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What should we do when employees tinker with compressed work schedules?

by on
in The HR Specialist Forum

Question: “Our office offers an optional schedule in which employees work 80 hours over the course of nine days, with every other Friday off. But people frequently move their days off to some other day, which is a recordkeeping nightmare. I’m also worried that when nonexempt employees do this, we risk somehow violating overtime laws. Does anyone have suggestions for how to handle these related concerns?” RoxAnn, Calif.


We have the same schedule as you with every other Friday off. We simply don't allow other days off without using sick or vacation time. If you miss any day except "your scheduled Friday off", you must use personal time. If you must work your normal Friday off - nonexempts get paid and exempts simply end up with more hours for the same salary. Fridays can't be used to "make up time" from another day. If you miss too many scheduled weekdays, you're required to go back to 5 days a week and give up your 3 day weekends. No problems for a full year now.

Being that you are from California, this is especially tricky with the state's unique DOL laws. For non-exempt, after 8 hours of work employees must be paid overtime so compressing 10 days into 9 will result in overtime pay.

Is anyone willinging to share any policies that have been writen in HR to support a Telecommuting Policy. Also we are looking into the flexible work schedule for 4/10 and 9/80 and if you have any policies that have been written we would like to review.

I work for West Valley City, in Utah, and we have been working 4/10s for about four years now. Obviously some deparments are open 24/7 such as police and fire. Firefighters work totally different hours than anyone else, always have. Police officers work 4/10s, just varying "three-day weekends". City Hall is open Monday-Thursday from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm. Some departments have to have to be open on Fridays, so their employees may work either 5/8s or 4'10s. Once people get used to slightly longer workdays and three days off, it is very hard to go back to working 5 days. Several former employees who left the City have told me how much they miss it, and want to go back! I commute 50 miles per day to and from work, and am very glad not to have to come in on the fifth day, especially now. Plus I schedule appointments on Fridays, if possible.

I've recently joined and wanted to introduce myself :)

We have a similar problem in our office, RoxAnn, Calif. The problem we face is that the person that is violating the policy is also the timekeeper in our department. No one is monitoring her time but her. She is suppose to work 10 hours four days a week and get every Monday off but we are aware that she is not putting in her 10 hours a day. If we go to management, it appears that we are trying to start up an issue but many people in the office are getting fed up with her work schedule since she rarely puts in her 40 hours per week. Any suggestions?

Do either of your companies use electronic timesheets, or some other way to track actual time there? A system like TeleStaff would make record keeping easy if you allow a flexible work schedule - as long as they get their 40/week or 80/pay period in. In the case of the time keeper taking advantage, an acutal clock for punching in and out would resolve that unless she's the one doing payroll. However, I've never worked at a place where there wasn't some sort of check and balance in place. Someone should be confirming and signing off on her time.
If that isn't probable for your office, and there isn't anyway you can go to management, maybe the rest of you could make it apparent that she isn't there. In the afternoon or first thing in the morning (whenever she is gone), inquire of her whereabouts with her manager. Enough times, and they should notice she is gone.

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