Policy Statement and Reason  

For the purpose of this policy, employees include Massachusetts staff only. 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. 

Staff employees may need days off from work from time to time to address a range of personal business needs. The College provides eligible staff employees with paid personal time for this purpose.

Time off is subject to manager's approval.

Policy Guidelines


Full-time and part-time staff employees working 20 hours or more per week are eligible for personal time upon one year of service.

Personal Time Benefit

Eligible staff employees receive three (3) paid personal days per year on their anniversary date (from date of hire or adjusted service date for rehires), pro-rated for part-time staff employees working 20 hours or more per week. Personal days must be taken during the year they are granted; if not used, personal days expire at the end of that year of service.

Use of Personal Time

Staff employees are expected and trusted to use discretion, good judgment and to demonstrate a professional work ethic when scheduling and/or using personal time. 

  • Personal Time Purpose: Staff employees may use personal time to tend to a variety of personal needs such as attending school or community activities, religious observances, managing personal business matters, and any other reason employees’ wish.
  • Increments of Personal Time: Full-time non-exempt, hourly staff employees must use personal time in no less than one (1)-hour increments. Employees whose time is prorated may use their time in increments that are reasonable given their FTE.   Exempt, salaried staff employees must use personal time in half-day or full-day increments.
  • Notice Period: Employees may not use personal time during their resignation notice period.
  • Unused Personal Time Forfeiture: Unused personal time is forfeited at the end of that year of service. Unused personal time is not paid to staff employees who leave the College.

Absence Reporting

For foreseeable absences, staff employees must provide their supervisors with no less than seven (7) days’ notice, when possible.  Staff employees who are absent from work must notify their supervisor by either phone, email or text at least two (2) hours prior to the beginning of their work period each day that they are absent or as soon as they are able. If staff employees are unable to reach their supervisors, they must contact their division or department head. 

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


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