Medical Leave Process in Connection to Childbirth and Recovery, Instruction for Administrators

Medical Leave Process for non benefits-eligible Postdocs

Following FAS policy, non benefits-eligible postdocs are first eligible for twelve unpaid weeks of FMLA leave. Depending on the terms of their fellowship or funding source, part of this leave may be paid by their granting agency. Postdocs should check directly with this agency to determine any benefits it may provide to birth mothers.

Medical Leave Process for benefits-eligible Postdocs and Research Associates (RA)

This process refers only to those postdocs in job codes 000949 (“Stipendee” postdocs on Harvard payroll) and 069591 (“employee” postdocs on Harvard payroll), and Research Associates. For all others who are not on payroll and not benefits‐eligible, this process does not apply.

In the case of postdocs on a fellowship, they should first check on the terms of the fellowship/granting agency/funding organization, as their maternity and parental leave coverage may be different from the benefit outlined below.

Under Harvard policies, eligible FAS postdocs and Research Associates who are birth mothers are eligible for up to 13 weeks of leave to take care of their baby. These include: 

  • Eight weeks of short-term disability leave (at 75% salary for those who have been at Harvard for less than 7 years; 100% in the case of Research Associates)
  • Four weeks of parental leave.
  • One week of vacation, personal, or unpaid time

Before Baby’s Birth

1. Have the postdoc/RA complete and return the Request for Family and Medical Leave Form (FMLA).
2. Provide postdoc/RA with appropriate FMLA eligibility and FMLA designation notices, and keep copies of FMLA request form and notices on file in the department.
3. In the case of a postdoc:

  • Postdoc files an anticipatory claim for short‐term disability benefits by calling Liberty (Life Assurance Company of Boston) at  844-600-3978. 
  • Departmental Administrator emails with the Postdoc’s name, HUID, due date, and planned last day of work.

4. In the case of a Research Associate:

  • Department administrator informs relevant Divisional Assistant Dean, who will produce letter confirming the leave. 
  • Department administrator enters terms of the leave in Asperin (8 weeks paid FAS; 4 weeks paid by same source as regular salary). See RA benefits in appointments handbook.

After Baby’s Birth

1. Once the postdoc has notified you and Liberty of the baby’s birth, email with Postdoc’s name, HUID, last day worked, and baby’s date of birth.
2. Adjust pay for paid parental leave benefits beginning in week 9 of the maternity leave, as needed.
3. Submit a “return from leave” action in Asperin effective the Postdoc’s return date.