Hours of Work
VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY AND MEDICAL CENTER HUMAN RESOURCES POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
SUBJECT: HOURS OF WORK POLICY | POLICY # HR030
EFFECTIVE DATE: March 1, 2001 | REVISED DATE: July 5, 2012
This policy establishes the official workweek at Vanderbilt. Because of the differing nature of our business, departmental guidelines determine staff scheduling needs and should be communicated to staff as part of their orientation.
The official workweek for payroll purposes begins at midnight on Sunday and ends at 11:59 p.m. Saturday. Each department determines the work schedule and hours for staff as necessary for its operation. The normal full-time schedule for staff is 40 hours a week. However, work schedules may vary among departments including reduced full-time schedules, part-time, required overtime, flexible and seasonal schedules to accommodate the operational needs of the department. (See Alternative Work Arrangements Policy, HR Policy #023). Staff are expected to work their regular schedule based on the full time equivalent (FTE) for each work week or supplement non-worked time with the use of accrued time. Accrued time is not to be used to supplement the schedule beyond the staff member’s FTE. Hourly staff must accurately record all worked time using the record keeping system (i.e.Kronos or timesheets) in place for the staff member’s department. The time record must accurately reflect any unpaid breaks (i.e. meal or breaks for breastfeeding mothers) taken during the workday. Adjustments to the assigned schedule 1 cannot be made without prior approval of the supervisor.
Staff are paid for the work performed as regulated under applicable state and federal laws. Staff are expected to report to work at the start of their schedule. Staff are also expected to work until the end of their scheduled work day.
I. Non-Exempt Staff (Hourly Paid)
Hourly paid staff are not permitted to leave work prior to the end of the workday without advance notification and approval of the supervisor. If departments put in place alternative notification options for emergency situations, they should be communicated to all staff within the work area.
A. Unpaid Breaks
1. Meal Period: Staff who work six or more consecutive hours a day are required to take an uninterrupted 2 meal break of at least 30 minutes away from the work area. However, schedules for meal breaks are based upon the operational needs of the work area. Vanderbilt generally recognizes a meal break as unpaid time for which a staff member is relieved from work for a period of time.
Any staff who does not receive an uninterrupted meal break of at least 30 minutes are required to notify their supervisor and report the time worked on their time record. (For more information on Meal Breaks, click on the attached link: https://hr.vanderbilt.edu/hr/mealbreak/index.php )
2. Breaks for Breastfeeding Mothers: Reasonable break periods will be provided for a breastfeeding mother to express breast milk for her child for one (1) year after the child’s birth. Designated locations 3 , other than restrooms, shielded from public view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public will be provided for the breaks. The breaks will need to be documented and reported as non-worked time.
Breastfeeding mothers requiring these breaks should make the request to the immediate supervisor or manager and communicate the frequency and duration of the breaks.
B. Paid Breaks
Scheduled Rest Breaks: Generally, most work areas within Vanderbilt allow for an appropriate amount of break time within the work day as needed. However, staff jobs that cannot be left unattended such as nurses and other clinical staff, receptionists and switchboard operators, are permitted, at a minimum, one 10 minute paid break every 4 hours as part of the normal work day. Supervisors should identify the standards for breaks in their area and communicate the same to both the relief person and staff member working the position. Breaks are to be utilized consistently for all staff 4 . Unapproved, extended breaks 5 will be addressed by the Attendance and Punctuality Policy (Policy # HR026).
In the event departmental scheduled break times are not followed, the Performance Management process will apply.
1. Overtime: Hourly paid staff must be paid for all hours worked whether preapproved or not. However, staff who fail to adhere to departmental procedures for preapproval of overtime will be subject to the Performance Management process (see Performance Accountability and Commitment policy and Progressive Discipline policy). Hourly paid staff who work in excess of 40 hours during the work week must be paid at the staff member’s overtime rate.
NOTE: Holidays, vacation, sick leave, or other non-worked paid hours are not used for the purpose of calculating overtime. Please contact the Compensation Office of Human Resource Services for further information regarding overtime calculation.
2. Compensatory Time Off: Vanderbilt, as a private institution, cannot allow staff to “bank” time worked and grant it as “time off” at a later date as many public institutions are allowed to do. Therefore, time off granted as compensatory must be approved and administered within the same pay period it is worked.
Managers have the option to adjust the staff member’s daily schedule 6 during a work week in order to offset any hours worked beyond the regular schedule. In a work week where hours worked are 40, or less than 40, the calculation of compensatory time is hour for hour.
Hourly paid staff granted compensatory time off for hours worked over 40 in the first week of the pay period must be allowed to take the time off in the second week of the same pay period in which it is worked; and the compensatory time off provided during the second week must be computed at the rate of one and one half times for hours worked over 40 in the previous week (based on the required overtime calculation).
Hourly paid staff are required to document and report all time worked in any pay period accurately. Compensatory time off is not applicable for exempt staff. Due to the complexity of administration of compensatory time off, it is not recommended for use on a regular basis. For questions, contact the Compensation Office of Human Resources.
3. Differential Pay: Some departments that schedule hourly paid staff on evening, night or weekend shifts pay a shift differential. Hourly paid staff in positions that are eligible for differentials will receive differential pay for specified holidays, weekends and shifts worked.
4. On-call: Some departments provide on-call compensation if they require hourly paid staff to be available during a specified period other than their regular shift. On-call pay is for hours that a staff member is "on-call" while off the premises and required to be available if called in to work within a specified period of time.
5. Standby: If a staff member is required to remain available (but not actually working) on the premises or in close proximity, waiting time should be considered hours worked. Please contact the Compensation Office of Human Resource Services for further information regarding standby pay.
6. Office Closing: Departments that have a need to suspend operations or close the office due to business reasons may do so with the appropriate administrative approval. If a department operates with a "skeletal staff" or closes based on a business need (such as the Friday after Thanksgiving, power outages, etc.), the department may provide the following time reporting options to non-exempt staff, see options below:
a. Nonexempt staff may use an appropriate accrual bank (vacation, holiday, or personal day) to supplement any non-worked hours to complete their schedule; however, they are not required to do so or,
b. Nonexempt staff may elect to take unpaid time in lieu of utilizing an accrual bank 7 .
7. Vanderbilt University Sponsored Activities: Staff are encouraged to attend University Sponsored events. Hourly paid staff attending should gain supervisor approval. If approval is provided by the supervisor, the time away from work that is a part of their normal work day is paid.
8. Travel Time: On occasion, hourly paid staff may be required to travel for Vanderbilt related purposes. The following guidelines should be used when determining when travel time is considered "work time" and therefore must be paid. Travel time considered work time includes:
a. Participating in any business related activities at a conference or seminar.
b. Participating in social activities where attendance is required.
c. Traveling out of town for Vanderbilt related reasons, regardless of the day/time.
d. Traveling between work locations during the workday.
e. Traveling from the office to a local airport, bus depot, or train station, or vice versa.
Travel time not considered work time includes:
a. Participating in social activities where attendance is not required.
c. Non-work related meal breaks.
d. Traveling from home to a local airport, bus depot or train station, or vice versa.
e. Traveling from home to an in-town conference. However, mileage may be reimbursable.
f. Traveling from home to a regular designated work location or vice versa.
9. Training/Conference Time: Attendance at lectures, meetings, training programs, seminars or similar activities must be counted as hours worked when the training is related to the staff member's job. Prior to attending such programs, staff should obtain supervisory approval.
10. Voting: Vanderbilt recognizes that staff are entitled to participate in the political process by voting in local, county, state and national elections. Staff are encouraged to exercise their right to vote by voting in advance of the last day available or by absentee ballot when appropriate. Polls are typically open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The following guidelines are to be used in evaluating time off request for voting.
a. If the staff member's schedule begins three hours or more after the opening of the polls or ends three hours or more before the closing of the polls the department is not required to approve time off from work to vote.
b. If the staff member's schedule does not provide for three hours before or after their schedule, when polls are open, the staff member may be absent from work for a reasonable period of time not to exceed three hours to vote. However, if staff request time off to vote, that request must be made no later than noon the day prior to Election Day. Supervisors and staff will determine a reasonable arrangement that supports the operation of the work unit. Time away from work approved by the supervisor for voting is paid time.
II. Exempt Staff (Salaried)
Exempt staff are paid on a salaried basis. Exempt staff are expected to adhere to the FTE for the position and the regular work week of the department. Exempt staff are also required to work any hours necessary to perform the duties of the job. Exempt staff generally do not receive overtime, compensatory time, or additional pay for hours worked or travel time outside normal work hours.
A. Vanderbilt is committed to compliance with all applicable federal and state wage and hour laws 8 . Deductions from the salary of exempt employees are prohibited, whether for quality or quantity of work, discipline, violations of workplace conduct rules, or otherwise, unless authorized by law.
B. Any employee who believes that an improper deduction has been made from their salary should discuss the situation with their supervisor. If the complaint is not resolved to the employee's satisfaction, the employee's Human Resources consultant should be contacted. After an investigation, if a deduction is determined to have been improper, the employee will be reimbursed.
III. Time Reporting
Each department is responsible for maintaining accurate time and attendance records. For each hourly paid staff member, a time record must be completed for each pay period. The time record must record the total number of hours actually worked each day, as well as the number of accrual hours (if applicable) paid towards the required FTE. Time records must be an accurate reflection of both work and non-work time and cannot be adjusted without prior approval. The approving supervisor is responsible for verifying the hours recorded. Falsification of a time record may be grounds for discharge.
Exempt staff are responsible for accurately reporting any use of sick, vacation, or personal time. Exempt staff should report time away from work (vacation, sick, personal) in full shift increments. If some hours are worked in a day, salary is continued without a deduction.
Managers may approve an advance of up to one week for salaried staff and ten hours for hourly employees in each bank of sick and vacation time.
Approved by Traci K. Nordberg, Chief Human Resources Officer and Associate Vice Chancellor
Approved by Jerry Fife, Vice Chancellor for Administration
Approved by Jeffrey Balser, M.D., Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs
This policy is intended as a guideline to assist in the consistent application of University policies and programs for staff. The policy does not create a contract implied or expressed, with any Vanderbilt staff members, who are employees at will. Vanderbilt reserves the right to modify this policy in whole or in part, at anytime, at the discretion of the University.
1 Staff who may require adjustments to their assigned schedule as a reasonable accommodation for a disability should contact the Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Disability Services Department (EAD).
2 Uninterrupted is defined as “a period of at least 30 minutes during which the staff member is not interrupted more than twice or for a total of no more than four minutes for any work-related reason”.
3 The following link provides a list of spaces available within the various divisions of the organization. Lactation Break Locations
8 Reasonable break periods will be provided for a nursing mother, in an exempt position, to express breast milk for her child for one (1) year after the child’s birth. Designated locations, other than restrooms, shielded from public view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public will be provided for the breaks.