Case Quad in fall with tree with orange leaves

Early dismissal Thanksgiving Eve to express gratitude to university employees

The university wishes to remind the campus community that, as in the past two years, Case Western Reserve’s administrative offices will close at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22. Affected staff still will be paid as though they worked a full day on Thanksgiving Eve.

President Barbara R. Snyder announced the early departure initiative in 2015 to show Case Western Reserve’s gratitude for employees’ contributions to the work of the university. The effort is part of a broader appreciation program that also includes the summer’s CWRU Take Two program, where most employees can leave at 3 p.m. on several Fridays in June and July, yet receive compensation for working full days.

With regard to the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the initiative also addresses an issue of fairness: Previously some university supervisors allowed staff to leave a few or even several hours early on Thanksgiving Eve, while others expected staff to work full shifts—and all received compensation as though they worked full days. With this initiative, supervisors are expected to let employees depart at 3 p.m.—not earlier, and not later.

Based on the nature of duties and/or unexpected developments, some offices will need to remain open after 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Eve. Non-exempt employees unable to leave early on the designated days either may take off two alternate hours during that work week (at days and times designated by their supervisors) or, upon approval of their supervisors, will receive straight overtime pay for the two hours they are required to work.

If operational demands require that exempt employees be present after 3 p.m., the possibility of alternative time off will be determined by their supervisors.

Below are additional guidelines involving the policy:

  • Supervisors should arrange for coverage for their offices as necessary, and in a way that does not result in overtime expense.
  • The time provided for early dismissal is not considered vacation time; therefore, an employee’s vacation time does not decrease. The time also does not accumulate, nor is it paid out when an employee leaves the university.
  • Employees who call off sick on Thanksgiving Eve will be required to take a full sick day. Similarly, employees taking a vacation day will be required to take a full vacation day of either 7.5 or 8 hours, depending on whether an employee works a 37.5- or a 40-hour workweek. Similarly, an employee who takes a half-day of vacation that day will be required to record it as a full half day off work.
  • The early dismissal does not apply to employees who are on approved leave from the university.

University offices also are closed Thanksgiving Day and the following day (Thursday and Friday, Nov. 23-24).