and Employers want it...
...California law often prohibits it
As a manager, you try your
best to meet your employees' desires for flexibility in the
workplace. Perhaps you have:
staggered start and end times
in order to assist employees with long commutes, the need to
pick-up/drop-off children or to miss traffic congestion;
rearranged schedules when
employees have personal appointments during the middle of a
allowed a split-shift for
employees who request it; or even
made arrangements for an
employee to work from home either full- or part-time.
Good for you! Now, more than
ever, employees value flexibility in the workplace.
When employees refer to
"flexibility" in the workplace, they are often focused on how
much control they have over scheduling their own time so
that it best meets their personal needs - while also
ensuring that the required work is accomplished. Employees
in non-exempt positions may ask managers, "Can I work a
four, 10-hour day schedule?" Management's response to this
question will vary. Certainly, employers can't be flexible
to the detriment of the operation and therefore, this type
of request may be denied if the schedule would compromise
client-relations, supervision requirements, productivity,
morale, etc. But what about the manager who would have no
problem approving such a request?
Unfortunately in California,
allowing a 4, 10-hour day schedule can be somewhat
challenging. California is one of only four states that
requires daily overtime. Under federal law,
such a schedule does not result in overtime so long as the
employee works no more than 40 hours in a week. In
California, overtime is required for all hours worked in
excess of 8 in a day and/or 40 in a week. To approve a 4,
10-hour request, the employer has two options:
1. Pay overtime for 2 hours a
2. Offer an alternative
workweek for the entire work unit
Option 1 is costly and
option 2 has specific requirements to make the Labor
Commissioner happy: the employer's proposed alternative
schedule must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the
affected employees in the work unit via a secret ballot
election; the employer must disclose in writing and hold a
meeting regarding effects of the alternative workweek on the
employees' wages, hours and benefits; and, the employer must
inform the state of any adopted alternative workweek.
If it seems to you that
California law doesn't seem to be in congruence with what
employers and employees want, you aren't alone. AB 640 is
currently working its way through the legislature and if
passed, would allow individual employees to request, and the
employer to mutually agree, to a four-day workweek
consisting of up to 10 hours per day within a 40-hour
workweek without incurring overtime. Make your voice heard
and let the legislature know you support a voluntary four,
10-hour work day!
More on AB 640.
Other pending legislation.