I. Flex Time
A. What is Flex Time?
Flex time is a work schedule which allows employees to work hours that are not within the standard 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM range, while maintaining a high level of service during the university’s peak operating hours (typically 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM). During the 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM time frame, each unit should make sure that their offices are adequately staffed to cover all functions. With a flex-time schedule, non-exempt employees are still subject to all requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employees who are exempt from the FLSA are expected to work the number of hours required in order to accomplish their duties and may be permitted to set their own schedules (Human Resources Classification & Compensation, Work Schedules).
B. Who is Eligible for Flex Time?
Because services within the Finance and Resource Management division vary, not every employee in each office will be able to work similar flex-time schedules. Therefore, supervisors will have to carefully examine the flex-time schedules which their employees request, so that they can coordinate work schedules which ensure ample employee coverage during peak hours. Any exempt or non-exempt employee who desires a work schedule other than 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, may apply for flex time approval.
C. Managing Flex Time
It is the responsibility of the supervisor to verify and ensure performance of employees with flex-time schedules. Flex-time schedules will need to be placed in a central location so that all employees stay aware of who is covering campus services. Good relationships among everyone involved are important for a successful flex-time policy. Trust is a big factor; supervisors must feel confident that employees will not abuse the benefits that are inherent in a flex-time schedule. On the other hand, supervisors should view flex time as a legitimate reason for an employee to be out of the office, just as if an employee was out of the office on annual or sick leave. Everyone should realize that flex time is a privilege, not a right, and if abused, can be taken away at the discretion of the supervisor.
Note: When taking annual and sick leave, employees need to be sure that the amount of leave time they take equals the number of hours they are expected to work on a given day. For example, if an individual is working a compressed week (four 9-hour days, one 4-hour day) and takes annual leave Monday (and that happens to be a day that the employee works 9-hours), the employee needs to record nine hours of leave, rather than eight.
D. Types of Flex-Time Schedules
There are various types of flex schedules from which to choose and these will vary amongst each unit within the Finance and Resource Management Division: Peak-Hour Flex-Time, Adjusted Lunch Period, and Compressed Workweek. Once an employee signs up for a particular flex-time, the individual is expected to work that schedule in a consistent manner. However, schedules can be changed.
Peak-Hour Flex-Time… This flex-time schedule shifts daily work hours while still working an 8-hour day. For instance, instead of the normal 8-5 day, an employee could work from 7-4, 7:30- 4:30, 8:30-5:30, 9:00-6:00, etc. Working any arrangement of hours within an 8-hour day constitutes a valid work day. It is important to remember that the level of service must be maintained during peak hours, which are from 9:00 to 4:00. Therefore, supervisors will need to coordinate the schedules of all flex-time participants to ensure ample coverage during these hours.
Adjusted Lunch Period… This flex-time schedule allows employees to adjust the length of their lunch period, while still working an 8-hour day. An employee can take a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of two hours for lunch. For instance, an employee might want to go to the gym every day from 11-1 and consequently leave work at 6:00 rather than 5:00. It is important to remember that the level of service must be maintained during peak hours, which are from 9:00 to 4:00. Therefore, supervisors will need to coordinate the schedules of all flex-time participants to ensure ample coverage during these hours. (By law, State personnel are required to take at least 30 minutes for lunch, at which time employees should either leave the work area, or they can remain at their desk as long as they don’t work.)
Compressed Workweek… The compressed workweek schedule consists of three options: A) four, 9-hour days and one, 4-hour day, allowing employees to work a 40-hour week; B) eight, 8 1/2-hour days and one, 4-hour day, allowing employees to work 80-hours during a two-week period; or C) eight, 9-hour days and one, 8-hour day, allowing employees to work 80 hours during a two-week period. Options B and C are limited to employees who are exempt from the FLSA. Individuals interested in options B or C will have to coordinate with their supervisor to determine the time off. Supervisors will need to set up a calendar with all flex schedules to ensure that peak hours are covered every day and that time off is rotated fairly.
E. Procedure for Revoking an Employee’s Flex-Time
A supervisor may revoke an employee’s flex-time privileges. In addition, a supervisor is required to give adequate justification for revoking a flex-time schedule in writing. The employee may appeal a revoked schedule.
F. Procedure for Appealing Denied or Revoked Flex-Time
If an employee is denied the privilege of working a flex schedule or if an employee has a flex-time schedule revoked and feels that he or she is being treated unfairly, the employee has the right to appeal. To do this, an employee can write a letter, addressed to the person to whom the supervisor reports, outlining his or her grievance. The supervisor who receives an appeal is required to respond within a week of receiving the letter. The appeal process can be utilized up to the level of departmental director. Any decision of a department director is final.
II. Compensatory Time
This procedure is intended for the SPA “Exempt” employee when specific working conditions warrant. “Non-Exempt” employees will follow the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) procedures. Normally, exempt employees are expected to work whatever the number of hours required in order to accomplish their duties. Exempt employees may be permitted to set their own schedules to accomplish their duties and may, by choice, return to work at times other than normal working hours.
Employees may be exempt from overtime if their duties have been determined to be executive, administrative, or professional. This determination is based on the nature of the work and is not directly related to salary or salary grade.
1. Work Schedule
The official university workweek is from 12:00 am Saturday to 11:59 pm Friday, and the standard workweek for full-time SPA employees is 40 hours, an eight-hour daily work schedule with a one-hour meal break. As programs and services permit, the university allows employees to work flexible schedules.
When reporting and calculating comp time, the employee’s work schedule (whether standard or flexible) must fall within the official university workweek.
Staff workload is determined by the management team and individual supervisors. Staff are expected to alter their schedules, whether it is an 8:00 am – 5:00 p.m. or a flex-time schedule, to accommodate events that may require an exception to those hours such as end-of-year closeout, technology upgrades, student check-in, meetings, etc. It is the responsibility of all Resource Management staff members, to the best of their ability, to coordinate and accommodate the need for other members, to make a change in their schedules, and preplan as much workload as possible for anticipated time out of the office such as annual leave.
2. Detailed Procedures
If comp-time is accrued for “Exempt” employees, the following provisions apply:
Each department will document its policies and procedures for administering comp-time.
SPA staff who are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are expected to work whatever number of hours are required in order to accomplish their duties. Most FLSA-exempt employees typically put in some time and effort beyond the university’s standard business hours in order to fulfill the generally-expected professional responsibilities of their positions. The university recognizes there may be situations where a work unit experiences extraordinary increases in work demand and where an FLSA exempt employee must commit exceptional time and effort beyond the employee’s regular work schedule. In such situations, managers may extend the opportunity for scheduling flexibility at other times that are mutually agreeable between the employee and the manager. Scheduling flexibility is just that, flexibility, and has no specific time or hour implications, entitlements, or tracking. Exempt SPA staff can, with supervisor’s approval, make up time within a Monday-Friday, 40-hour week, on a one-for-one hour basis.
Exempt SPA staff may be called in to work outside of a flex-time schedule on the authorization of a member of Finance and Resource Management manager. Exempt SPA staff called in to work will accrue compensatory time in 30-minute increments and earn one-for-one hours of time regardless of the number of hours worked during that workweek.
Telecommuting is a flexible work arrangement where employees are permitted to perform job duties at alternate work locations in order to:
- Promote general work efficiencies; and/or
- Ensure that employees can operate from home in case of an emergency. This is essential for a successful business continuity plan.
Telecommuting is not a standard work option for Finance and Resource Management employees. It is permitted on an intermittent, case by case basis and at the discretion of the Associate Vice Chancellor or Finance and Resource Management Directors.
The following conditions apply to telecommuting:
a) When working remotely, the goal is for there to be no disruption of the regular work tasks or workday and to create no additional costs for the NC State department.
b) Policies and procedures that apply to the central workplace remain the same for during instances of telecommuting. All leave policies are applicable regardless of telecommuting status.
c) The amount of compensation and benefits will not change as a result of telecommuting. Tax implications of telecommuting are the responsibility of the employee.
d) Reimbursement of communication charges including, but not limited to, internet connectivity, land line and/or mobile phones, at the alternate work location will not be allowable unless the employee is specifically required by management to telecommute and internet use is a requirement of the job while telecommuting.
e) A telecommuting employee that is subject to overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will not work more than a total of 40 hours during a work week, to include telecommuting time, without prior supervisory approval. Additionally, supervisors are required to monitor the hours of “subject” employees to ensure compliance with the FLSA. The employee may be required to attach a Telecommute Log to his/her time sheet for the appropriate month for record keeping.
f) University-owned property remains the property of the University. Maintenance, repair, or replacement of equipment owned by the employee is his/her responsibility.
g) The employee is responsible for maintaining the same hours and levels of production as if he/she were at the central work location.
h) The employee must be able to be contacted by management and/or staff within his/her unit, or others they routinely do business with, when needed. Telecommuting employees should set their voicemail to state that they are telecommuting and how best to reach them (such as via their home phone or email) OR they can opt to transfer their work phone to reach them at home. The employee has permission to work on restricted-access information or materials at the alternate work location and agrees to follow department-approved security procedures. He/she will take reasonable precautions to prevent disclosure of confidential information to third parties. The employee agrees to follow all software licensing provisions agreed to by the university and may access university-owned and licensed software via Remote Desktop.
i) The University’s liability for job-related accidents continues to exist during the employee’s approved home work hours. The employee will report any injury to his/her supervisor immediately. The supervisor must assure that university owned materials, equipment and furniture used by the employee for work-related purposes at the alternate work location comply with safety standards.
IV. Leave Without Pay
Leave without pay may be granted to a permanent or probationary full- or part-time employee for various reasons, including family medical leave, extended educational purposes, vacation, worker’s compensation, or personal reasons.
The decision to grant leave without pay is made by the department director. Factors in deciding whether to approve a written request include the employee’s needs, workload, need to fill the employees’ job, chances of the employee returning to work, and the university’s obligation to reinstate the employee.
Employee must submit a written request for Leave Without Pay to supervisor including reason for leave, date expected for beginning leave, duration of leave, and expected date to return to work.
Employee must notify supervisor immediately if the conditions of the leave change.
Employee must notify supervisor of his or her intent to return thirty days prior to the expected date of the return.
Upon approval from the respective director, the supervisor will respond to the employee in writing with notification that the request is approved or disapproved.
V. Adverse Weather Staffing Guidelines
A. University Closed
Employees must clearly distinguish operating under the Adverse Weather Policy from University Closed.
In the event the University is officially closed, Finance and Resource Management employees should not report to work with the exception of those staff members specifically assigned by their respective directors to conduct and support critical university functions. Directors are responsible for ensuring a method of providing support for these functions that may include remote support and/or telecommuting. There is no additional expectation of help desk or other support when the University is closed.
The list of critical functions and staff should be routinely reviewed by the Directors to maintain a consistent approach based on business needs.
B. University Operating Under Adverse Weather Policy But Not Closed
If the University is operating under the Adverse Weather Policy but not closed, all Finance and Resource Management staff members should make a reasonable effort to report to work with the final decision based on personal safety. There is an expectation that support services will be minimally staffed during these times. Directors are responsible for ensuring a method of providing support that may include remote support and/or telecommuting.
Strategies should be shared and reviewed with the intent of developing as much consistency as possible based on specific departmental functions.
C. Telecommuting During Adverse Weather
Whenever the University is closed or simply operating under the Adverse Weather Policy, Finance and Resource Management employees may continue to substantially contribute to the productivity of the division through work performed at home. The procedures outlined in this document should be followed for telecommuting during these situations.
Based on the scope and the degree to which a job may be performed off-site, individual positions eligible for telecommuting are determined by each department. Upon implementation of this guideline, the management staff is responsible for notifying those staff members occupying eligible positions. This determination is ultimately the responsibility of each unit director.
Staff members whose position duties allow telecommuting are responsible for arranging the necessary resources. There should not be an expectation by staff members for additional equipment or services to be provided as a result of this guideline.
Upon their return, employees completing work from home may be expected to submit written documentation of their accomplishments including a brief summary of work performed and the amount of time spent on such efforts. Once approved by the individual’s supervisor, the documentation should be maintained by the department in the same manner as other leave records. Any hours not documented must be made up as “lost work time” under the normal HR policy. Please refer to the University’s adverse weather policies for additional information. http://www.ncsu.edu/human_resources/benefits/leave/adverseweather.php
VI. Rest Breaks and Lunch Policy
Rest breaks are not guaranteed and are given at the Supervisor’s discretion. With Supervisor approval, employees may have one 15-minute break for every 4 hours worked when the workload permits. Your Supervisor may restrict your break(s), if it is determined to cause a hardship for the department or during times of heavy workload.
A one hour lunch break is generally provided if you work an 8 hour day. Please verify your scheduled lunch time with your Supervisor as it may be necessary to insure adequate office coverage during working hours.
VII. Dress Code
The professional image of the Finance and Resource Management division is important in establishing and maintaining a working relationship with campus departments and public officials. Contributing to this image is the form of dress worn by departmental staff. Due to the diversity and varying degree to which departmental staff interact directly with other professionals, each director may develop and gain approval from the Associate Vice Chancellor for Resource Management to implement a dress code for his or her department according to the following guidelines.
A. Office Attire
Office attire should be worn by staff during normal business hours. Office attire consists of dress which is appropriate for the particular function of a business unit.
B. Inappropriate Dress
Items with logos or slogans should be in good taste, professional in appearance and not offensive to the general public or coworkers. Any item that creates a distraction or impairs one’s ability to carry out his or her job functions is inappropriate. Employees who are inappropriately dressed may be asked to change clothing and any time consumed in doing so must be accounted for as time away from work.
C. Casual Day
Casual Day is not limited to a specific timeframe and observance will be at the discretion of the department’s director. Articles of clothing acceptable for Casual Day should follow the general guidelines for field dress. However, office attire is expected when meetings are scheduled with customers.
VIII. Travel Authorizations and Reimbursements
Staff members’ participation in conferences, webinars, classes, etc. must be preapproved by a supervisor and must adhere to university policies and procedures. Associated travel including conference registrations or class registration fees must also be preapproved. Once approved, all arrangements, registrations, and reimbursements related to travel should be handled by the individual staff member. Please see detailed instructions at the following site: The Travel Center.