional exceptions must be requested following the process set forth above.

7.10.5 Approval and Notifications of Work outside Massachusetts

7.10.5.1 Approval

Domestic Out-of- State Locations

An employee’s ongoing work outside Massachusetts must be approved in advance by their supervisor or manager, in accordance with local department, school or other unit’s processes.

International Locations

In addition to local departmental, school or unit approval, international work of longer than 30 consecutive days must be approved in advance by the Provost or by the Executive Vice President and Treasurer, or by their designees.  That approval may be granted for a program (for its current and future employees) or for the activity of an individual employee. Programs and activities in effect as of December 2018 are deemed approved, though such approval may later be modified or revoked by the Provost or Executive Vice President and Treasurer. 

The Administrative Officer or departmental human resources representative should contact the Executive Vice President and Treasurer’s office or their Human Resources Officer as soon as they know of any proposed international program or activity.

7.10.5.2 Notifications

Notifications to Payroll

Because of tax and other implications, the Office of the Vice President for Finance must be notified of changes of address for each employee for domestic out-of-state work longer than three consecutive months, and for international work longer than 30 consecutive days.

Work address: The Administrative Officer or departmental human resources representative must notify Payroll of an employee’s new work address when an employee relocates to another state or country, whether for work-related or personal reasons. If the employee later moves to a new work address (whether in the same or another state or country, or back to Massachusetts), the Administrative Officer or departmental human resources representative must promptly notify Payroll again. Notification is made by emailing the Payroll Service Center at payroll@mit.edu. This notification should be done before the relocation occurs.  

Home address: Employees who change their residence must record their new home address in Atlas. If the employee later moves again (domestically or internationally), they must update their home address in Atlas.

It is the department’s and the employee’s joint responsibility to ensure that the home and office addresses are promptly and accurately updated, and that the notifications to Payroll are made.

Notification to Benefits Office

As stated in Section 7.10.2, employees who participate in MIT’s health care plans and who work outside the New England area but in the United States for more than three consecutive months must notify the Benefits Office of their new address. Such employees must also notify the Benefits Office if they later move to the New England area.

Employees participating in the MIT health care plans who work internationally for longer than six consecutive months must notify the Benefits Office of their new address; they must also notify the Benefits Office if they later move to another country or to the United States.

Chart for Employees Working Outside Massachusetts (Domestic or International)