Case Quad in fall with tree with orange leaves

Giving thanks to employees: Early holiday dismissal Nov. 23

Whether traveling, readying the home for visitors or planning the major meals, people often find their schedules fuller during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Next week, Case Western Reserve staff will have at least a little extra time for such activities, as administrative offices will close at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23. Affected staff still will be paid as though they worked a full day on Thanksgiving Eve.

Late last year, President Barbara R. Snyder announced the early holiday dismissal as another way to show appreciation to employees. The move also sought to address a fairness issue: Previously, some supervisors had chosen individually to let employees leave earlier on that day, while others had not. Creating a standard university practice aims to provide more consistency across the campus.

As part of the initiative, the university will allow administrative offices to close at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 22, as well. (The following day is a paid holiday.)

In both cases, offices are expected to remain open until 3 p.m.

Based on the nature of their duties and/or unexpected developments, some offices will need to remain open after 3 p.m. on these designated days. 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 on the afternoons of these early dismissals 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 any of the early dismissal days will be required to take a full sick day. Similarly, employees who have scheduled a vacation day on any of the early dismissal days 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 prescheduled a half day on any of the early dismissal days will be required to record that half day as off work.
  • The early dismissal days do not apply for employees who are on an approved leave from the university.

For more information on the initiative, read last year’s article in The Daily.