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Small Necessities Leave Act (SNLA)

MCLA also provides eligible employees with leave under the Massachusetts Small Necessities Leave Act ("SNLA") (Gen. Laws c. 149, 52D).

Eligible employees are entitled to take up to 24 hours of unpaid leave during any rolling 12-month period for any of the following purposes:

  • Accompanying a son or daughter (defined as a biological, adopted or foster child, stepchild, or legal ward under the age of 18 or, if 18 and older, incapable of self-care) to routine health care appointments, including medical and dental appointments;

  • Participation in school activities of a son or daughter as long as those activities are directly related to the educational advancement of the child (e.g., parent-teacher conferences, interviews for a new school);

  • Accompanying an elderly relative (defined as an individual at least 60 years of age related to the employee by blood or marriage) to routine health care appointments, including medical and dental visits;

  • Accompanying an elderly relative to an appointment for professional services related to the individual's care, such as interviewing for a nursing home or group care facility.

Generally, an employee who has been employed by MCLA for at least 12 months and has worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 month period immediately prior to the commencement of the leave is eligible for SNLA leave for any of the purposes listed above.


An employee may take up to 24 hours of SNLA leave within any rolling 12 month period, measured backward from the date any leave is used. SNLA leave may be taken in half-day increments, up to the maximum amount of leave time available.


In the event of foreseeable leave, employees are expected to submit a written request for leave 48 hours prior to the anticipated commencement of the leave.  Where leave is not foreseeable, notice must be given as soon as is practicable, but not less than one day prior to the leave.

An employee may be required to submit a certification form from the health care provider or administrator visited during the leave.  It is the employee's responsibility to ensure that the certification form is completed and returned to the Human Resources Office.  If an employee fails to obtain the appropriate medical certification of the need for the leave, MCLA reserves the right to refuse the SNLA leave or to refuse to allow an employee to remain on SNLA leave.


Unless otherwise required by an applicable collective bargaining agreement, employees are required to use paid vacation or personal time off, if available, during the time taken for SNLA leave.  Any paid time off used is exhausted simultaneously with an employee's entitlement to SNLA leave.  If the employee has no paid time off available, then the leave will be unpaid.

Sick Leave

All full-time, 12 month employees (administrators, classified staff and librarians) accrue sick leave at the rate of 1.25 days per month, beginning with the first full month of employment. For attendance recording purposes only, this is converted to 4.326 or 4.615 hours per pay period, depending on the employee unit/group.

All full-time faculty members accrue sick leave at the rate of 1.11 days per month beginning with the first month of employment.  For attendance recording purposes only, this is converted to 3.846 hours per pay period during the academic year, for a total of 10 days (75 hours) per academic year.

Sick leave accrued during a given pay period is not available for use until that pay period has ended.  There is no limit to the amount of sick leave that may be accrued or carried over from one year to the next.

Generally, accrued sick leave may be taken when an employee is incapacitated by illness or injury or when the presence of the employee at work may expose other employees to a contagious disease which will jeopardize the health of those employees. Within the limits of each collective bargaining agreement or applicable Board policy, sick leave may also be used to attend to those relatives and individuals living in the employee household or to keep medical appointments that cannot be scheduled outside of normal work hours.

All employees are expected to follow applicable procedures for reporting each unanticipated day of absence for illness.

Employees who have furnished a written doctor's statement specifying the required absence period do not need to call daily to report absences.  All absences, whether for a full day or part of a day, must be reported in a timely manner, according to the Attendance Policy under the General Policies section. Other requirements for reporting absences are set forth in the collective bargaining agreement or Board policy for each employee group.