4.05 Hours of Work/Flexible Work Arrangements

Last Revised: 11 June 2018

Refer Questions to: Executive Director, Human Resources Services

Purpose

Gallaudet University is committed to supporting employees in developing a work-life balance by supporting the use of flexible work arrangements, when it is reasonable and practical to do so, and where operational needs will not be adversely affected. These arrangements provide employees with increased flexibility with their work schedule while allowing Gallaudet University to maintain a progressive and productive work environment. Flexible work arrangements, which includes teleworking, can improve recruitment and retention efforts of high-potential employees, maintain and even improve employee productivity, and promote employee engagement.

Scope

This policy applies to staff in all offices and divisions of Gallaudet University unless specifically covered by collective bargaining agreements made between Gallaudet University and certified bargaining agents.

Policy

The hours of work, work schedules, meal breaks and other related work time decisions fall within the University's discretionary authority.  Meal breaks (i.e. lunch breaks) are not paid.  Supervisors are responsible for establishing or approving work hours which provide for the effective delivery of services. 

The official workweek for employee payroll begins at midnight on Monday and ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday.  Each department determines the work schedule and hours for employees as necessary for its operation.  All employees are expected to work the number of hours and days necessary to perform the job satisfactorily.  Non-exempt employees as defined in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must accurately record all worked time using the record keeping system in place for the University. The time record must accurately reflect any unpaid meal breaks taken during the workday.  Adjustments to the assigned schedule cannot be made without prior approval of the supervisor.  

The University may, at its discretion, reduce, increase, or change an employee's work schedule to accommodate workloads, budget constraints, or other circumstances.  

Within any of the flexible work arrangements, non-exempt employees are still subject to all requirements of the FLSA.  Employees who are exempt under the FLSA are expected to work the number of hours required to fulfill their occupational responsibilities.    

Flexible work arrangements are not an entitlement, nor are they classified as a University benefit.  The employee must comply with all University and departmental policies and procedures. Flexible work arrangements can be altered or terminated by the University at any time pursuant to business needs.  The supervisor, in concurrence with the unit administrator and senior administrator, is ultimately responsible for any decision to start or to discontinue a flexible work arrangement.  There will be occasions when supervisors may request their employees to shift their schedules to support operational and departmental needs.   

Salary, benefits, and job responsibilities will not change when participating in a flexible work arrangement.  All University policies and procedures will continue to apply, including but not limited to those relating to leave and working overtime.  

Flexible Work Arrangement Options  

Flextime

  • Non-traditional start and end times (for example, 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM).
  • Extended meal times offset by additional hours worked at the beginning of end of the shift (for example, 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM then 1 PM to 5:00 PM).
  • Start and end times individualized by day (for example, working 8 AM to 4:30 PM on Mondays through Wednesdays, and 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM on Thursdays through Fridays).  

Compressed Schedule

  • Regularly scheduled hours worked are fixed over fewer than five days in a workweek (for example, working four ten-hour days in a workweek).
  • Compressed 9/80 schedule where employees work 80 hours in a 9-day period (this option only applies to exempt employees).  

Ad hoc Telework

Upon approval from the appropriate administrators, employees may work from an approved alternative worksite on an as-needed basis.  Ad hoc telework is defined as telework that is performed on an occasional, one time, or irregular basis and is usually driven by the situation. This provides an ideal arrangement for employees who, at infrequent times, have to work on projects or assignments that requires intense concentration.  While teleworking, employees are expected to be available and responsive during their work hours.  

Supervisors may permit their employees to telework up to three days a month.  The employee must obtain approval from the supervisor before teleworking on a specific day.  In the request to telework the employee must include the type of work that will be performed in order to justify the request.

All requests to telework will be treated equitably.  Gallaudet University adheres to all federal and state anti-discrimination laws in approving requests to telework. Telework arrangements must comply with State and Federal employment laws.  This includes the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which regulates the payment of overtime for non-exempt employees.  Non-exempt teleworkers are required to accurately record the hours they work to ensure that they are paid for all hours worked and to verify the actual hours worked against their scheduled and approved hours. The University requires pre-approval of overtime before it is worked.  

Ad hoc telework can be used in the following scenarios:  

  1. Perform short-term projects or assignments that require concentration and uninterrupted blocks of time for successful completion. Work assignments in this situation may include a specific project or report, such as drafting a local directive, preparing a brief or arguments, preparing a department's budget submission, reviewing grant proposals, or preparing a research paper.
  2. Complete supervisor-approved web-based or other continuous learning that will require uninterrupted time to focus on learning.
  3. Enable employees to work from home while attending to personal commitments.  For examples, employees who have a midday doctor's appointment or employees who are expecting a home delivery.  Employees must explain what they plan to work on to justify the request to telework rather than taking paid leave.  

It is important for employees to be responsive and connected during their work hours while teleworking.  

If an employee who is currently working on an approved flexible schedule also requests to telework on an as-needed basis, the immediate supervisor must consider the impact on the departmental operations.  Priorities to telework should be given to those who are not on another flexible arrangement.   

Eligibility

All regular-status and extended temporary staff employees are eligible to request flexible work arrangements, however it is important to recognize that not all positions are suitable for flexible work arrangements.  Flexible work arrangements are intended to benefit the employee and the department without putting undue burden on the supervisor or the rest of the team.   

There are several factors that must be taken into consideration regarding a request for alternative work scheduling:

Employee Criteria

  • Employees must complete their probationary period.
  • The request for flexible work arrangements must meet the needs, requirements and constraints of both the department and the employee.  Departments should be consistent in the decision-making process regarding flexible work arrangement requests.
  • Employees who meet or exceed performance standards are eligible for flexible work arrangements.  Employees must have a Competent rating or above on their most recent annual performance evaluations. 
  • Employees who are on a performance improvement plan are not eligible for flexible work arrangements.
  • Employees must have an absence of disciplinary actions (a minimum one year).
  • Employees should have a satisfactory attendance record (any absences due to FMLA-related leave must not be factored into this decision).
  • For teleworking:
    • Employees should demonstrate work habits and performance suited to successful teleworking.
    • Employees must demonstrate the ability to successfully meet or exceed their core job expectations with minimal supervision.
    • Employees are computer literate and have a designated space at the off-site location.  

There are several job factors that must be considered when considering a request to telework:

Job Criteria

  • The position should require minimal supervision and little face-to-face interaction with customers (for example, students, employee, vendor, etc.). 
  • All work objectives and tasks must be clearly defined with measurable results for the teleworking position.
  • The position should have tasks which are portable and can be performed away from the main worksite.
  • An excellent level of service can be maintained without hardship on customers and co-workers.
  • Handling of sensitive or restricted data while teleworking is prohibited. 


Establishing a Flexible Work Arrangement     

  • The employee requests a flexible work arrangement from the supervisor using the designated form as provided by Human Resources Services.
  • The supervisor should consider the impact on the department and other departments' workload and productivity; other faculty, staff, students, and customers; costs; and business needs. The decision should be discussed with the unit administrator and/or senior administrator.
  • Prior to any approval of the flexible work arrangement for the team, the supervisor must undergo training.
  • If the flexible work arrangement is approved, the supervisor must review the Flexible Work Arrangement Agreement form with the employee to ensure the employee understands the expectations.
  • The agreement must be signed by the employee, supervisor, and the unit administrator (if not the supervisor).  The signed agreement must be filed with Human Resources Services.
  • Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that employees follow the procedures in accordance with the policies and abide by the Flexible Work Arrangement Agreement.
  • Supervisors will review the flexible work arrangement after the first three months to assess the continued feasibility of the arrangement.  The arrangement should then be reviewed annually at the start of the fiscal year.
  • If the request is not approved, supervisors must communicate with the employee why the flexible work arrangement is not feasible.


Discontinuing a Flexible Work Arrangement

  • Failure to follow policies, rules and practices may result in immediate termination of the arrangement and disciplinary action. 
  • If the flexible work arrangement must be discontinued for any reason other than those listed above, the employee must be notified in writing with a minimum two weeks of notice. 
  • The employee may voluntarily choose to discontinue the arrangement.  The effective date must be the last day of the pay period.  

Work Area(Teleworking)
The employee must establish an appropriate and safe work environment consistent with the guidelines outlined in the telework agreement.  Teleworkers are expected to ensure that the expectations for information security are met and that University property is secured the way it is for employees working at the office. The University assumes no responsibility for the teleworker's expenses related to internet, heating, electricity, water, security, insurance, IT equipment, and space usage.

It should not be expected that the University will incur equipment costs in order to permit an employee to telework. The teleworker should own the necessary equipment to perform work effectively offsite.   

Supervisor Responsibility

Supervisors are responsible for managing employees who have flexible work arrangements. The supervisor must ensure the effectiveness of flexible work arrangements, including teleworking, on their employees' productivity.  Supervisors have a responsibility in ensuring that all work is performed satisfactorily, maintaining regular communication with the employee, and including the employee in meetings and other interactions as appropriate.  Supervisors shall maintain regular and necessary communications with the employee, and include the employee as appropriate in meetings and other interactions.

Prior to any approval, all supervisors must undergo training as a requirement.

Appeal Process

If the request to participate in a flexible work arrangement is not approved, the employee has a right to appeal the decision within ten (10) working days of the denial of the request.  The appeal should be written to the immediate supervisor and should include the following: reason(s) for reconsideration of the request and additional information that should be considered that addresses the reason(s) that the request was initially denied.    

After consulting with the unit administrator, senior administrator, and Human Resources Services, the supervisor will respond to the request within ten (10) working days upon receiving the written appeal.  The final written decision will be emailed to the employee with a carbon copy to the appropriate administrators and Human Resources Services.

Use of Paid Leave, Floating Day, and Holiday Pay in a Flexible Work Arrangement

The amount of annual or sick leave charged will be equivalent to the hours the employee was scheduled to work.  For example, if the employee works four 10-hour work days from Mondays through Thursdays and requests Monday off, ten hours of leave would be charged that day.  

All regular-status and extended temporary staff employees are eligible for Floating Day after six months of probationary period.  Floating Day is equivalent to eight (8) hours of pay (or the prorated amount if less than full time).  It must be used on one day. If the employee elects to use Floating Day on a scheduled work day of more than eight (8) hours, the employee may use annual leave to make up for the time in excess of eight (8) hours.  If the employee elects to use Floating Day on a scheduled workday of less than 8 hours, the employee cannot apply partial Floating Day on another day.  

All regular-status and extended temporary staff employees are eligible for eight (8) hours of holiday pay per holiday (or the prorated amount if less than full time).  If the holiday falls on the employee's regularly scheduled work day, the employee will be credited with eight (8) hours of holiday pay for that day.  It must be used within the same or the following pay period.  If the regularly scheduled work day is greater than eight (8) hours, the employee may elect to use annual leave to make up for the time in excess of the eight (8) hours that the employee was scheduled to work; or if the supervisor approves, the employee may work additional hours during the same workweek as the holiday, in lieu of using accrued leave.  If the regularly scheduled work day is less than eight (8) hours, the employee will be credited the difference to be used within the same or the following pay period.

Approved by: Gallaudet University Administration