Winter Recess

Emory University closes most academic and administrative offices for Winter Recess, the three days between the Christmas and New Year holidays. The intent of Winter Recess is to provide a time for many faculty and staff to relax and refresh at the end of the year, in recognition of their hard work, dedication and commitment. 

2020 Winter Recess Dates

For 2020, the Winter Recess days are Dec. 28, 29 and 30. These three Winter Recess days are not holidays but are provided in addition to the scheduled University holidays of Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve Observed), 25 (Christmas Day Observed), 31 (New Year’s Eve Observed), 2020, and Jan. 1, (New Year’s Day), 2021.

Essential Staff

Certain areas of the University will be unable to close completely during Winter Recess due to operations and services that must continue to be provided.

In these circumstances, essential staff members who are required to work on the Winter Recess days will be allowed to take the equivalent number of approved days off prior to August 31, 2021. Managers will inform those who will be scheduled to work during Winter Recess. 

Winter Recess FAQs

Winter Recess refers to closing the University’s academic and administrative offices Dec. 28, 29 and 30, 2020. This is done in recognition of the season and dedication of Emory’s faculty and staff. These three Winter Recess days are not holidays but are provided in addition to the scheduled University holidays of Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve Observed), 25 (Christmas Day Observed), 31 (New Year’s Eve Observed), 2020, and Jan. 1, (New Year’s Day), 2021.

Certain areas of the University provide critical, essential services and therefore will not close during the Winter Recess. Those areas will maintain appropriate levels of staff for operations and continuity of service during this period. Staff members in those areas who are unable to be off during Winter Recess will be allowed to take the equivalent number of approved days off prior to August 31, 2021.

Those who will be away during Winter Recess are encouraged to provide advanced notice of the Winter Recess to customers and collaborators and should consider indicating the Winter Recess period in their email auto-signatures well in advance of the Dec. 24 holiday. Before leaving for the holiday and Winter Recess, it is suggested that auto-reply messages on email and voicemail greetings be updated to indicate time away from work and identify a point of contact for emergencies. However, it is up to the discretion of the department to provide guidance on the use of and/or messages for auto-replies.

All Emory University, benefits-eligible and part-time, non-benefits eligible faculty and staff are entitled to participate in Winter Recess. Temporary staff should not be scheduled to work during the Winter Recess period. Employees of Emory Healthcare have separate leave policies and are not eligible for the University’s Winter Recess.

Benefits-eligible faculty and staff members: Staff members must be in a benefits-eligible position in order to receive pay for time spent not working during Winter Recess.

Temporary staff and student workers: Temporary staff and student workers are not eligible to participate in Winter Recess. Temporary staff and student workers who work during Winter Recess will receive their regular pay and should enter time worked during the Winter Recess into Timecard Adjustment System (ETAS) using the appropriate codes.

Part-time staff: Staff members in part-time, benefits eligible positions are paid on a prorated basis for days worked during Winter Recess.

Essential staff members provide services that relate directly to the health, safety, and welfare of the Emory community and ensure continuity of key operations.

The goal of Winter Recess is to close non-essential functions and provide staff time off from work. Unit leadership determines individual department observance of Winter Recess and roles that are essential to maintain key operations. Staff members not designated as essential should not work during Winter Recess unless directed to do so by their supervisor.

Unit leadership determines the roles that are essential to maintaining key operations and is responsible for ensuring that its staff receive the necessary communication. If there are questions, staff should direct those to their respective supervisor.

Yes. Staff members who are required to work one or more days during Winter Recess will receive their regular compensation for the time worked. An equivalent amount of time off will be granted to staff who work on the designated days during Winter Recess. Alternate Winter Recess days must be taken by August 31, 2021 and will not carry forward to the next fiscal year.

No. Essential staff members will be paid at the normal regular rate of pay.

No. Winter Recess days will not count toward hours worked for overtime purposes.

No. There are no adjustments to the pay schedules.

No. Winter Recess is given in recognition of the season and the dedication of faculty and staff. Staff should not claim vacation or personal floating holiday time during the Winter Recess.

Yes. Vacation/sick time continues to accrue while staff is in paid status.

Yes. Timecard Adjustment System (ETAS) will automatically populate with the Winter Recess Code (WTR) on Dec. 28, 29 and 30, 2020. Staff members are responsible for ensuring their Timecard Adjustment System (ETAS) records are accurate. If adjustments are necessary, employees will need to work with their supervisor.

Essential staff members required to work one or more days during Winter Recess should follow the standard time reporting process. Staff members will receive regular compensation for the time worked during Winter Recess.

Yes. Essential staff members who must work during a portion of a day during Winter Recess may take Winter Recess in full or half-day increments. No less than half-day increments should be taken.

Managers should use the Winter Recess Code (WTR) when completing the timesheet in Timecard Adjustment System (ETAS). Staff members should use paid leave for incidental sick time, bereavement, or jury duty only when scheduled to work. No alternative days are given in the event of illness, bereavement, or jury duty during Winter Recess because staff are compensated for the Winter Recess time.

Nonexempt staff members should record all time spent responding to phone calls or engaged in work as hours worked in Timecard Adjustment System (ETAS) and their managers should enter the Winter Recess Code (WTR) for the remaining balance of the day. 

An equivalent amount of time off will be granted to staff members who worked on the designated days during Winter Recess. Alternate Winter Recess days need to be taken by August 31, 2021, and it will not carry forward to the next fiscal year.

Nonexempt staff (biweekly): You should use the Paid Not Worked Winter Recess Code when completing your timesheet in Timecard Adjustment System (ETAS). This time off should be approved by your respective supervisor and it needs to be taken no later than August 31, 2021; it will not carry forward to the next fiscal year.

Exempt staff (monthly): Your department timekeeper should increase your exempt leave system vacation balance for each day worked during Winter Recess. Exempt employees should use vacation at least equal to the amount of the Winter Break adjustment before the adjustment expires on August 31, 2021. Winter Break adjustments are tracked under the vacation balance, but the Winter Break adjustment is not eligible for payout should an employee separate.

Yes.

Yes. When transferring positions, alternate Winter Recess days also transfer with the staff member. While a staff member should make efforts to take the alternate days off before he or she transfers, if this is not possible, he or she should work with his or her new supervisor to schedule this time off for alternate Winter Recess days.

No. Only time worked counts toward the 1,250 hours FMLA eligibility requirement.

No, if an employer temporarily stops business activity and employees are not expected to report for work for one week or more, the period of time that the employer's business has stopped does not count against an employee's leave entitlement.

No. The staff member will remain in FMLA status.