Alternative Work Arrangements Policy

Title: Alternative Work Arrangements
Approved by
Date Approved:
Effective Date: 07/29/2019
Responsible Official: Vice President of Human Resources
Responsible University Office: HR Employee Relations
Revision History: 01/01/2002; 01/01/2008; 06/03/2019
Related Legislation and University policies: Alternative Work Arrangements Procedure; Alternative Work Arrangement Request Form, CASEworks Eligibility Worksheet, CASEworks Alternative Work Arrangement Agreement; Work Week and Pay Systems; Overtime Policy; Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Absences and Leave Policy; Additional Medical Leaves of Absences (non-FMLA) Policy; Alternative Work Arrangements
Review Period: 5 years
Date of Last Review
Relates to: executive staff, senior staff, and staff
Exclusions: None

Effective June 1, 2020, the Alternative Work Arrangement Policy is temporarily amended as follows:

Non-exempt employees are eligible for CASEWorks (telecommuting), if their job tasks and functions can be fully and effectively performed at home.

Employees should reach out to Employee Relations at or 216-368-6964 for guidance.

The remainder of the Alternative Work Arrangements Policy remains in effect.

Policy Statement

The university will consider alternative work arrangements that allow employees to balance work and personal commitments while ensuring the operational/business needs of the department, management center, and/or school are met.

Alternative work arrangements may include, but are not limited to:

  • Flexible Work Schedule (aka Flextime)
  • Compressed Work Week (e.g. working 37.5 or 40 hours in four (4) days rather than five (5) days)
  • Reduced Schedule (aka Part-Time)
  • Job Sharing
  • Multiple Concurrent Jobs (limited to a total of 37.5 or 40 hour workweek)
  • CASEworks (telecommuting) (exempt employees only)

The supervisor and Employee Relations must approve the alternative work arrangement option prior to implementation. An alternative work arrangement will be permitted when it mutually serves the best interest of the university, department, management center/school, and the employee.

Alternative work arrangements approved by Employee Relations do not include any reasonable accommodations provided through the Office of Equity, which are separate from this policy.

Employees interested in being considered for an alternative work arrangement should first discuss the options with their supervisor. If the supervisor is agreeable, they should complete an Alternative Work Arrangement Request Form and submit it to Employee Relations at Alternative work arrangements cannot be granted automatically but will be considered on a case-by-case basis, based on job-related factors such as the nature of the employee’s job, departmental work flow, and customer service needs. Because working an alternative work arrangement is considered a privilege, to be eligible for consideration for an alternative work arrangement option, the employee must meet all three of the following criteria:

  • Have been employed in their current position for a minimum of three (3) months and successfully completed their orientation period (new hires and transfers); 
  • The most recent Annual Review is average or above; and
  • Not currently in Positive Corrective Action.

Employees who meet all three (3) criteria must complete and sign an Alternative Work Arrangement Option Request Form and submit the request to the supervisor to initiate the approval process. The supervisor, in consultation with Employee Relations, will review the request and either: (1) approve; (2) make recommendations; or (3) deny the alternative work arrangement request. If approved, the request will be forwarded to the Department Chair or Vice President of the department for final approval. The alternative work arrangement cannot commence until the approval process has been completed in its entirety.

If, after being approved to an Alternative Work Arrangement, an employee no longer meets the criteria or the department needs change, the Alternative Work Arrangement will be re-evaluated and denied.

Flexible Work Schedule (Flextime)

A flextime alternative work schedule allows staff employees to adjust their arrival and departure times by choosing their daily starting and ending hours within certain limits. Examples of flextime hours include variable arrivals e.g., 7:00 a.m. through 9:00 a.m. or according to the department/management center operational needs. The management center, school, and/or department is responsible for establishing hours of operations; flextime might not be feasible for all employees based on operational needs.

Employees are required to be at work during their defined “scheduled hours” during the day and they must work a standard day (i.e. seven and a half (7.5) or eight (8) hour day for full-time non-exempt employees or eight (8) hour day for full-time exempt employees).

Flextime schedules must be fixed for the term of the agreement – usually a minimum of three (3) months. Additionally, a flextime schedule cannot vary day to day or week to week.

Compressed Work Week

A compressed work week allows full-time employees to work longer days for part of the week or pay period, in exchange for shorter days, or a day off each week or pay period. Compressed workweeks are most appropriate in situations in which employees do not have to keep pace with incoming work on a daily basis or where there are several employees that perform the same job. Compressed workweek schedule options including, but not limited to:

  1. Exempt Four-day Workweek. Exempt employees would be required to work four (4) ten (10) hour days and would take off one (1) work day per week.
  2. Non-Exempt Four-day Workweek – (40 Hours). Non-exempt employees would be required to work four (4) ten (10) hour days and would take off one (1) work day per week.
  3. Non-Exempt Four-day Workweek (37.5 Hours). Non-exempt staff employees would work three (3) 10-hours and one (1) 7.5 hour day and take off one (1) work day per week.
  4. Exempt 9/80. The exempt staff employee would be required to work eight (8) days for nine (9) hours and one (1) day for eight (8) hours with one (1) day off within a two (2) week period. This schedule would allow the exempt staff employee to fluctuate which day they would be off within a two (2) week period. Non-exempt employees may not work a 9/80 or 9/75 schedule.

The Compressed Work Week may be re-evaluated and revised or terminated if an employee no longer meets the criteria or the department needs change.

Reduced Schedule (Part-Time)

A non-exempt employee may request a reduced (part-time) schedule temporarily (i.e. three months or less). This allows an employee to work fewer hours than the university’s standard workweek for full-time employees. An employee’s salary and benefits will be prorated in accordance with university policies and the terms of each relevant benefit plan. Employees on a reduced schedule must work a minimum of 18.75 or 20 hours/week (depending on whether they are regularly a 37.5 or 40 hour/week employee).

Exempt employees may work a part-time schedule only if they meet the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) minimum weekly salary threshold at their reduced hours. Their salary may not be pro-rated under the salary threshold based upon their part-time work.

A supervisor may not request or require the employee to work a reduced schedule as an alternative work arrangement. A supervisor’s request for a full-time employee to reduce their hours to part-time is considered a reorganization request and requires the completion of a Reorganization Request Form.

Employees who want to move to a part-time schedule on a permanent basis should refer to the Employment Planning and Responsibility policy.

Job Sharing

Job Sharing applies to a situation when two (2) qualified persons fill one (1) approved full-time position. The two job share employees will work different schedules, the total of which does not exceed forty (40) hours per week. Guidelines for offering and administering job sharing arrangements are as follows:

  • Both employees will have the same job title.
  • Both employees will be paid at the rate commensurate with the position.
  • Both employees will be classified as part-time employees.
  • Both employees will be eligible for benefits that are available to part-time employees.
  • Both employees will agree to combine their efforts to cover the workload for that full-time position.
  • The employees and their manager/supervisor will coordinate pre-scheduled time off and provide coverage for each other as necessary (vacation, sick, leaves of absence, etc.)
  • The manager/supervisor will conduct normal employee development activities (e.g., performance reviews) separately with each employee.
  • The expense of the job sharing arrangement does not exceed the payroll expense of one full-time employee.
  • Both employees must request the job share arrangement by completing the Alternative Work Arrangement Request Form.
  • If one job share employee terminates the arrangement, the manager/supervisor will evaluate continuing the job share arrangement.

Multiple Concurrent Jobs

An employee may work in two (2) regular part-time, non-exempt jobs or two (2) regular, part-time exempt jobs, but may not be regularly scheduled to work more than forty (40) hours in a work week. An employee may not hold an exempt job and a non-exempt job simultaneously. If an employee works overtime hours in a work week, it is the responsibility of both departments in which the employee works to ensure any overtime hours are accurately recorded and submitted in the Human Capital Management System (HCM). Departments should consult with Employee Relations regarding questions/concerns related to the multiple concurrent jobs alternative work arrangement option. The department in which the employee works the overtime hours (hours worked beyond the scheduled hours for the department) would be liable for the overtime payment.

CASEworks (Telecommuting)

CASEworks can offer CWRU employees an alternative work arrangement option of structured flexibility in their work environment. Full-time or part-time exempt staff employees may request participation in and receive approval to work-at-home and/or at an approved remote location for part or all of their scheduled work week. This alternate work arrangement offers a unique opportunity to cultivate a rewarding career and professional relationships while balancing modern work-related stresses such as daily commutes and family demands. Non-exempt staff employees are not eligible to telecommute.

Requests for utilizing the CASEworks telecommuting alternative work option will be reviewed and determined on an individual basis. The guidelines for approving and administrating CASEworks will be based on the following criterion which includes, but is not limited to:

  • The employee is an exempt employee.
  • The employee’s position does not require daily face-to-face interaction with customers, coworkers or use of equipment or records that are not accessible from the work-at-home location.
  • Job tasks and functions can be effectively performed at an alternate work site.
  • The employee is able to work independently with little or no supervision and is able to manage their time effectively.
  • The employee is knowledgeable of job expectations and requirements.
  • The employee meets deadlines and produces quality work.
  • The employee is responsible for proper pick-up and delivery of work product.
  • The employee agrees to attend pre-scheduled work meetings, training sessions and/or similarly required work-related events.
  • The employee does not supervise the work of others.
  • The employee agrees to adhere to all conditions outlined in the CASEworks (Telecommuting) Alternative Work Arrangement Agreement.

For all alternative work arrangements, breaks (as outlined in the Work Week and Pay Systems Policy) must be included in the proposed alternative work arrangement work schedule. Additionally, all exempt employees that request an alternative work arrangement option must work a minimum of forty (40) hours per week and will willingly include as a part of their regular work week additional work time to meet outside of normal work schedules, to handle short-term projects, and to satisfy weekly work requirements.

The university and/or the supervisor reserves the right to modify, suspend or terminate the employee’s alternative work arrangement option at any time based on departmental/operational needs, staffing requirements, or the employee’s unacceptable performance. In addition, employees will have their alternative work arrangement terminated (and return to the office-based workplace if telecommuting) if it is determined the employee has committed a violation of the university’s HR policies, is placed in positive corrective action, the employee’s Annual Performance Review is below average, or the employee fails to maintain and/or fulfill normal work requirements, both qualitative and quantitative. Supervisors who wish to modify, suspend, or terminate the alternative work arrangement should first contact Employee Relations.

Employees may request to terminate the alternative work arrangement by providing reasonable notice to their supervisor and obtaining supervisory approval. If in the event an alternative work arrangement option must be terminated either by the university or the employee, both will provide the reasonable notice of termination of the alternative work arrangement option.

Employees who commence an alternative work arrangement without completing the required request forms and/or have not received an approved request form from their manager/supervisory may be subject to corrective action, up to and including termination.