5.01 Paid Time Off Policy

Policy: Berklee provides a generous paid time off (PTO) benefit for eligible staff to enjoy paid periods of rest and relaxation free from work, time off for illness, and time off to take care of personal matters.

Effective date: This policy statement is effective for PTO accrual that begins on or after January 1, 2024.


Only benefit-eligible staff and executives may accrue PTO. Exempt, salaried staff accrue PTO in hourly increments based on a seven-hour work day or an eight-hour work day, depending on the specific department. Non-exempt, hourly paid staff accrue PTO for eligible hours they are paid, but no more than outlined below.

PTO is expressed below in number of days equivalent to hours actually earned.


  • Continuous service is defined as the most recent period of employment by Berklee that has not been interrupted by a period of non-employment greater than three months. This continuous service includes employment at Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
  • A year is defined as the 12-month period ending on an anniversary of employment.

Initial PTO Balance

Upon becoming eligible, full-time staff are credited with an initial PTO balance of three days. Newly eligible part-time staff are credited an initial PTO balance on a prorated basis.

PTO Accrual

Upon becoming eligible on or after January 1, 2024, full-time staff earn PTO according to the following schedule*. All eligible part-time staff earn PTO on a prorated basis.

Total PTO Days Accrued per Year

Completed Years of Continuous Service







Less Than One Year15 days20 days30 days
At Least One, but Fewer Than Four Years20 days25 days30 days
At Least Four, but Fewer Than Nine Years25 days30 days30 days
Nine or More Years30 days30 days30 days
  • All Boston Conservatory at Berklee staff hired prior to January 1, 2024 will continue to accrue based upon the policy in effect as of June 1, 2017.

Maximum PTO Accrual

Staff may accrue a maximum of 30 PTO days per year. This is the maximum accrual permitted under the policy. Accrual will resume once the employee’s bank of unused PTO falls below 30 days.

Use of PTO

Staff can use PTO for personal time, vacation, or sick time, including:

  • caring for their own physical or mental illness, injury, or other medical condition that requires home, preventative, or professional care;
  • caring for their child, parent, spouse, or parent of a spouse who is suffering from a physical or mental illness, injury, or other medical condition that requires home, preventative, or professional care;
  • attending routine medical and dental appointments for themselves or for their child, parent, spouse, or parent of a spouse;
  • addressing the psychological, physical, or legal effects of domestic violence for themselves or for their child, parent, spouse, or parent of a spouse; or
  • traveling to and from an appointment, a pharmacy, or another location related to the purpose for which the time was taken.

Personal time and sick time include absences covered by the Massachusetts Paid Sick Time Law, Massachusetts Parental Leave Law, Massachusetts Domestic Violence Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, or similar statutes.

Except as approved by the applicable supervisor and Human Resources, staff are not permitted to utilize PTO hours they have not accrued. Such approvals shall be granted only to address significant needs for time off such as medical leave.

Remote work cannot be used as a substitute for paid time off (PTO) or any other type of leave offered by Berklee, including  the Massachusetts Paid Medical Family Leave Act, (PMFLA), the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, or the Massachusetts Paid Sick Leave Act. 

Administrative Process

The use of PTO for vacation time and personal time must be requested as far in advance as possible and must be approved by the manager within Workday before it is taken. Staff are expected to notify their managers as soon as possible when taking PTO for an illness or injury.

All staff and managers will record PTO usage and approval of PTO according to policy. Further information regarding reporting and approval of PTO time can be provided by Human Resources. Failure to report PTO time taken or falsification of time entry may result in corrective action up to and including termination.

Termination/Change in Eligibility

Upon termination of employment or change in eligibility for any reason, all staff will be paid out their unused, accrued PTO balance, less outstanding advances or other agreements the staff member may have with Berklee in compliance with state and federal laws. They will be paid regular pay through the last day of work, which will be the termination date. PTO cannot be used to extend termination period and should not be used during the notice period. Berklee reserves the right to amend, suspend, or cancel this policy at any time, with or without notice.