Leave & Disability Programs

Take a Qualifying Leave of Absence

An unexpected life event or medical condition (either your own or a loved one’s) can impact your ability to work, pay bills, and provide for those who depend on you. No matter what life has in store, you need to be able to care for your loved ones—and look after your own health. As a valued Dana-Farber staff member, you have access to leave plans for various circumstances.

Where applicable, each benefit runs at the same time. Learn about your options below to better understand how these valuable benefits coordinate.

Help replace a portion of your income if you cannot work1

If you lost your ability to earn income, how would you pay for your bills and provide for your family? In the event of a disability, you need coverage that's quickly accessible and payments that help you to cover everyday expenses. Enrollment is simple but the benefits are significant.

  • May help replace a portion of your income when you are unable to work due to sickness, pregnancy, chronic condition or accidental injury.
  • Benefit payments are made directly to you and you decide how to spend the money.
  • Helps you meet your day-to-day financial obligations so your long-term goals can stay on track.

Did you know disability insurance and workers’ compensation are not the same thing? Workers’ compensation only applies if you are hurt at work. Disability insurance covers you when you’re unable to work because of illness or injury — whether suffered at work or not.


  • Short-term disability*- All full time and part time benefits eligible staff members classified by the Employer as Weekly Paid.
  • Core Long-term disability (employer paid)- All full time staff members working more than 20 hours
  • Buy Up Long-term disability (voluntary)- All full time staff members working more than 20 hours


  • Short-term disability*- 70% of weekly salary to a maximum of $1,500/week. This benefit amount combines with MA PFML.
  • Core Long-term disability (employer paid)- 50% of monthly earnings to a maximum of $20,000
  • Buy Up Long-term disability (voluntary)- 70% of monthly salary to a maximum of $20,000

Waiting period:

  • Short-term disability*- For Injury and Sickness: 7 days. Note, wait periods are waived for child birth recovery.
  • Core Long-term disability (employer paid)- 140 days
  • Buy Up Long-term disability (voluntary)- 140 days


  • Short-term disability*- Injury or Sickness:20 weeks; Child birth recovery: 8 weeks
  • Core Long-term disability (employer paid)- Later of Social Security Normal Retirement Age or Reducing Benefit Duration
  • Buy Up Long-term disability (voluntary)- Later of Social Security Normal Retirement Age or Reducing Benefit Duration

Family Medical Leave (FMLA)

Take care of personal and family matters with added flexibility and time off—whenever you need it.

Whether it’s spending time with a loved one during end-of-life care or bonding with a newborn child throughout the day, you need to be there for your family. But how will you ensure you get adequate time off?

FMLA allows you to take the unpaid time off you need—and know your job will be there when you get back. Staff members may take up to 12 weeks of cumulative leave, or up to 26 weeks for active duty service member leave.

Under FMLA, your benefits include:

  • Taking your intermittent leave from the moment it’s approved.
  • Using flexible time off however you choose—whether it’s 15 minutes, 2 weeks, or your full leave period all at once.
  • Maintaining job security throughout the duration of your leave.

FMLA runs concurrently with all other state plans, and short- and long-term disability insurance, where applicable.

Eligibility: All full-time staff members who have worked for Dana-Farber for a minimum of 1 year and 1250 hours in the year preceding leave.

Qualified Reasons for Leave: Leaves to care for your own serious health condition, a family member’s serious health condition, a leave to care and bond with your newborn or adopted child, or a leave to care for a military servicemember or their service related illness may be covered under Family Medical Leave.


  • FMLA is an unpaid leave that only provides job protection.
  • You may coordinate paid time with your employer.

Waiting Period:

  • No waiting period
  • Intermittent Leave can be taken in as little as 15 minute increments.
  • Bonding leaves must be taken continuously

Maximum Benefit Duration:

  • A total of 12 weeks for all combined leave
  • Servicemember caregiver leave may extend up to 26 weeks

Coordination with other leaves: FMLA runs concurrently with all qualified leave types including MA PL, MA PFML, and leaves for a disability.


* Note: If you are classified as a monthly paid staff member, you must file a claim with MetLife to approve and track the leave.  Monthly paid staff members will receive salary continuation paid by Dana-Farber.

1 Like most disability income insurance policies, MetLife’s policies contain certain exclusions, exceptions, waiting periods, reductions, limitations and terms for keeping them in force. Ask your MetLife representative  for complete details.