Policy on Paid Leave Program

Policy Number: 423

Human Resources

The permanent link for this policy is: https://policies.northeastern.edu/policy423/

I. Purpose and Scope


Northeastern University is committed to assisting and supporting employees by providing meaningful paid time away from work when necessary to care for themselves or their family members. The university’s Paid Leave Program (PLP) provides full or partial wage replacement and job protection to employees who need time away from their jobs for their own serious health condition, for covered family related reasons, for covered reasons relating to a family member’s military service, or as provided for by applicable state or local law where broader. The policy applies to all employees based in the United States whose primary relationship with the university is as employee and employer, including full-time, part-time, and temporary employees, unless otherwise required by applicable law.

This policy incorporates and offers paid parental leave to bond with a child. Therefore, the Policy on Paid Parental Leave is retired.

II. Definitions


Benefit Year: The period of 52 consecutive weeks beginning on the Sunday immediately preceding the first day of job protected PLP leave.

Family Member: spouse, domestic partner, child, parent or parent of a spouse or domestic partner of the employee; a person who stood in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was a minor child; or a grandchild, grandparent or sibling of the employee (or as defined by applicable state or local law where broader).

Serious Health Condition: An illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition that involves: (a) inpatient care in a hospital, hospice or residential medical facility; or (b) continuing treatment by a health care provider (or as defined by applicable state or local law where broader).

Covered Servicemember: A Covered Servicemember is an active duty member of the military suffering from a Serious Health Condition or a former member of the military suffering from a Serious Health Condition incurred or aggravated by active duty service (or as defined by applicable state or local law where broader).

III. Policy


The university’s PLP provides paid time off for the following reasons:

Medical Leave is leave available for your own Serious Health Condition.

Family Leave is leave available:

  • to bond with a newly born, adopted, or fostered child (within 12 months of the birth or placement of the child);
  • to care for a Family Member with a Serious Health Condition;
  • because of a qualifying exigency arising out of a Family Member’s active military duty or call to duty; and
  • to care for a covered servicemember undergoing medical treatment or otherwise addressing consequences of a Serious Health Condition relating to the Family Member’s military service.

Waiting Period:

No PLP benefits will be paid during the first 7 calendar days of Medical or Family Leave. However, an employee may use accrued sick time, vacation time, or other paid time off, if available, during this 7-day waiting period. This 7-day waiting period will count against an employee’s total period of available weeks of PLP leave in a Benefit Year. Only one waiting period will be applied during the benefit year (12 month period).

Benefits Eligible Employees:

Medical Leave Benefit: Provides up to 26 weeks per Benefit Year at 100% of your regular pay.

Family Leave Benefit: Provides up to 12 weeks per Benefit Year, including 100% of your base pay for up to 8 weeks, and then 80% base pay for up to 4 weeks.

Note: You are entitled to up to 26 weeks of Family Leave per Benefit Year to care for a family member who is a covered servicemember. This will be paid at 100% of your base pay for up to 8 weeks and 80% base pay for the remaining duration.

Non-Benefits Eligible Employees:

Medical Leave Benefit: Provides up to 20 weeks per Benefit Year at 80% of your average weekly pay, unless otherwise required by applicable law.

Family Leave Benefit: Provides 80% of your average weekly pay for up to 12 weeks per Benefit Year, unless otherwise required by applicable law.
Note: You are entitled to up to 26 weeks of Family Leave per Benefit Year to care for a family member who is a covered servicemember. This will be paid at 80% of your average weekly pay for up to 26 weeks.



Benefits Eligible Employees


Non-Benefits Eligible Employees





Medical Leave






Family Leave





Family Leave

4 (or remaining balance of injured servicemember leave)


(or remaining balance of injured service member leave)



For information regarding how your average weekly pay is calculated for PLP purposes, please visit the HR Service Center.

If the applicable weekly paid family leave benefit paid to a current employee totals less than 100% of the employee’s weekly base pay, the employee may use available paid time off (e.g. sick, vacation) to top up this amount to 100% of the employee’s weekly base pay.

Intermittent and Reduced Schedule:

Medical Leave and Family Leave may be taken on an intermittent or reduced leave schedule basis if medically necessary and supported by appropriate documentation. Bonding leave, specifically, maybe taken intermittently, but must be taken in at least two- week increments. Other than bonding leave, approved intermittent leave must be taken in minimum increments established by the university.

IV. Additional Information


Taking PLP Leave

Generally, you must apply for PLP leave at least 30 days in advance for a foreseeable leave (for example, the birth of a child or planned medical procedure). If the absence is unforeseeable (like a medical emergency), you must provide notice as soon as practicable. You must communicate with your supervisor in advance when scheduling leave and must make reasonable efforts to schedule your leave so as to limit the disruption to university operations. To apply for PLP, employees can submit a request through Workday.

If a benefits-eligible employee is absent in excess of five (5) consecutive workdays due to their own medical condition, the employee and/or the employee’s supervisor must notify the HR Leave Management Team as the employee may be eligible for leave under the PLP.

Documents and certifications needed to support your leave application vary depending on the type of leave and the place where you work and/or live. Please visit the HR Service Center for more information.

The university will continue to provide for and contribute to your employment-related health insurance benefits, if any, at the level and under the coverage you would have been provided if you had continued working continuously for the duration of PLP leave. Generally, if you take leave under this policy, you must be restored to your previous position or to an equivalent position, with the same status, pay, employment benefits, length-of-service credit as of the date of leave. The university will not discriminate or retaliate against you for exercising any right to which you are entitled by law, including by taking leave under this policy.


PLP Leave is Concurrent with Other Available Leave or Benefits Programs

This policy is approved as a private plan to satisfy the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) Law, and as required by that law, all presumptions shall be made in favor of the availability of PLP leave and the payment of PLP leave benefits.

For employees, including those working outside of Massachusetts, benefits under this policy will run concurrently with and supplement any paid leave benefits an employee is eligible to receive from any wage replacement program (e.g. state disability, state paid family leave, workers compensation) not to exceed 100% of the employee’s regular pay. It is the employee’s responsibility to apply for any state or city-provided wage replacement benefits that may be available to the employee. The university will assume that you have applied for any available wage replacement benefits and will automatically reduce your PLP benefits accordingly. You should never receive more than 100% of your regular pay from a combination of state or city- provided wage replacement benefits and PLP. If you feel that your payments are not accurate, please provide documentation supporting the issue to the HR Service Center so that adjustments can be made.

Generally, if you are eligible for more than one type of leave or wage replacement program, including programs and leaves provided for under state or federal law, they will run concurrently to the extent permitted by applicable law. In other words, your PLP leave will reduce your available leave or wage replacement allotment under all programs for which your absence qualifies.

Notice of Intent to Return to Work

Notification of your intent to return to work must be given to your supervisor as early as possible in order to allow preparation for your return, and no later than 30 days prior to the end of the leave. Ten days prior to returning to work, you should contact your supervisor confirming the return-to-work date.

If you are returning from Medical Leave, you must provide certification to the Leave Management Team from the treating healthcare provider that you are able to resume work before you may return. You should not provide medical documents or information to your supervisor.

Separated Employees -Massachusetts Only

Under the law in Massachusetts, former Massachusetts-based employees may be eligible for PFML benefits provided by the university for up to 26 weeks after separation from employment and must apply during that timeframe, or until they obtain other employment, whichever is sooner. Former employees may apply for PFML qualifying leave through the HR Service Center. The PLP benefit levels described above will not apply to former employees. Instead, the university will pay former employees the benefit level and provide leave for the duration required by the Massachusetts PFML Law.

V. Contact Information


For questions about this policy, or any university policy regarding leaves of absence, please contact the HR Service Center.

Responsible Office/Department(s)

Human Resources

Related Procedures





Paid Leave; Parental Leave; Paid Absences; Family Medical Leave Act

Version History

Last Revision Date: January 1, 2022

Issued: November 1, 2018