President Barbara R. Snyder today announced a new campuswide initiative involving two annual holidays in November and December.
Starting next week, university administrative offices will be able to close at 3 p.m. on Dec. 23 in those years when Dec. 24 is a designated university holiday. The other early closing day will be the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. In both instances, employees will not face a reduction in pay.
The initiative has two goals. First, it reflects the university administration’s wish to show appreciation for employees by providing a bit of extra time during often-hectic holidays. Second, in some instances, individual supervisors already allow early dismissal on such days, largely for similar reasons; under the new approach, paid time off will be distributed equitably across the campus in a standardized manner. All administrative offices must maintain coverage until 3 p.m. on these early dismissal days, and any employee wishing to leave before 3 p.m. must use vacation time.
In some instances, urgent matters and/or that office’s regular responsibilities will require working past 3 p.m. on these days. In such instances, staff must provide coverage as directed by their supervisors. 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, there is no guarantee that alternative time off will be offered.
Below are additional guidelines involving the policy; those who still have questions about implementation after reviewing it should email Vice President for Human Resources Carolyn Gregory at email@example.com or call her at 216.368.5276.
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 does not apply for employees who are on an approved leave from the university.
This holiday initiative mirrors a pilot summer program this year where employees could leave at 3 p.m. on designated Fridays without lowering their compensation. University officials are continuing to evaluate that program to determine whether it will continue in future years.