Special Considerations for Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA)

FWA provisions depend in part on the exemption status of the employee's job under federal wage and hour regulations.

Special Considerations for Telecommuting

Exempt versus Non-Exempt Status

Many flexible work arrangements take different forms and have different considerations based on the exempt status of the job under federal regulations (Fair Standards Labor Act) governing overtime. These regulations require that Emory University pay overtime for any time worked by a non-exempt employee over 40 hours in a single workweek.

In general, if a position is exempt, the manager and the employee have more latitude in designing flexible work arrangements.

Managers of non-exempt or hourly paid employees must consider overtime implications for various flexible scheduling options, especially for compressed workweeks. In addition, non-exempt employees who telecommute must record hours worked through the time and attendance system. The employee must be granted remote access to the system.

Special Considerations for Compressed Workweek

Non-Exempt Employees: Overtime Expense

The 9/80 compressed workweek can be difficult to arrange for non-exempt staff members. According to the FLSA, all non-exempt staff members who work in excess of 40 hours in a standard workweek or 80 hours in a pay period are eligible for overtime. By definition, the 9/80 workweek results in overtime pay for nonexempt employees because nonexempt employees work in excess of 40 hours in one of the two weeks. The University principles governing flexible work arrangements specify that arrangements should not result in additional labor expense to the University.

Managers of non-exempt or hourly paid employees must consider overtime implications for various flexible scheduling options, especially for compressed workweeks. In addition, non-exempt employees who telecommute must record hours worked through the time and attendance system. The employee must be given remote access to the system.

Scheduling Considerations

FMLA - An employee may request  a flexible schedule in order to accommodate scheduled, recurring personal appointments.  In such cases, the supervisor must consult with Human Resources before approving the request as it may require FMLA and/or ADA considerations. A flexible work arrangement may not be instituted by a supervisor to discourage the employee’s use of FMLA leave or to interfere with the employee’s right to use FMLA as prescribed by law.

Holiday Scheduling - If a holiday falls on a normally scheduled day off for an employee participating in an FWA, the employee shall receive, at a later date, holiday hours for which he/she is eligible.

Inclement Weather - If the University declares a day of inclement weather on a work day an employee is not scheduled to work or during work hours an employee is not scheduled to work, they are not covered by the inclement weather policy.

Mandatory Department Meetings/Training – Attendance at departmental meetings are the responsibility of the employee. Employees can be expected to attend such events even if the meeting or training is scheduled on an "off" day.

Full-time/Part-time Status - An employee must work at least 36 hours per week to be in a full-time status (with full benefits). An employee who works in a part-time status must work at least 20 hours a week to be eligible for benefits.

Work Schedules - Employee schedules may be adjusted according to other schedules. Seasonal, monthly and weekly needs may require adjustments by management, with adequate notice.

Breaks - Paid rest breaks of less than 20 minutes for non-exempt employees may be taken at the midpoint of each four-hour period by employees on flexible schedules. Rest breaks cannot be accumulated nor used to shorten the beginning or end of the work schedule, to lengthen meal breaks or to make up time lost in a flexible schedule.

Meal Breaks - Meal breaks for non-exempt employees are unpaid work breaks of at least 30 minutes at the midpoint of the workday. A meal break is not mandatory but is strongly encouraged for staff members working 6-8 hours per day and especially for employees working compressed workweeks.

OSHA - It is the responsibility of the employee to maintain a clean and safe working environment while working at home. The employer is not responsible for inspecting or maintaining the work site while the employee is at home working. All incidents of injury occurring during telecommuting time must be reported in writing to the manager within 24 hours.

Reporting Time - Non-exempt employees must report their hours worked using Emory's time and attendance system. Remote access must be granted prior to starting the telecommuting arrangement.

Equipment Needs - It is the responsibility of the employee to arrange for any equipment needs. In the event a department provides the equipment, the telecommuter must adhere to agreements for the use of equipment, software, data, and supplies provided as prescribed in the Principles of Flexible Work.

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