Flexible Work Arrangement Guidelines & Procedures
PurposeWest Virginia University may permit flexible work arrangements for its employees with the approval of the respective supervisor and dean or director.
Providing flexible work arrangements can improve customer service by either extending the length of business hours or by matching business hours to the needs of customers. In addition, providing the opportunity to have such flexibility can improve employee morale and provide an important non-monetary benefit to employees.
Managing flexible work arrangements requires an understanding of federal law (requirements for overtime payment); knowledge of WVU’s designation of positions into exempt (not eligible for overtime) and non-exempt (eligible for overtime) categories; compliance with WVU policies about work schedules; and implementation of flexible work arrangements in a way that is considered fair and equitable. The following guidelines are designed to help supervisors and employees evaluate the feasibility of flexible work arrangement requests. Employees in positions which do not lend themselves to flexible work arrangements are not eligible to utilize these options.
EligibilityThese guidelines pertain to work scheduling for classified, non-classified, faculty equivalent and academic professional (FEAP) employees as well as Mountaineer Temps. The opportunity to work a flexible work arrangement is a privilege, not a right. The needs of the University and the specific department must be met while considering the request by the employee to alter his/her schedule. Flexible Work Arrangements are not appropriate for all positions within the University.
Types of Flexible Work Arrangements
Flextime - Schedules that permit employees to alter their starting
and quitting times from the standard starting and quitting times within limits
set by management. Employees must work “core time” (see definition on page
2) and work their regularly scheduled number of days during the work week.
Example: an employee may start at 7:45 a.m., take one half hour for lunch and
leave at 3:45 p.m.
Compressed Work Week - A standard workweek compressed into fewer than
- 4 day work week – 9 1/2 hours per day for 3 days and 9 hours worked the 4th day (37.5 hours per week; exempt employees may be required to work more) with 1 day off during the same week (in addition to weekends or other scheduled days off in place of weekends).
- Example: An employee works 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with a half hour lunch three days a week and works 7:30 a.m to 5:00 p.m. with a half hour lunch the 4th day. The employee would then get another day off during the week.
4 ½ day work week – employee works 37.5 hours (exempt employees
maybe required to work more) in 4 ½ days during the week. The employee gets
an additional ½ day off during the work week.
- Example: An employee works 8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. with a half hour lunch 4 days that week and works 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with no lunch the 5th day. The employee leaves work at 12:30 p.m. one day during that week.
- Note: If an employee is working a full day, it is not intended to allow him/her to work through lunch to leave early.
Voluntary Reduced Work Time - With the agreement of the supervisor,
the employee may reduce his/her hours, with a corresponding reduction in compensation.
Usually, this is for a specific period of time (for example, reduced summer
work load). This option will affect the employee’s benefit accruals, contact
the Classification & Compensation unit (304-293-5700) for more information
regarding this option.
Setting Unit Business Hours and Employees Schedules
In general, University business hours are Monday through Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.during which time the unit must be open for business. Some University functions require 24 hour coverage, seven days per week, through an otherwise defined shift.
- Core time is generally regarded as the time when employees must be present
work. Although each college/department must maintain the above University
business hours, the dean or director may establish core time for the group
employees must be at work; e.g. 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The same core time
may apply to other shifts. The primary consideration in setting unit business
and employee schedules should be meeting the needs of students, visitors,
faculty,other employees and customers served by the unit.
- Members of a work team and the supervisor of that group typically work similar
- Flexible schedules are not unpredictable schedules. The employee needs to
establish starting and quitting times with approval from the supervisor and
have approval for schedule variations. Failing to meet those standards can
cause for disciplinary action.
- When on-going flexible work arrangements are approved that result in a schedule
greater than 8 hours per day for an employee (e.g., four 9 1/2 -hour days),
Expert Business Office (EBO) must be notified of that schedule change in
g and special attention must be paid to reporting holiday time and sick or
when it occurs.
- Overtime hours are paid at the straight time rate from 37.5 to 40 hours. Overtime
paid at 1 ½ times for hours worked over 40 in the week. Supervisors may offer
compensatory time off (CTO) per University policy WVU-HR-6.
- Timesheets must accurately reflect time worked on an hourly basis for non-exempt employees. Supervisors are prohibited from setting up informal tracking systems that are different than the time reported on the timesheets.
- While exempt employees can request a flexible work arrangement, it is management’s expectation that exempt employees may need to regularly work beyond 37.5 hours per week to fulfill the responsibilities of their positions. The designation of exempt employee status means that the university is exempt from the obligation to provide overtime payment and/or an equal amount of time off for time worked in excess of the assigned schedule.
- Flexible work arrangements that would result in a loss of supervisory oversight should not be granted to any employee where there are performance concerns.
The quality of work must remain satisfactory during the flexible work arrangement.
Documented concerns about performance or conduct may be cause for with
drawing or denying flexible work arrangements.
- Before a flexible work arrangement is authorized for an individual, the supervisor
should evaluate whether or not the proposed schedule change will create
- Flexible work arrangements are generally implemented upon a request from
the employee. However, supervisors may also suggest flexible work arrangements
A pilot period is advised when trying out a flexible work arrangement prior
to making a longer term commitment by either the employee or the supervisor.
Usually, a pilot period will not exceed 30 days, but may be extended.
- The supervisor and/or the dean or director can revoke alternative work arrangements
if the needs of the unit change or if performance concerns develop.
No assignment of a flexible work arrangement is to be considered permanent
by the employee or supervisor.
- When employee requests out number available flexible work arrangements, the
supervisor has the discretion to limit eligibility, as appropriate, based
upon operational impact. The supervisor should use order of request, seniority,
or some other method consistently applied as a means of allocating flexible
work arrangement requests for similarly situated employees.
- The Human Resources - Employee Relations unit is available to assist managers
in reviewing requests for flexible work arrangements and to answer questions
- Anyone currently working a flexible work arrangement must have this reapproved
using the procedures outlined in this document.
Supervisor/Dean or Director Responsibilities
- Supervisors should make employees aware of flexible work arrangement options
and what would be expected of them should they wish to participate. Not
all positions are suited for these arrangements.
- Flexible work arrangements may limit the supervisor’s ability to directly
observe the employee’s performance. In such instances, the supervisor
must develop alternative methods for evaluating the employee’s performance.
- The supervisor should clearly define for the employee what steps should
be taken when a problem arises during the flexible work arrangement period
if the supervisor is not present.
- It is the supervisor’s responsibility to manage flexible work arrangements
with other requests such as annual leave, compensatory time off (CTO)
and sick leave to ensure proper coverage for the department. There may
be times when a supervisor will have to temporarily adjust an individual’s
schedule in order to meet the operational needs of the department. In
such cases, the employee will be given as much notice as possible, but
may not receive a 15 day notice of a schedule change.
- After flexible work arrangements are initiated, the dean or director should
periodically check to make certain that the flexible work arrangements
are not causing a decrease in the service level.
- It is the responsibility of the employee to submit the request in writing
using the Flexible Work Arrangement Form and to discuss the details
of the arrangement with his/her direct supervisor.
- Once a flexible work arrangement is approved, it is the responsibility
of the employee to make the arrangement a success. The employee must
maintain satisfactory performance while on a flexible work arrangement.
Failure to maintain this status may result in the withdrawal of the
flexible work arrangement.
- If an employee desires to alter or discontinue a flexible work arrangement
he/she must work with the supervisor to identify a transition plan.
An employee should not expect the transition plan to be less than 15
calendar days, as the change may have an impact on other departmental
schedules and services.
Flexible Work Arrangement Request Procedures
Flexible work arrangements are established by each unit, in cooperation with the respective dean or director. The immediate supervisor, with the approval of the dean or director, determines if a flexible work arrangement is appropriate for his/her unit and for which positions.
- T he employee initiates a request for a flexible work arrangement by completing the Flexible Work Arrangement Form.
- The supervisor must authorize or deny the request based upon the operational needs of the unit and considering other requests. It is recommended that the supervisor set a due date for all employees in his/her unit who wish to submit a flexible work arrangement request form upon first implementing the flexible work arrangement concept. This will allow the supervisor to consider all requests when deciding what arrangements will work for that department.
- If the proposal is approved, the supervisor and director/dean/designee signs the flexible work arrangement form. Copies are then given to:
- the employee
- the Expert Business Office (EBO)
- Human Resources – Employee Relations Unit
- Management reserves the right to end or modify the flexible work arrangement
at any time for any reason and will give the employee at least 15
calendar days notice if possible.
For assistance, supervisors and employees may contact:
The Division of Human Resources – Employee Relations Unit