Our dedication to Racial Equality and Social Justice (RESJ) spans decades. Learn more about our RESJ Initiative

time exposed photo of headlights in urban center

Small Necessities Leave Act (SNLA)

Updated November 2018

This policy is applicable to employees in Massachusetts only.  In the event of any conflict between this policy and the applicable law, employees will be afforded all rights required by state law.

Under SNLA, eligible employees are entitled to take up to 24 hours during a 12-month period to attend a child’s school activity or accompany a child or elderly relative to a doctor’s appointment.  The leave may be paid, unpaid or a combination of paid and unpaid leave, depending on the availability of accrued leave and as specified in this policy.


To qualify for leave under the SNLA an employee must meet all of the following conditions:

  1. Employed for at least 12 months and have completed at least 1250 hours of service during the 12 months just preceding the leave request.  

Types of Leave Covered

The leave may be taken for any of the following purposes:

  1. To participate in school activities directly related to the educational advancement of a son or daughter of the employee, such as parent-teacher conferences or interviewing for a new school;
  2. To accompany the son or daughter of the employee to routine medical or dental appointments, such as check-ups or vaccinations; to accompany an immediate elderly relative of the employee to routine medical or dental appointments or appointments for other professional services related to the elder's care, such as interviewing at nursing or group homes.

Amount of Leave

The 12-month period in which the 24 hours of leave can be taken is determined as a "rolling" 12-month period measured backward from the date the employee uses any of this leave. This leave may be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule.  An eligible employee need not take the entire 24 hours of leave at once, but may take a few hours at a time depending on their needs, as long as the total leave does not exceed 24 hours during any 12-month period. Cambridge College requires that employees take the leave in minimum increments of no less than one (1) hour.

Use of Paid Leave

Cambridge College requires employees to apply any accrued vacation and sick time against the requested leave. To be entitled to this leave, an employee must provide notice to their direct supervisor and Human Resources as follows:

  1. If the need for leave is foreseeable, the employee must request the leave, in writing, not later than 7 days in advance;
  2. If the need is not foreseeable, the employee must notify their immediate supervisor and Human Resources, in writing, as soon as practicable under the particular circumstances of the individual situation.


The College may require that a request for this leave be supported by a written certification. A certification, if timely produced, may serve to comply with the notice requirement. Certifications and requests for leave will be maintained in the employee’s personnel record for 3 years. Records and documents relating to medical certifications or medical histories of employee’s family members will be maintained as confidential medical records and kept in files separate from the usual personnel files. 

Employee Status After Leave 

Upon return from leave, the employee will be reinstated to the same position or an equivalent position with equivalent salary, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment.