January 11, 2021

Alternative Workweek Schedules

An alternative workweek schedule is defined as one in which a non-exempt staff employee is scheduled to regularly work in excess of eight hours in any workday. To be exempt from state overtime daily regulations, the alternative workweek schedule must be set up in accordance with state regulations. Non-exempt staff employees may not work under alternative workweek schedules unless the procedures noted below have been followed.

A. The department head must determine that the proposed alternative workweek schedule meets the department’s operational needs and must receive written approval from the dean or vice president supporting the proposal.

B. The legal requirements for implementing an alternative workweek schedule are extremely technical. The department head cannot proceed without consulting with Human Resources Administration (HRA), who will consult with the Office of the General Counsel.

C. HRA will advise the department head as to each step in the implementation process and will advise in writing whether or not the department may begin the initial notification and voting process.

D. Generally, the process includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    1. Non-exempt staff employees within the affected unit must receive early notification of the possibility of a schedule change.
    2. Meetings must be held with all non-exempt staff employees in the affected unit to facilitate discussion of relevant issues prior to these staff employees voting upon the proposed schedule change.
    3. A proper secret ballot vote must be held with all non-exempt staff employees in the affected unit participating.
    4. At least two-thirds of all non-exempt staff employees in the affected unit must agree to the schedule change

E. Prior to implementing the change in schedule, the department head must consult with HRA which will file the alternative workweek schedule documentation with the state. HRA will advise the department head in writing when the university receives confirmation of the filing and whether or not the department may proceed with implementing the alternative workweek schedule change.

F. When implementing the alternative workweek change in schedule, all non-exempt staff employees in the unit must be notified in writing.

Any alternative workweek schedules which are implemented without complying with the formal approval process will not be valid and hours worked by those non-exempt staff employees will be subject to standard overtime regulations.

Once an alternative workweek schedule is adopted, there are consequences if it is not adhered to. The department head:

A. Should schedule all employees in the work unit consistent with the alternative workweek schedule.

B. Should ensure that all employees in the work unit are actually working the days and hours set forth in the alternative workweek schedule.

C. Should generally not allow employees to leave work early or work less than the full alternative workweek schedule. Any time less than the scheduled alternative workweek is subject to standard overtime regulations. Failure to adhere fully to the alternative workweek schedule can invalidate the alternative workweek schedule and return the work unit to standard overtime regulations. This does not include the use of an employee’s paid sick leave, vacation or leave bank, or a workplace injury resulting in an employee working less than the full alternative workweek schedule.

D. Should report to HRA any requests for accommodation for any new or existing employees in the work unit that are unable to work the alternative workweek schedule.  Such requests may include, for example:

    1. A request by an employee who was eligible to vote in the secret ballot vote but unable to work the adopted alternative workweek schedule;
    2. A request by an employee hired after the election but unable to work the new schedule;
    3. A request by an employee whose religious beliefs or observances conflict with working the new schedule;
    4. A request by an employee who requires accommodation of a disability.

Responsible office

Human Resources Administration

uschr@usc.edu
(213) 821-8100

Questions about individual policies should be directed to the “responsible office” listed at the end of each policy. General questions may be emailed to scpolicy@usc.edu.