Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

DFCI Private Plan

Any staff member (including full-time, part-time and per-diem) who receives a Massachusetts W-2 from DFCI is covered under this private plan, as long as the staff member has 15 weeks or more of earnings and has earned at least $5,400 in the 12-month period before applying for a leave. The staff member does not need to have worked at DFCI in the previous 12 months to be eligible for the DFCI Private Plan.

In addition, an otherwise eligible staff member is covered for up to 26 weeks after separation from employment at DFCI and as long as they are not employed by another entity.

Note: Work-study students, co-op students, interns, and their managers should alert HR to determine whether the individual is part of an official work trainee program and therefore not eligible for the paid leave benefit.  If so, the payroll deduction will not be taken from those individuals’ compensation.

Depending on the type of leave requested, MetLife will calculate and determine the applicable paid leave benefit for which you are eligible. You will receive the private plan benefits  from MetLife, with the option to make your paycheck whole by using vacation or sick time.

All staff members are required to apply for a leave of absence with MetLife.  Once approved, staff members may elect to use only accrued time off provided by DFCI rather than receive the paid benefit through the DFCI Private Plan.  The leave of absence will still be designated pursuant to the applicable law (e.g. MA PFML, FMLA, ADA).

MA PFML does not replace FMLA or MA Parental Leave. These leaves of absence will run concurrently with MA PFML when the leave is for a qualified reason under all laws. If the leave is eligible under one law but not the other, the leave will run only under the applicable law.

The MA Earned Sick Leave law does not run concurrently with the MA PFML; if a staff member chooses to use their sick time in combination with their PFML benefit, then PFML will run concurrently with the Earned Sick Leave law.  However, if a staff member chooses not to use their paid sick time during PFML, the MA Earned Sick Leave law will not run concurrently with the MA PFML

MA PFML General Information 

The MA PFML will provide paid family and medical leave benefits to staff members in Massachusetts. Generally, the law provides eligible staff members with wage replacement for time they take off that is covered by the MA PFML. The law also provides for health insurance continuation during leave, job protection after leave, and prohibits retaliation for use of leave.

Staff members may be eligible to take the MA PFML under the following circumstances:

  • Medical Leave: to deal with the staff member’s own serious health condition
  • Family Leave for Bonding: to bond with a child within the first 12 months of the child’s birth or placement of the child for adoption or foster care
  • Family Leave for Family Care: to care for a family member with a serious health condition
  • Family Leave for Military Exigency: to deal with any qualifying exigency arising out a family member’s active duty or call to active duty in the Armed Forces
  • Family Leave for Military Care: to care for a family member who is a covered service member with a serious injury or illness incurred or aggravated in the line of duty

MetLife will begin to administer the benefits under the MA PFML starting January 1, 2021.

Beginning on January 1, 2021, staff members can start taking paid leave for:

  • Medical Leave
  • Family Leave for Bonding
  • Family Leave for Military Exigency
  • Family Leave for Military Care

Beginning on July 1, 2021, staff member can start taking paid leave for Family Leave for Family Care.

Type of Leave Maximum Duration per Benefit Year
Medical Leave (for own serious health condition) 20 weeks
Family Leave for Bonding 12 weeks
Family Leave for Family Care 12 weeks
Family Leave for Miliary Exigency 12 weeks
Family Leave for Military Care 26 weeks
Combined Family and Medical Leave Maximum 26 weeks


Note: A staff member may take both Medical Leave and Family Leave within the same year but may only take a combined total of 26 weeks of MA PFML per year.

If both parents work for DFCI, they may each take 12 weeks of Family Leave for Bonding if eligible under the MA PFML.

  • Spouse or domestic partner
  • Child, parent, or parent of the staff member’s spouse or domestic partner
  • Grandchild or grandparent
  • Sibling
  • A child to whom the staff member stands in loco parentis or a person to whom the staff member stood in loco parentis when the person was a minor child. A child must be under age 18 or, if over age 18, incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability at the time that the leave is to commence.

Yes, intermittent and/or reduced schedule leave may be taken for all medical leaves and family leaves, except for leave to bond with a newborn, adopted, or foster child. However, certain exceptions may be made for special circumstances, subject to the discretion of MetLife, Human Resources and in consultation with the staff member’s manager.

MA PFML Job Protections Under the Law

Yes, the MA PFML prohibits DFCI from discriminating or retaliating against a staff member for exercising any right to which they are entitled to under the MA PFML.

MA Parental Leave

MA PL offers leaves for parents to bond with a newborn or a newly adopted child. In addition, MA PL can cover preparing for or participating in the birth of a child as well.

FML and MA Parental leaves are unpaid but will run concurrently with available paid leaves including disability or MA PFML. In addition, you may use accrued time to make your paycheck whole.

Work Related Illness / Injury

If you suffer a work related injury or illness and are eligible for Workers’ Compensation, please notify Dana-Farber’s Occupational Health department and MetLife, who will track your leave. 

Workers' Compensation benefits do not combine with STD or MA PFML.