HR - Winter Break - MA & CA

Policy Statement and Reason

For the purpose of this policy, employees include 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. 

Emerson College closes for Winter Break which generally falls between December 24th through the January 1st observed holiday. While the majority of operational units close during this time, some departments remain operational. This policy addresses pay-related issues during Winter Break.

Policy Guidelines

Update: Winter Break 2020

As part of the College's COVID response measures, staff and administrators are required to use vacation days to cover part of the winter break.  Christmas Day and New Year’s Day will be paid as major holidays. The balance of the winter break days will be paid in equal parts by the College and by employees’ accrued and unused vacation days. Emerson allows staff to “borrow” a maximum of 5 days of vacation time and then work to pay the days back over time. If you are concerned about having enough vacation time to cover the winter break, please contact HR to discuss the possibility of “borrowing” vacation days. "  

Eligibility

Regular full-time and part-time staff employees working 20 hours or more a week are eligible for Winter Break pay in accordance with this policy. Staff employees working less than 20 hours a week are not eligible for Winter Break pay and may not work during Winter Break unless specifically engaged to work for that week. 

Winter Break Pay

Eligible staff employees will receive Winter Break pay based on their regular schedule if they:

  • Are regularly scheduled to work on days that fall during Winter Break (weekends and weekdays)
  • Are working their regularly scheduled days both immediately before and/or after Winter Break
  • Holidays are prorated for part-time eligible employees
  • Are on approved paid or unpaid sick, personal or vacation days both immediately before and/or after Winter Break
  • Are on HR authorized paid leaves; eligible staff employees will receive Winter Break pay, at their current leave rate of pay (STD or Parental Pay rate), if they are on an HR authorized paid medical or parental leave that falls during Winter Break.

Winter Break Pay Exclusions

Staff employees are not eligible for Winter Break pay when:

  • They work less than 20 hours in a week
  • Their last day of work immediately precedes Winter Break or falls during Winter Break
  • Their last day of work is less than seven (7) calendar days following the last day of Winter Break

Staff employees may not be eligible to receive Winter Break pay under the following circumstances:

  • Staff employees on unscheduled, unapproved time away (paid or unpaid) that begins before and/or ends the day(s) after Winter Break may be asked by their managers to provide satisfactory documentation that the absences were for reasons acceptable to the College. At managers’ discretion, staff employees who are asked for and fail to provide documentation of acceptable absences may be ineligible for Winter Break pay.

Work during Winter Break

Non-Exempt:
  • Full-time and part-time non-exempt staff employees who are required to work during Winter Break are paid two times their regular straight-time rate for the number of hours worked.
  • Full-time and part-time non-exempt staff employees who work on an observed major holiday that falls during Winter Break are paid their straight time in addition to the premium rate of one (1) and one-half (1/2) times their regular straight-time rate for the number of hours worked on the major holiday, 2.5 times pay.
Exempt:
  • While Emerson College does not have compensatory time, in this situation, full-time and part-time exempt staff employees who work during Winter Break (Winter Intersession) should work with their supervisor to coordinate an alternative break schedule.
Temporary:
  • Temporary staff employees who work during Winter Break are paid straight time.

Other considerations:

New Hires:
  • Staff employees will not be scheduled to start work during Winter Break.
  • If eligible staff employees start work by the Monday of the week before Winter Break, they are eligible for Winter Break pay.
  • If eligible staff employees start work immediately following Winter Break, they are ineligible for Winter Break pay.
Return from Leave:
  • Eligible staff employees scheduled to return to work from an authorized leave (with or without pay) on a day that happens to fall during Winter Break must delay their return date until the following week. Staff employees are eligible for Winter Break pay under these circumstances.

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

Definitions

Compensatory Time
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) non-exempt employees must be paid for all time worked and may not take time off in place of overtime pay (compensatory time), except within the same workweek as authorized by a supervisor. The college does not permit the use of compensatory time for exempt staff. Compensatory time off for exempt employees is a practice whereby employees are granted time off with pay (paid as if worked) as “compensation” for extended periods of work.
Current Leave Rate of Pay
The current leave rate of pay equals the amount of STD or Parental Pay the employee is being paid during leave. The current leave rate excludes any sick time, vacation time, or personal time the employee may use to offset STD or Parental Pay.
 

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