Sunday, August 2, 2009

Need-to-Know Info for Exempt Employees During Furlough Weeks

At least 8 campuses begin furloughs this week. During furlough weeks (also known as furlough periods per section 2b of the furlough agreement), exempt employees become non-exempt.

I imagine it will be very difficult for both exempt employees and managers to transition from one to another, said CSUEU Vice President for Representation Russell Kilday-Hicks, an Information Technology Consultant (ITC) Career Exempt at San Francisco State University. The reason we are exempt is because of the higher level of responsibility these classifications entail. We don't get daily supervision. Our work is done by project, not punching a clock, and often can't be easily quantified like other work, and many of us are Type A workaholics to boot.

Being Non-Exempt During Furlough Weeks

Here are some things exempt employees should bear in mind during furlough weeks:

  • You may be subject to a fixed work schedule (a fixed start time and a fixed end time).
  • You need to account for part-day absences, including medical and dental appointments, partial days of jury duty, dependent care, etc., and record these appropriately on your time sheets. (Exempt employees normally only record and use sick time, vacation time, etc., in full-day increments.)
  • You can request and use vacation time in part-day amounts. If you want to take a half day off, you can schedule 4 hours of vacation.
  • You may not work more than 32 hours.
    • If you work more than 32 hours, that must be explicitly approved by the appropriate administrator. (Furlough Agreement section 4g, Contract section 19.4)
    • Employees must be compensated for work over 32 hours (Furlough Agreement section 4k).
  • During off hours, you should not be monitoring servers, checking your voicemail, checking your email, or responding to pages and phone calls, unless explicitly instructed to do so during the furlough week by the appropriate administrator.
    • This is true even if you are receiving a stipend for remote monitoring under contract section 20.43.
    • If you're unsure, ask your appropriate administrator what she/he wants you to do.
    • If you get a call during off hours from someone who isn't an administrator, advise the person to have an administrator call you. Only administrators can authorize overtime or initiate callback.
    • If you respond to a phone call, email, or page during your off hours, it's unauthorized overtime unless the appropriate administrator has explicitly authorized it.
  • You can be disciplined for exceeding 32 hours without authorization, or for not recording absences.
  • You must report overtime and all other hours worked on your payroll forms.
  • If assigned overtime means you won't have at least an 8-hour rest period, you can adjust your schedule to make sure you have a rest period (Contract section 19.5).
  • Normal work schedules are 5 days, Monday-Friday. The official boundaries of the normal work week are 12:01 a.m. Sunday to 12:00 midnight Saturday. (Contract section 18.10, 19.1 as revised in Side Letter 29)
  • Remember to take your breaks: 15 minutes for every 4 hours worked. You should be taking these anyway, actually. (Contract section 18.22)
  • Lunch periods are 30-60 minutes. (Contract section 18.19)
  • There will be a complaint procedure for employees whose assigned workload is unreasonable or excessive. (Furlough Agreement section 4j)

Please do not work unauthorized extra time because the work needs to get done. The CSU has decided not to have all the work done during furlough periods. If your manager doesn't grasp this, and is pressuring you to get 40 hours of work done in 32 hours, or work unofficially, contact a steward for help.

Furlough Agreement Language Excerpts

4. Employee Salary Rates and Schedules

g.   It is the intent of the CSU to avoid overtime during any furlough periods. Overtime must be authorized in accordance with Article 19, Section 19.4.

h.   Exempt employees lose their FLSA exemption during the week they take a furlough day and are treated as hourly employees.

i.   It is the expressed intent of the CSU that exempt employees should not be required to work more than thirty-two (32) hours during a furlough week.

j.   Where an exempt employee believes he/she has been assigned an excessive or unreasonable workload during a week in which he/she maintains his/her exempt status, the employee may file a complaint using a similar process contained in Article 8 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. This process shall include a Chancellor’s Office Level of Review. The parties shall execute a MOU fully outlining the process to be followed within twenty-one (21) days of the execution of this agreement.

k.   Furlough days do not count as time worked for determining overtime in the workweek.

  1. In the event that any employee is authorized to work in excess of thirty-two (32) hours during any furlough week, he/she shall be compensated at the employee’s straight time rate up to forty (40) hours.
  2. All hours worked in excess of forty (40) hours in a workweek shall be compensated at a rate of one and one-half times his/her hourly straight time rate.
  3. In the event an employee is scheduled to work outside of their normal five-day workweek as a result of observing a furlough day, such time shall be considered call-back pursuant to Article 19, Sections 19.17 and 19.18.

Contract Language Excerpts

Article 2 — Definitions

2.3   Appropriate Administrator - The term "appropriate administrator" as used in this Agreement refers to the immediate non-bargaining unit supervisor or manager to whom the employee is normally accountable, or who has been designated by the President.

Article 18 — Hours of Work
Work Schedules For Exempt and Non-Exempt Employees
Normal Work Schedule

18.10   A normal work schedule will consist of a five (5) day workweek beginning on Monday and ending on Friday. The workweek shall consist of seven (7) consecutive twenty-four (24) hour periods beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday and ending at 12:00 midnight the following Saturday.

Schedules — Non-Exempt Employees

18.1   Full-time employees in non-exempt classifications shall work a minimum workweek of forty (40) hours in a seven (7) day period or eighty (80) hours in a fourteen (14) day period.

18.2   The appropriate administrator shall determine the work schedule for an employee. An employee shall be provided with notification of a permanent work schedule change or a summer work schedule at least twenty-one (21) days prior to the effective date of the work schedule change. The appropriate administrator shall give consideration to employee seniority.

18.3   For those employees assigned a five (5) day workweek, the workday shall normally consist of eight (8) hours.

18.4   For non-exempt classifications, the full-time workweek is a workweek of forty (40) hours within seven (7) consecutive twenty-four (24) hour days. In accordance with the provisions of Article 19, employees may be required to work overtime hours as directed by the appropriate administrator.

18.5   Less than full-time employees shall be assigned hours pro rata and days of work as determined by the President.

Meal Periods

18.19   An employee shall be entitled to a meal period of not less than thirty (30) minutes, and not more than sixty (60) minutes. The time of such meal period shall be scheduled by the appropriate administrator and shall be at or near the middle of the workday.

18.20   Meal periods shall not be considered time worked when all of the following conditions are met:

  1. meal periods are at least thirty (30) minutes in duration,
  2. the employee is completely relieved of his/her duty, and
  3. the employee is free to leave his/her work station if the employee so desires.

18.21   An employee who is required by an appropriate administrator to remain at his/her workstation for the full shift shall be permitted to take a meal period, not to exceed thirty (30) minutes during work time. The meal period shall be paid and shall count as hours worked. In such case, the appropriate administrator may reduce the scheduled shift by the length of the meal period.

Rest Periods

18.22   An employee shall be allowed rest periods each workday of fifteen (15) minutes for each four (4) hours worked. Rest period schedules shall be determined by the appropriate administrator in accordance with the operational needs of the department. Rest periods shall be counted towards hours worked. When an employee is required to perform duties during a scheduled rest period, the appropriate administrator shall endeavor to reschedule the rest period for that workday. Rest period time not taken shall not be cumulative.

Article 19 — Overtime

19.1   Overtime is defined as authorized time worked in excess of forty (40) hours in a work week of seven (7) consecutive twenty-four (24) hour period.

For employees assigned to a five (5) day per week schedule of forty (40) hours or less or a 4/10 work schedule, the work week shall begin at a12:01 a.m. on Sunday and end at 12:00 midnight the following Saturday. For employees assigned to a 9/80 or a 3/12 work schedule, the work week shall begin at the midpoint of an employee's scheduled eight (8) hour day and end at the same time seven (7) consecutive twenty-four (24) hour periods later.

19.4   Overtime shall be authorized and assigned by the appropriate administrator.

19.5   If, as the result of an overtime assignment, a nonexempt employee will not have an eight (8) hour rest period from the end of an overtime assignment until the beginning of the next regularly scheduled work shift, the employee may request to report to work at the completion of the eight (8) hour rest period. Prior to the assignment it shall be arranged between the employee and the appropriate administrator whether the employee may:

  1. Take the time off at the beginning of the next work shift; or
  2. Take the time off at the end of the shift; or
  3. Work the entire shift; or
  4. Change his/her start time for that day until eight (8) hours after the completion of the overtime assignment and then working the number of hours the employee is normally scheduled to work.

If the employee takes the time off at the beginning or end of the shift pursuant to 19.5 (a) or (b) above, the employee has the option of using any accrued leave credits for the hours missed or taking off the hours missed as noncompensable time off the clock and, therefore, reducing the number of hours worked pursuant to provision 19.1.

19.7   The only official methods for the computation and accumulation of overtime are those provided in this Article. All hours worked, including overtime, are to be reported monthly on the appropriate payroll forms.

The appropriate administrator shall endeavor to equalize the overtime work among all qualified employees who have expressed interest in overtime work. Advance notice of overtime opportunities shall be provided to all qualified employees whenever possible. An employee shall be required to work overtime if no qualified volunteer is available.


19.17   Call-back work is work performed at a time outside of and not continuous with an employee's regular work schedule. An employee called back to work shall receive no less than three (3) hours pay at the overtime rate unless such call-back is within three (3) hours of the beginning of the employee's next shift, in which case the employee shall only be paid for the hours remaining before the beginning of the employee's next shift.

19.18   An employee may be called back to work at the discretion of the appropriate administrator. The appropriate administrator shall endeavor to assign call-back work on a volunteer basis. If no volunteers are available, or in an emergency situation, the employee who is called back shall be required to work.

Article 20 — Salary
Salary Stipends

20.43   At the decision of the Campus President or designee, an employee may receive a monthly stipend when (1) assigned, for a limited period of time, additional work or special projects over and above their regularly assigned duties or (2) required to maintain contact with their campus outside of their normal working hours on a regular basis. Remote contact shall include telephone, pager, cell phone, wireless data access device, remote monitoring of any hardware or software device, and/or electronic mail notification regarding the status of a campus system.


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