Policy No. F. 4.00
Date of Issue 3/21/2018
The University recognizes that certain situations exist where flexible, part-time, and reduced schedule work arrangements may be appropriate and in the best interests of the University and beneficial to employees.
Flexible work arrangements offer alternative approaches to getting work done through nontraditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures, and they should generally be utilized on a temporary basis. University rules, policies, and procedures continue in effect during any periods of flexible work arrangement.
Typical flexible work options include flextime (i.e., flexible start, stop, and lunch times) or working from an off-site location. These arrangements must support the unit's goals and must be approved in advance by relevant unit leadership. There may be a trial period designated by the University to determine if the proposed flexible work arrangement is viable.
The University may also design positions to reduce their working hours below the regular, full-time work week hours (38.75) to allow for a work arrangement that is less than 12 months (i.e., 9 or 10 month appointment). Decisions will be driven by the needs of the business unit and are subject to the approval of the supervisor and unit Vice Provost/President or Dean.
This policy shall take effect on of June 1, 2018. This policy, or any part thereof, is subject to change at the discretion of the University. This policy is not intended to apply to employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement as the terms and conditions of employment for such employees are governed by their respective collective bargaining agreements.
Separate and distinct from this policy, such arrangements also may be evaluated for reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended (“ADA”), and for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). In such instances, the time period allowed for such accommodation/leave will be determined on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with applicable law. See policies on the ADA and FMLA, which is set forth in the Employment Practices section of this Handbook.)
An employee requesting to work from an off-site location on a regularly scheduled work day must make the request at least two business days in advance, unless emergency circumstances prevent such notice. The request must be made in writing and have written approval from the employee’s direct supervisor. Approval will only be granted if (i) needed and/or assigned work is available, (ii) this work can be performed at the location, and (iii) completion of the work is verifiable. The work must be substantive and occupy the same amount of time as if the employee was at the employee’s normal place of work. If approval is not granted and the employee does not come to work, then the employee must use available leave time to cover the absence. The ability to work from an off-site location is intended to cover limited periods of time, generally days, unless otherwise specified in the employee’s job description. An employee remains obligated to comply with all University rules, policies, and procedures.
The University is not responsible for insuring or maintaining the functionality of the employee’s equipment that is located at the off-site location, nor is the University liable for any malfunctions of non-University hardware or software or disruptions in Internet services while the employee is performing work. All such responsibilities vest solely with the employee. However, the University will provide reasonable support for University owned equipment while the employee is working remotely.
Approval to work from an off-site location for non-exempt employees will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. Considerations include: the ability to monitor hours worked when the employee is not at the main work site as well as productivity and completion of assignments. If a flexible work arrangement for a non-exempt employee is approved, the University remains bound by all federal, state, and local wage and hour laws. In particular, according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), non-exempt employees, including those on a flexible work arrangement, who work more than forty (40) hours in a workweek, must be paid an overtime rate of one and one-half (1.5) times their regular hourly rate of pay for all time actually worked in excess of forty (40) hours in the workweek. Non-exempt employees must record hours worked regardless of where they perform the work.
If a non-exempt employee works more than the regularly scheduled hours in a workweek, but less than forty (40) hours in a workweek, the employee is paid at the straight hourly rate. The FLSA does not permit the use of compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay for private institutions (i.e., an employee cannot "bank" overtime hours worked for time off in the future).
As a matter of policy and practice, the University does not allow “comp time” for exempt employees, whereby the employee maintains a bank of hours. Exempt employees are paid for the whole job and as such are not subject to hourly constraints. Therefore, an exempt employee who works more hours than normally scheduled does not receive additional pay. However, in such situations, the supervisor may allow the employee to work fewer hours in a particular work day or workweek in recognition of the extra hours worked.
Permission to allow employees to work remotely in accordance with these provisions is not intended to have any impact on the employee’s salary or benefits. Employees will need to report time and submit timesheet consistent with applicable policies and practices, and salary and benefits will be paid and accrued consistent with applicable policies and practices.
The University maintains core business hours of 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; however, a supervisor may allow or require an employee to flex their start and end time to accommodate personal commitments or departmental needs. Requests to accommodate personal commitments are to be considered in light of the department’s needs and goals and may be denied if they do not fit within the business necessity of the unit.
Flextime arrangements allow for the shifting of daily start and end times within the normal five- day work week and are not to be used to condense an employee’s work week (i.e., work a 38.75 hour week over four days). However, subject to compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local wage and hour laws, including, without limitation, those expressly discussed above, supervisors may require or approve alternative schedules, including compressed work weeks, only when necessary to address operational needs of the unit and not to accommodate an employee’s personal preference. For example, if a unit’s peak hours are from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm four days during the week, the supervisor may decide to schedule fewer hours on the fifth day. All flextime arrangement schedules are subject to the approval of the Vice Provost/President or Dean and should only be granted in exceptional cases. Nothing in this policy is meant to encourage or allow “summer hours”.
An employee working in a flexible work arrangement remains employed at-will, meaning either the employee or the University can terminate employment at any time and for any reason, with or without advance notice. If at any time a flexible work arrangement no longer serves the employee's purposes or the needs of the University, the arrangement may be discontinued. If, for any reason, the flexible work arrangement is terminated, and the employee decides not to return to the employee’s former traditional work schedule/arrangement and leaves the position, the employee will be considered as having resigned their employment.
The granting of flextime arrangements to employees in accordance with these provisions is not intended to have any impact on the employee’s salary or benefits. Employees will need to report time and submit timesheet consistent with applicable policies and practices, and salary and benefits will be paid and accrued consistent with applicable policies and practices.
Part-Time Work (less than 38.75 hours per week)
Depending on the needs, work flow, and/or operations of particular business units, certain positions may not be needed to work full-time, meaning 38.75 hours per week. In that event, these positions may be transitioned to part-time, meaning less than 38.75 hours per week. Exempt or nonexempt positons are eligible to transition. Positions may be so transitioned either at the discretion of the supervisor or upon agreement between the supervisor and the employee, but in either case with the approval of their unit’s Vice Provost/President or Dean. Although it is generally expected that positions will so transition when they are unoccupied, in the event circumstances warrant such a transition when a position is occupied, then the supervisor should give appropriate notice (at least 60 days) to the employee of the pending transition. When positions are transitioned from a full-time to a part-time position and employees occupy the positions, they can elect not to continue in their respective positions as of the last day it remains a full-time position if the employee does not want to work part-time. An employee who so plans to discontinue employment with the University is asked to provide at least two weeks’ notice.
Employees seeking a part-time arrangement must discuss the option with their supervisors, and supervisors must secure the final approval of their unit’s Vice Provost/President or Dean. The University is not obligated to provide a part-time work arrangement; however, if such is approved, a written agreement signed by the employee, supervisor and Vice Provost/President or Dean, must be developed to document the understanding between all involved parties. The agreement should include: the details of the arrangement, (i.e., job responsibilities, working hours, communication requirements, start date, duration and provisions to terminate the agreement). Mutually agreed to transitions to part-time work may take effect on any date so long as that date is at the start of a regular pay period, and no specific notice is required. Human Resources should be consulted in developing these agreements and will maintain copies of such.
When considering a part-time work arrangement for non-exempt employees, the University remains bound by all federal, state, and local wage and hour laws. In particular, according to the FLSA, non-exempt employees are paid for the hours they work, and if they work more than forty (40) hours in a workweek, those hours must be paid at an overtime rate of one and one-half (1.5) times their regular hourly rate of pay. Non-exempt employees must record all hours worked. It is the University’s expectation that circumstances will rarely be such that a part-time employee will need to work more than forty (40) hours in any given week.
Exempt employees are paid for the total job, and the compensation of these employees will be prorated based on the number of hours that they are scheduled to work. However, transitioning a position from full-time to part-time could affect its status as exempt under the FLSA; therefore, Human Resources will need to verify whether the position will remain exempt prior to the position’s transition being finalized. Assuming the position remains exempt after it transitions to part-time status, this would mean, for example, for employees who were earning $50,000 per year who reduce their hours to 80% (31 hours per week), then their prorated new salary would be $40,000. As non-exempt employees are only paid for actual hours worked, no proration will occur; non-exempt employees who transition from full-time to part-time will simply experience a reduction in their pay that corresponds to the reduction in hours actually worked.
It is not the intent of this policy to allow units to use the aggregated saving from transitioning multiple positions to part-time to create a new position to cover the gap left by the reduced hours. Nor is it the intent to increase the workload of remaining employees and use the savings from reduced positions to increase salaries of those employees, but rather, after review of the workload and responsibilities of the job, it can truly be performed by one FTE in less than 38.75 hours per week.
Part-time work for purposes of this policy does not include working a full-time workweek (38.75 hours) in less than five days.
Employees who transition from full-time to part-time will, as of the date the transition takes effect, receive and accrue benefits in accordance with policies and practices applicable to part-time employees.
Reduced Schedule Work
Depending on the needs, work flow, and/or operations of particular business units, certain positions may not be needed to work 12 months of the year. In that event, these positions may be transitioned to work during peak or needed months of the year (i.e., 9 or 10 months of the year). Exempt or nonexempt positons are eligible to transition. Positions may be so transitioned either at the discretion of the supervisor or upon agreement between the supervisor and the employee, but in either case with the approval of their unit’s Vice Provost/President or Dean. Although it is generally expected that positions will be so transition when they are unoccupied, in the event circumstances warrant such a transition when a position is occupied, then, the supervisor should give appropriate notice (at least 60 days) to the employee of the pending transition. When positions are transitioned to a reduced schedule and employees occupy the positions, they can elect not to continue in their respective positions as of the last day it remains a 12-month position if the employee does not want to work a reduced schedule. An employee who so plans to discontinue employment with the University is asked to provide at least two weeks’ notice.
Employees seeking a reduced schedule arrangement must discuss the option with their supervisors, and supervisors must secure the final approval of their unit’s Vice Provost/President or Dean. The University is not obligated to provide a reduced schedule work arrangement, but if one is approved, a written agreement signed by the employee, supervisor and Vice Provost/President or Dean, must be developed to document the understanding between all involved parties, which writing must indicate the date upon which the transition will become effective. Mutually agreed to transitions to a reduced schedule may take effect on any date so long as that date is at the start of a regular pay period, and no specific notice is required. Human Resources should be consulted in developing these agreements and will maintain copies of such.
In the case of exempt employees, in order to comply with applicable IRS regulations, the employee’s salary will be spread over a 12 month period albeit they will earn a prorated amount which is less than a full 12 month salary would be. For example, if the employee earns $50,000 for 12 months and that same employee is now to work only 10 months of the year, the employee’s prorated new salary would be $41,650, which new salary would continue to be paid on applicable pay periods throughout the 12 months of the calendar year. In the case of non-exempt employees, they will continue to be paid at their current rate for the hours that they actually work, meaning that they will not receive a paycheck for the months that they are not working.
Benefit Considerations for Part-Time and Reduced Schedule Employees
In sum, vacation, sick leave, and personal day benefits for reduced schedule and part-time employees will be prorated based on or otherwise reflect the number of hours they are scheduled to work. Other benefits – such as health, dental, vision, life insurance (basic and voluntary), short-term disability, long-term disability, and 403(b) contributions – will reflect the new reduced salary and/or hours work, and they will be received and accrued in accordance with applicable University policies and practices.
Benefits for employees on a reduced schedule (9 or 10 month) will remain in force while the employee is in active status. In the case of exempt employees, as the employee will be paid over a 12-month period, the costs of benefits will continue to be deducted from their paychecks. In the case of non-exempt employees, as they will not be receiving paychecks during the months that they are not working, they will need to make arrangements through the Department of Human Resources to pay the premium associated with these benefits, and non-exempt employees who fail to make such arrangements will lose them.
Details regarding the University’s benefits are set forth in the respective plan associated with each such benefit, and such plans shall control and govern in each instance.
To reiterate, employees and supervisors entering into either of part-time or reduced schedule arrangements must consult with Human Resources before finalizing an agreement, and approval of all such arrangements is at the discretion of the unit’s Vice Provost/President or Dean.