Policy Statement and Reason
For the purpose of this policy, employees Massachusetts include 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.
Emerson College recognizes that employees may need time away from work for any “qualifying exigency” arising out of the fact that the spouse, or son or daughter of any age, or parent (including step relationships) of the employee is on covered active duty in the Armed Forces or National Guard or Reserves. This policy provides information about Qualifying Exigency Leave, one type of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Care Leave Act, and what, if any, pay continuation options may be available to eligible employees during this otherwise unpaid time away. Refer to “General Information for all FMLA Leaves,” for full information regarding FMLA leaves including:
- Types of FMLA Leave
- Pay Continuation
- Use of FMLA
- Extended Leaves
- Both Spouses Employed by the College
- Employee Responsibilities
- Employer Responsibilities
- Benefits and Salary Increases during Leave (Paid & Unpaid Leave)
- Return from Leave and Failure to Return from Leave
- Coordination of Federal and State Regulations
The following definitions will apply to the administration of this policy:
Child: A biological, adopted or foster child, stepchild or legal ward who is under eighteen years of age, or eighteen or older and incapable of self-care because of mental or physical disability, at the time the leave commences.
Covered Service Member:
(a) a current member of the Armed Forces (including a member of the National Guard and Reserves) who has a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on active duty that may render the service member medically unfit to perform his or her duties for which the service member is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy; in outpatient status; or on the temporary disability retired list; or
(b) a veteran who: (i) has a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on active duty (or existed before the beginning of the member’s active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of duty on active duty) for which the veteran is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy and (ii) was a member of the Armed Forces (including a member of the National Guard or Reserves) at any time during the period of 5 years preceding the date on which the veteran undergoes that medical treatment, recuperation or therapy.
Rolling 12-Month Period Measured Backward: Rolling 12-month period measured backward from the date an employee uses any FMLA leave. Under the ‘‘rolling’’ 12-month period, each time an employee takes FMLA leave, the remaining leave entitlement would be the balance of the 12 weeks which has not been used during the immediately preceding 12 months.
Example 1: Michael requests three weeks of FMLA leave to begin on July 31st. The employer looks back 12 months (from July 31st back to the previous August 1st) to see if any FMLA leave had been used. Michael had not taken any previous FMLA leave, so he is entitled to the three weeks he requested and has nine more weeks available
Salary Continuation: Ways in which employees are paid while on leave of absence from work, i.e., sick time, personal time, vacation time, short-term disability, parental pay, or Workers’ Compensation.
Spouse (FMLA definition): Spouse, as defined by FMLA, means a husband or wife as defined or recognized in the state where the individual was married, including in a common law marriage or same-sex marriage. Spouse also includes a husband or wife in a marriage that was validly entered into outside the United States, if the marriage could have been entered into in at least one state.
An employee is eligible for FMLA if they:
- have been employed by Emerson College for at least 12 months;
- have worked at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12-month period (inclusive of time the employee has spent in military service during that period); and
- work in a location within 75 miles of at least 50 employees of Emerson College.
Qualifying Exigency Leave (Military - FMLA)
One category of leave for which eligible employees are entitled is Qualifying Exigency Leave. Eligible employees may take FMLA leave for this purpose for any “qualifying exigency” arising out of the fact that the spouse, son, daughter or parent of the employee is on covered active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty in the Armed Forces or National Guard or Reserves. A “qualifying exigency” includes: (1) short notice deployment (limited to seven calendar days from date notified of deployment); (2) attending military events and related activities; (3) childcare and school-related activities arising from the military member’s covered active duty; (4) financial and legal arrangements to address a military member’s absence while on covered active duty; (5) counseling for the employee, military member, or the child of the military member; (6) rest and recuperation (limited to fifteen (15) calendar days of FMLA leave); (7) post-deployment activities within ninety (90) days of the end of the military member’s covered active duty; (8) care of the military member’s parent who is incapable of self-care, and (9) additional activities, only as mutually agreed to by employee and the College.
FMLA leaves provide eligible employees with a combined total of 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for all FMLA leave types in a 12-month period (measured backward on a rolling basis), except that Military Caregiver Leave, provides a combined total of 26 weeks for all FMLA leaves in a 12-month period unless otherwise stipulated by applicable collective bargaining agreement.
Pay Continuation for Faculty Employees
Qualifying Exigency Leaves under the FMLA are “unpaid” periods of time eligible faculty employees may take from work for the reasons described above.
For information about any applicable pay continuation for faculty employees, please see the applicable collective bargaining agreement.
Pay Continuation for Staff Employees
Qualifying Exigency Leaves are “unpaid” periods of time eligible employees may take from work for the reasons described above.
Unless otherwise stipulated by an applicable collective bargaining agreement, Emerson College provides eligible staff employees with paid time off in the form of sick, personal, and vacation time to cover absences from work. Staff employees on Qualifying Exigency Leaves must use available paid sick time, if applicable, up to a maximum of seven (7) days, then personal time and then vacation time during the leave. However, employees may hold up to five (5) total days of sick, personal, and vacation time in reserve.
When supported by satisfactory documentation, leaves may be scheduled on an intermittent basis, or as a reduced work schedule. Employees must make reasonable efforts to schedule intermittent time away so as not to unduly disrupt College operations.
Both Spouses Employed by the College
This policy may vary when spouses, domestic partners, or parents are employed by the college. See General Information for all FMLA Leaves Policy - MA
- General Information for all FMLA Leaves - MA
- Shared Sick Bank Program
- Sick Time - MA
- Personal Time - MA
- Vacation Time
Please contact the Leave of Absence Administrator (Human Resources) for further information regarding this policy and its implementation
Key Offices to Contact
Office of Human Resources
Links to Procedures or Forms
Please contact the Leave of Absence Administrator (Human Resources) for assistance.
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: May 2019