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700 - Personnel

704.8 Alternative Work Schedules/Workplace

Date Adopted: 02/07/2007
Date Revised:
References: 2-16-117, M.C.A.
Issuing Office: Administration and Finance
Approved By: Susan Briggs

  1. Policy

    The University of Montana Western is committed to helping employees balance their work and family responsibilities. To support their efforts, administrators and supervisors are encouraged to consider employee-initiated alternate work schedules, assignments, or other special arrangements. Alternatives discussed in this policy are not intended to be all inclusive.

  2. Purpose

    The purpose of this policy is to provide alternate work schedules, assignments, or other special arrangements to assist employees in balancing their work and family responsibilities.

  3. Procedures

    1. Job Sharing

      Job Sharing is defined as the sharing of a full-time (1.00 FTE) position between two part-time employees. Individuals employed at least .50 FTE for 6 months shall receive insurance benefits.

      1. Staff

        A job sharing request may be initiated by a non-probationary full-time employee. The request shall be subject to approval of the immediate supervisor and Dean/Director. Conditions of the job share arrangement shall be explained in writing and approved by the Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance/Student Affairs.

      2. Faculty

        Non-visiting faculty may enter into a job share agreement with approval of the Dean and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Terms of the agreement shall be set forth in writing and reviewed by the Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance/Student Affairs.

    2. Flexplace Work

      Flexplace Work is defined as work that can be accomplished in the home. An employee's immediate supervisor and the appropriate Dean/Director may approve Flexplace work assignments. Consideration should be given to the employee's assigned job responsibilities and impact of the employee's work on his/her associates. A written agreement identifying the conditions of a regular ongoing flexplace work assignment is required and must be reviewed by the Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance/Student Affairs.

    3. Alternate Work Schedule

      The "normal established work schedule" for administrative offices is 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, with one hour for lunch, or another work schedule established by management to effectively operate the department's programs and meet objectives of the institution (e.g., 4-10's).

      Alternate Work Schedule is defined as a work schedule requested by an employee that allows the entire work day and work week schedule to start and/or end at an earlier or later time than the normal established work schedule. Employees may request an alternate work schedule. Alternate work schedules between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. may be approved by the supervisor.

      Requests for alternate work schedules outside the 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. range must be approved by the supervisor and the appropriate Vice Chancellor, and a copy of the approved plan in writing submitted to the Human Resources office.

      If an employee’s request is denied, supervisors are encouraged to explain in writing why an alternate work schedule is unacceptable.

      Nothing in this policy limits the authority of a supervisor to establish or change work schedules as necessary for the successful operation of the department and subject to collective bargaining agreement provisions. Supervisors are reminded that offices that have high public/student contact must remain open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    4. Telephone Access

      Personal phone calls may be allowed to children, teachers, doctors, day care providers, and other family members to inform them of unexpected schedule changes and for other essential personal business. Calls of this nature must be kept to a minimum and not interfere with departmental operations. Essential personal long distance calls must be collect or charged to a personal credit card.

    5. Family Business Leave

      Employees may obtain supervisory approval for short absences for events that cannot be scheduled after work hours. Types of absences may include medical appointments, parent-teacher conferences, and school performances. Supervisors are encouraged to allow employees to make up the time within the same workweek or approve paid annual or sick leave in accordance with applicable policies.

    6. Work Site Child Care

      With the approval of the immediate supervisor, appropriate Dean/Director (and/or Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, if applicable), and the Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance/Student Affairs, employees may provide care of their child at the regular work site with signed written agreement. The agreement shall include, at a minimum, specific work hours, age limit of the child, location of the childcare, a method for handling office disruptions and conflicts, and term of the agreement. A copy of the agreement will be placed in the employee’s personnel file.

    7. Reduced Work Hours

      Employees may request supervisory approval of reduced working hours on a temporary, fixed or on-going basis. Employees must work at least 20 hours per week to be eligible for certain benefits. The Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance/Student Affairs shall be informed of any new work schedule.

    8. Rest Breaks

      Full-time employees will be allowed a duty-free fifteen (15) minute rest break in both the first and second half of each scheduled shift. Part-time employees will be allowed a duty-free fifteen (15) minute rest break within each four (4) consecutive hour work period. It is the supervisor’s responsibility to make time available to allow each employee an opportunity to take such a rest break. Such break will be taken without loss of pay and the employee will not be required to make up such time. Unused rest breaks do not accrue.

    9. Meal Periods

      No unpaid meal period shall be less than one-half (1/2) hour. Employees must be completely relieved from duty for the purpose of eating regular meals. Supervisors and employees are strongly encouraged to take, at a minimum, a half-hour lunch break.

    Nothing in this policy limits the authority of a supervisor, appropriate Dean/Director, or appropriate Vice Chancellor to establish or change work schedules or child care agreements as necessary for the successful operation of the university and the policy is subject to any collective bargaining agreement provisions.

  4. Authority

    2-16-117, M.C.A.

  5. Responsibility

    Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance/Student Affairs, Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Deans/Directors, Supervisors