Policy Statement and Reason

For the purpose of this policy, employees include Massachusetts and California staff employees. All provisions of this policy apply, except that for employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement, this policy does not create any benefits not expressly provided by that collective bargaining agreement and if there are inconsistencies between this policy and the collective bargaining agreement, the terms of the collective bargaining agreement will govern.

The ability of Emerson College to provide quality education for students and to excel in all of its endeavors depends on the attendance, punctuality and general reliability of its staff employees.  Accordingly, Emerson College expects staff employees to demonstrate a professional work ethic in this regard and to use time away (sick, personal and vacation time) in a planned, scheduled manner when possible.  This policy contains information pertaining to the College’s expectations related to attendance and reliability.


This policy applies to all Massachusetts and California staff employees.

Policy Guidelines

The College recognizes that staff employees will need days off from work to address medical, family and personal needs and as such, provides eligible staff employees with paid sick, personal and vacation time.

To help managers and colleagues manage day-to-day expectations, staff employees should plan their time away, with their managers’ approval, whenever possible. Below is how the College defines scheduled versus unscheduled absences:

  • Scheduled: Absences typically scheduled in advance include vacation, scheduled medical appointments, foreseeable FMLA leave, military service, family activities, graduations and funerals.
  • Unscheduled: Absences typically occur as a result of unforeseen illness, accidents, family emergencies, transportation emergencies, birth, unexpected family member illness and/or death, and household emergencies.

Unscheduled and scheduled absences may be designated as either excused or unexcused depending upon circumstances.

  • Excused: An excused absence is (1) a scheduled absence that has been approved by the employee’s manager for such events as vacation, scheduled medical appointments, military service, funerals, and events or activities during regular work hours; or (2) an unscheduled absence covered by another College leave or leave-related policy, such as the Sick Time Policy or its FMLA policy.
  • Unexcused: An unexcused absence is one that is not approved by an employee’s manager or otherwise covered by another College leave or leave-related policy or federal, state and/or local law. Frequent unexcused absences or a pattern of unexcused absences will generally lead to corrective action.

Reporting Absences, Tardiness and Leaving Early

For foreseeable absences, staff employees must provide their managers with no less than seven (7) days’ notice, when possible, or according to pre-established managerial guidelines. However, in the case of anticipated leaves of absence that are expected to last more than five (5) consecutive days, employees should generally provide 30 days’ notice, when possible, or otherwise follow the notification requirements under an applicable leave of absence policy.  

Staff employees who are absent from work,  tardy, or leaving work early  (unexcused/unscheduled) must contact their manager in the pre-determined manner at least two (2)  hours before the beginning or end of their work period, if possible. If unable to reach their managers, employees must contact their division or department heads or others as indicated by specific departments.  

No Call/No Show

If staff employees are absent from work for three (3) consecutive days on which they are scheduled without having notified their manager of the absences, they will be deemed to have voluntarily resigned from their position. Staff employees may be subject to corrective action for being absent for fewer than three (3) consecutive days without notifying their manager of the absences.

Other Information

Related Policies

Key Offices to Contact  

Please contact Human Resources for further information regarding this policy and its implementation.

Links to Procedures or Forms

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

The contents of this policy are informational only and are not conditions of employment. This policy does not create any contractual obligations or alter the at-will employment of the College’s at-will employees. Emerson College reserves the right to modify, revoke, suspend, terminate or change any and all policies and procedures at any time, with or without notice, as consistent with state and federal law.