2.04 Attendance

Policy No. 2.04

POLICY: It is the policy of Berklee to maintain a fair and objective method of managing attendance throughout the institution. Poor attendance has a significant negative impact on Berklee operations and can negatively affect productivity, staffing, and ultimately, the student experience. Because of the variety of work settings at Berklee, the impact of absences and tardiness can vary significantly from one department to another. As a result, managers are granted considerable discretion in establishing reasonable, specific expectations and standards within their respective departments. Managers are encouraged to consult with Human Resources before specific departmental attendance standards are implemented.


All staff members must understand that regular attendance is an essential condition of employment. Employees who have good attendance records should be acknowledged by having this information incorporated into their annual performance appraisal. Berklee provides generous paid time off (PTO) benefits to cover vacation, illness, and other unforeseen events that prevent an employee from coming to work. However, it is expected that all employees will report to work as scheduled and will work their core hours unless there is a compelling reason not to do so.

Staff members are expected to request PTO from their manager in advance. In cases of unscheduled illness and other unscheduled unforeseen circumstances, staff members must notify their manager as soon as is practical. Excessive unscheduled, unprotected absences may result in corrective action up to and including termination of employment.

Absences that are covered under Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other federal and/or state statutes are considered protected and are not subjected to corrective action.

Tardiness/Early Departures 

All staff members are expected to begin work at the start of their scheduled workday. In addition, staff members are expected to work their entire daily core schedule. Employees who arrive late to work or leave work early with no prior approval and/or advance notification may be counseled by their manager, and if tardiness or early departures persist, they may receive corrective action up to and including termination. In addition, a pattern of excessive reporting to work late and/or leaving early may result in corrective action.

The Staff Member’s Role

  • Staff members must notify their manager as soon as possible when it is evident that they will be absent. Based on the needs of their department, managers have discretion in determining how much advance notice is required for absences prior to the start of the workday, and in determining how staff members should notify them, (i.e. call, e-mail, text message).
  • Staff members who are absent from work for three consecutive days without notifying their manager may be considered to have abandoned their job and to have voluntarily terminated their employment without notice.

The Manager’s Role

Managers should make every effort to reasonably accommodate the scheduling needs of staff while ensuring proper departmental coverage and maximum productivity. Managers should take the following steps to discourage excessive absenteeism and tardiness:

  • Set clear expectations and standards for staff members regarding regular attendance.
  • Establish clear procedures for staff to report absences and tardiness early and encourage them to give as much advance notice as possible.
  • Maintain accurate, up-to-date records of each staff member’s absences and tardiness.
  • Identify any patterns that may be present.
  • Ensure that staff members report their PTO accurately.
  • Periodically review attendance records for excessive absenteeism and/or tardiness. Staff members with absences that approach or exceed the specific department expectations, or those that fall into observable patterns (e.g., routinely absent before or after a holiday or weekend) will be subject to review, counseling, and/or corrective action.
  • Department managers must consult with Human Resources prior to administering any corrective action beyond a verbal warning.

Berklee reserves the right to amend, suspend, or cancel this policy at any time, with or without notice. In the event that a conflict exists between this policy and the terms and conditions of the Berklee faculty union contract agreement, the union contract agreement will supersede this policy.


December 2018