Policy Statement and Reason

The purpose of this policy is to comply with Massachusetts Law.

Employees include Massachusetts faculty and staff unless otherwise indicated in the 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 will provide eligible employees with a total of up to twenty-four (24) hours of Small Necessities Leave during any twelve (12) month period for the following reasons:

  • To participate in the employees” children’s school activities directly related to the educational advancement of the children;
  • To take employees’ children to routine medical or dentist appointments;
  • To accompany elderly relatives of employees to routine medical or dentist appointments or other appointments related to elder care.


Small Necessities Leave does not need to be taken all at once. The leave may be taken intermittently in minimum increments of no less than one (1) hour. Employees whose time is prorated may use their time in increments that are reasonable given their FTE.  

Note: Small Necessities Leave is in addition to the twelve (12) weeks allowed by the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Policy Guidelines


Employees are eligible for Small Necessities Leave if they have been employed by the College for twelve (12) months and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the twelve (12) months prior to their first day of leave.


If the need for leave is foreseeable, employees must provide their supervisors with at least seven (7) days’ notice of the need to take Small Necessities Leave. If the need for leave is not foreseeable, however, then the employee must provide as much notice as is practicable.

Use of Sick, Personal or Vacation Time

  • Non-Exempt: Non-exempt staff employees must use available sick time (if applicable), personal time and vacation time for Small Necessities Leave. Non-exempt staff employees may take Small Necessities Leave as unpaid if they have no available sick, personal and/or 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 sick time (if applicable), personal time, and vacation time. Exempt staff employees may take Small Necessities Leave as unpaid if they have no available sick, personal and/or 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.  

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