Cabrini University - Flexible Work Arrangement Policy
Cabrini University recognizes the value of ‘flextime’ in promoting a healthy working environment. However, a university is a distinctively different workplace from a corporation or agency whose main work may well occur with minimal public contact; an academic institution serves a broad and ever-present public constituency who have a right to find offices open and staff prepared to be helpful during the published business hours of the institution. Accordingly, Cabrini seeks to implement a modified ‘flexible work arrangement’ policy that fulfills the University’s duties to all of its constituents while also providing reasonable flexibility to supervisors and staff for creating individual work schedules.
Supervisors and employees may work together to create flexible work schedules that occur within the official business hours of the University, or within such other parameters as the nature of the work may require (e.g., Physical Facilities, Residence Life). Employees may participate in the creation of the schedules, but ultimately, the determination of work hours rests with the University. An employee is not entitled to any particular schedule, and must abide by the schedule that is approved by his or her supervisor and area Vice President.
Flexible scheduling may result in different schedules for employees from department to department. What may be possible in one office may not be possible elsewhere. Employees working in different departments should not expect to be able to have the same kind of scheduling across-the-board. With the exception of positions that entail specific responsibilities outside of the official business hours, employees are expected to spend a minimum of 35, 37.5, or 40 hours (depending on position classification) each week on the campus during the official business hours.
An employee’s classification, compensation, and benefits will not change if the employee is approved for flextime. Employees who are not exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act will be required to accurately record all hours worked within the university’s timekeeping system. Hours worked in excess of those scheduled per day and per workweek require the advance approval of the employee’s supervisor. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the immediate termination of the flextime agreement.
Employees should work with their supervisor in order to complete the "Flexible Work Arrangement Agreement".
Cabrini University is officially open for general business from Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, except during periods when the University is not in session for classes or on official holidays published separately each year. However, beyond these “official business hours,” Cabrini conducts many programs that occur at other times during the day and evening, on weekends, and during the summer, and some employees, depending on their position, may be required to work at these other times.
The responsibilities of exempt (salaried) employees may require work beyond 35 hours and outside of the official business hours of the University in order to fulfill the duties of the position and to achieve the goals of the department. Cabrini does not practice ‘comp time’ for exempt employees, but flexible scheduling gives supervisors the opportunity to adjust schedules after an intense period of work.
Because of the nature of the work of the University, from time to time all personnel may be asked to adjust hours, to provide assistance during special events or functions like Commencement, or to respond to emergencies involving the campus community. The nature of work in a University requires staff to be flexible and responsive to time demands that may not be foreseeable at the moment of hiring. The ability to adapt to changing schedule needs is an important consideration in accepting employment with Cabrini.
Because Cabrini includes a residential component, and because some of the work of the University occurs outside of the regular business hours, some staff may have job assignments that require them to work overnight, on weekends, to travel, to respond to campus emergencies, or to conduct University-related work in other unusual ways. Such an environment requires both employees and supervisors to be flexible, to respect the weekly time-at-work expectations, and to be fair and honest in reporting actual hours worked, and in performing the duties of the position professionally at times when no supervisors are present.
Eligible Positions and Employees
Supervisors, in consultation with the Office of Human Resources, will analyze the nature of a position and how the work is performed and determine which positions are appropriate to designate or approve for Flexible Work Arrangement. Several factors should be considered in determining the feasibility of flextime, including the university’s ability to supervise the employee adequately and whether any duties require use of certain equipment or tools that cannot be replicated at home. Other critical considerations include whether:
- there is a need for face-to-face interaction and coordination of work with other employees;
- in-person interaction with outside colleagues, clients, or customers is necessary;
- the position in question requires the employee to have immediate access to documents or other information located only in the workplace;
- the flexible work arrangement will impact service quality or university operations;
- the position can be structured to be performed independently of others with minimal need for support and little face-to-face interaction; and
- performance can be measured by quantitative or qualitative results-oriented standards, not time spent doing the job.
The Office of Human Resources, in consultation with the departments, will also identify broad categories of positions that are not eligible for flextime. Direct service and place-specific positions such as public safety officers, grounds workers, student health staff, residence life staff, facilities, events and office administrative assistant positions are some examples of positions that require careful consideration.
If an employee in an eligible position requests approval for flexible work agreement, the supervisor and area Vice President in consultation with the Office of Human Resources, will determine whether the employee is eligible. Generally, the following conditions must be met to approve an employee for flextime:
- The employee has been in the position for at least twelve months; (although, this condition can be waived if a flexible work agreement is determined to be an appropriate arrangement for the employee and the University at the time of hire).
- The employee has no active formal disciplinary actions on file for the current or immediately preceding review period;
- The employee has a demonstrated ability to work productively on his/her own and is self-motivated and flexible; and
- The employee received at least a satisfactory evaluation in the previous evaluation cycle.
General Expectations and Conditions
- Compliance with Policies - Employees must agree to comply with university rules, policies, practices and instructions and understand that violation of such may result in the termination of the Flexible Work Arrangement and/or disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. Employees who works remotely will be subject to the same policies as other employees.
- Hours of Work - The total number of hours that employees are expected to work will not change, regardless of work location. The university also expects the same level of productivity from employees regardless of work location. Employees who are not exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act will be required to record all hours worked in a manner designated by the university. Hours worked in excess of those specified in the flexible work agreement will require the advance approval of the supervisor. Cabrini University’s Flexible Work Arrangement is not intended to serve as a substitute for child or adult care. If children or adults in need of primary care are in the alternate work location during employees’ work hours, some other individual must be present to provide the care. Supervisors may require employees to report to a central workplace as needed for work-related meetings or other events or may meet with employee in the alternate work location as needed to discuss work progress or other work related issues.
- Use of Leave - Employees cannot use flextime in place of sick leave, Family and Medical Leave, Workers’ Compensation leave, sabbatical leave, or other types of leave. However, the university may determine whether or not it is appropriate to offer alternative work arrangements or accommodations as an opportunity for partial or full return to work based on the university’s return-to-work policies following an injury or illness and the criteria normally applied to decisions regarding the approval of alternate work arrangements.
- Liability - The university assumes no responsibility for injuries occurring in the employee's alternate work location outside the agreed upon work hours or for injuries that occur during working hours but do not arise out of and in the course of employment. The university also assumes no liability for damages to employee’s real or personal property resulting from participation in this program. Workers' compensation coverage is limited to designated work areas in employees' homes or alternate work locations. Employees agree to practice the same safety habits they would use in the university and to maintain safe conditions in their alternate work locations. Employees must follow normal procedures for reporting illness or injury.
- Equipment and Materials - Normally, the university will provide equipment and materials needed by employees to effectively perform their duties; however, the university will not duplicate resources between the central work place and the alternate work location. Employees may use university-owned equipment only for legitimate university purposes. Employees are responsible for protecting university-owned equipment from theft, damage and unauthorized use. The university will maintain, service and repair university-owned equipment used in the normal course of employment. The university will stipulate who is responsible for transporting and installing equipment, and for returning it to the central workplace for repairs or service. The flexible work agreement may also permit employees to use their own equipment. When employees are authorized to use their own equipment, the university is not responsible for the cost, repair or service of the employee’s personal equipment, unless otherwise expressly agreed to in advance in the flexible work agreement.
- University Information - Employees must safeguard university information used or accessed while working at alternate work locations. The university must grant permission according to university procedures for employees to work on restricted-access information or material, as defined by the university, at alternate work locations. Employees must agree to follow university-approved security procedures in order to ensure confidentiality and security of data.
- All computers accessing Cabrini’s network and systems are required to have active anti-virus software installed and configured to automatically update each time the computer is connected to the Internet. Cabrini reserves the right to verify that proper safeguards are in place on the home network and computer, and to revoke access to the University’s network.
- Training for Managers and Supervisors - The university encourages the successful and appropriate use of flexible work arrangements within the university by providing training to supervisors and managers in effectively managing employees. The university will provided guidance on Managing Employee Performance Expectations.
Exceptions to the Flexible Work Agreement Requirement
It is an accepted practice for teaching and research faculty to carry out their work with varied schedules on campus and at alternate locations. Normally, a formal flexible work arrangement agreement will not be required for faculty unless the normal work assignment is consistently at an alternate location (i.e. not the standard assigned office). On occasion, a department may also determine that employees may need to work at alternate worksites for a short period of time to accommodate unusual circumstances, such as a brief office closing for renovations or relocation. In such cases, the formal flexible work arrangement agreement is not required, but should be documented for department files by memorandum or email, specifying work expectations and duration.
Termination of the Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA) Agreement
The supervisor, in consultation with Human Resources and the area Vice President may terminate the flexible work arrangement agreement early (before the end of the specified term) for performance concerns, changing operational needs, or any other non-discriminatory reason. The employee may also terminate the flexible work arrangement agreement at any time, unless it was a condition of employment. Any termination typically will be made with at least two weeks’ advance notice.
Employees should complete the "Flexible Work Arrangement Request Form" and work with their manager to submit details of agreed Flexible Work Arrangement to Human Resources for approval.