Eligibility | Paid Leaves | Unpaid Leaves | Procedure
These policies apply only to individuals with the title of research fellow on the payroll of Albert Einstein College of Medicine. When an individual’s funding source mandates a policy that is different from the policy noted below, the policy of the funding source must be followed. Policies relating to research fellows funded directly by other sponsoring entities while based at and accepted into a program at Einstein are the responsibility of those other sponsoring entities. However, preceptors for research fellows funded by other sponsoring entities are encouraged to consider guidelines similar to the Einstein policies in granting leave to such individuals.
These policies apply on a pro-rata basis to individuals who work 20 hours or more per week but less than full-time (defined as 40 hours per week). Those who work less than 20 hours per week are not entitled to paid leave or health benefits.
The College of Medicine reserves the right to modify these policies from time to time.
Effect of Leave on Appointment Period
Research fellows serve for a specified period of appointment (generally one academic year for each appointment) pursuant to a letter of appointment signed by the director of the Belfer Institute, which sets forth the basic conditions of the appointment. A leave pursuant to these policies applies only within the approved appointment period. No appointment period is extended by a paid or unpaid leave of absence unless there is an explicit extension of the appointment signed by the director of the Belfer Institute, or in the case of military service, as required by law.
I. Paid Leave
Research fellows are allowed 20 working days of paid vacation for each full year of service computed on the basis of 1-2/3 days per month. Scheduling of vacation may be requested by the individual research fellow at his or her convenience, subject to the approval of the preceptor, who will determine if it is consistent with the operating responsibilities of the laboratory. All earned vacation time must be used within the year in which it is earned and cannot be extended to a subsequent year without the written authorization of the preceptor and department chair. In no event may more than 40 days be accumulated. Unused vacation time will be forfeited.
Research fellows are allowed the following eight paid legal holidays celebrated by the College of Medicine if, in the opinion of the preceptor, such time off is operationally viable: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day. An individual who is obliged to work on a legal holiday may take another day off in lieu of the legal holiday, to be scheduled with the approval of the preceptor. Leave for religious observance and other personal leave may be taken as vacation time or unpaid leave, if operationally viable.
C. Illness (Temporary Disability)
In the event of an illness or injury (including the disability period of pregnancy) that renders a research fellow unable to perform his or her functions, he or she will be eligible for paid sick leave of 12 days for each full year of service accrued at the rate of one day per month of service, up to a maximum accrual of 36 days. The research fellow must notify the preceptor as soon as possible of a planned absence or prior to the normal working hours for an unforeseen illness. Medical certification may be required.
D. Jury Duty
Leave for jury duty shall be granted as required by applicable law. Verification of jury service should be retained and must be produced if requested. Research fellows on jury duty are eligible to receive full stipend up to a maximum of 10 days during a two-year period.
II. Unpaid Leave
A. Medical Leave
In the event of an illness or injury (including the disability period of pregnancy) that renders a research fellow unable to perform his or her functions, an individual may take an unpaid medical leave of absence for up to a total of six months. An individual with accrued sick leave may offset part of the unpaid leave by charging accrued sick leave. Where the necessity of leave is foreseeable, the research fellow is required to provide the preceptor with at least 30 days' notice; otherwise, as much notice as is practicable is to be given. If the leave is for planned medical treatment, the research fellow is required to make reasonable efforts to schedule the treatment so as not to disrupt unduly the laboratory’s operations. Health benefits coverage may be continued for up to six months on the same cost basis as prior to the leave. Medical certification may be required.
B. Family Leave
A research fellow who has served at Einstein for at least 12 months may be eligible for up to a total of 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for the birth or adoption of a child or for a serious health condition affecting a family member (spouse, child, or parent). (Please Note: A leave due to the disability of pregnancy is covered under the illness and medical leave provisions stated above.) Where the necessity of leave is foreseeable, the research fellow is required to provide the preceptor with at least 30 days' notice; otherwise, as much notice as is practicable is to be given. If the leave is for planned medical treatment of a family member, the research fellow is required to make reasonable efforts to schedule the treatment so as not to disrupt unduly the laboratory’s operations. The College of Medicine may require medical certification to support the need for a leave for the serious health condition of a family member. The research fellow will accommodate the need for leave by first using accrued vacation in lieu of or before requesting any unpaid leave. Health benefits coverage may be maintained during the leave on the same cost basis as prior to the leave.
C. Other Unpaid Leave
An unpaid leave may be requested for a designated portion of the appointment period for other special circumstances. The request for such leave must be submitted as far in advance as possible with all appropriate documentation. The preceptor and department chair will determine whether such leave should be granted. If the leave is granted, the research fellow will receive no stipend during the period of the leave, nor will the period of the unpaid leave be considered for accrual of time for vacation or sick leave. Health benefits may be continued during such an unpaid leave for a period of 30 days on the same cost basis as prior to the leave. Health benefits coverage may be continued for an additional 30 days with the research fellow required to pay the full premium. After 60 days, the research fellow will no longer be eligible to participate in an Einstein health plan but will have the opportunity to purchase a personal health insurance policy from Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield on a direct-payment basis. The research fellow may renroll in the Einstein health plan after his or her return to the laboratory. Other than in exceptional circumstances, no research fellow who has served for less than six months will be considered for such a leave.
PLEASE NOTE: Prior to any leave, the research fellow is required to submit a signed application to the benefits office, requesting continued health coverage during the period of the leave. Failure to do so will be considered an election to waive insurance coverage during the leave period.
D. Military Service or Training
Unpaid leave for military service or training shall be provided in accordance with applicable law.