Policy Statement and Reason

For the purpose of this policy, employees include California faculty and staff unless otherwise indicated in sections below. 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 College assists employees on a case-by-case basis who reveal literacy problems and request employer assistance in enrolling in adult literacy education programs by providing locations of local literacy education programs or arranging for a literacy education provider to visit the College, and accommodates employees by providing unpaid time off to participate in literacy education programs. This policy complies with California law.

Policy Guidelines


Regular full-time, regular part-time and temporary employees may be immediately eligible.

Approval and Documentation

Employees who wish to enroll in literacy programs that take place during work hours must provide their supervisors and Human Resources with documentation about the program and their reasons for wanting to participate. Supervisors and Human Resources will review all requests and approve or deny such requests as appropriate.  

Use of Personal and Vacation Time

  • Non-Exempt: Non-exempt staff employees must use available personal time and vacation time for Literacy Education Leave. Non-exempt staff employees may take Literacy Education Leave as unpaid if they have no available personal and vacation time.
  • Exempt: Exempt staff employees are paid a salary and receive the same amount of pay every pay period, regardless of how many hours they work. They do not receive overtime pay. When not working for more than half a day, exempt staff employees must use available personal time and vacation time. Exempt staff employees may take Literacy Education Leave as unpaid if they have no available personal and vacation time.
  • Faculty Employees: For foreseeable absences, Faculty must provide the Chair with advance written notice and must receive prior approval when absent for more than two sessions or when a weekly class is missed more than once in order to coordinate coverage or makeup sessions. In the case of unreported and/or excessive absences, the Chair notifies the Dean.  


The College will make efforts to safeguard employees’ privacy with respect to enrollment in any literacy program.

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.


Policy Effective Date:  May 2019