10 Steps to Establishing the New Work Week

A new 9/80 schedule may begin in any week but must be started at the beginning of a pay period in order to maintain the number of hours worked at 80 hours. A change in the work week, special procedures, and special record keeping are required when a non-exempt employee is placed on a 9/80 schedule.

The work schedule must be started at the beginning of a pay period. The best time to start the schedule is during any pay period that contains a holiday, especially if the holiday falls during the first week of the pay period.

Step 1: Select the employee’s “flex” day. This day should not be changed, switched or traded as it can result in overtime. Special note: Making such a trade will automatically create overtime in one of the work weeks.

Step 2: Calculate the work week. For many organizations, the work week for calculating overtime is the same as the calendar week: it begins on Sunday at 12:01 a.m. and ends on Saturday at midnight every week. You can begin a work week in the middle of the day of the week that is the employee’s flex day. This is the period that will be used to calculate whether overtime is worked from now on. The work week will no longer be the same as the calendar week.

Step 3: To determine when to start the new work week, start with the flex day and count backward the hours scheduled for each day in the new 9/80 schedule until you reach 40 hours. This will be in the middle of the same day of the week as the flex day. Be sure to allow for a lunch period on that day. This will be the starting time of the new work week.

Step 4: The new work week will overlap two pay periods. It may be the supervisor’s responsibility to monitor the work schedules to determine and record if an employee works any overtime. Payroll may not be able to determine whether overtime is worked because the work week overlaps two time cards or time sheets.

Step 5: Time is still reported to Payroll based on the regular two week pay period. Overtime worked will be reported in the pay period in which it is worked.

Step 6: The new work week should be established at least one week before the employee actually starts working the 9/80 schedule. Because the new work week begins in the middle of the calendar week, there will be a partial week inbetween the last full calendar work week and the new one.

If the 9/80 work week is established at least one week before the employee actually begins to work the 9/80 schedule, then the special procedure required by FLSA is met.

Step 7: If the employee takes a sick or vacation day on a regularly scheduled nine hour day, nine hours of leave must be recorded.

As an example: If the employee is off work for the entire week that normally has the flex day in it, and she and is scheduled for four nine-hour days that week, then thirty-six hours of sick or vacation time is recorded. If she is off for an entire week, and is regularly scheduled to work four nine-hour days and an eight-hour day that week, then forty-four hours of sick or vacation time are recorded.

Step 8: If a holiday falls on an employee’s flex day, the employee will be given another day off during the pay period, usually either the day before or the day after the holiday.

Step 9: The holiday is always an eight-hour day. If the holiday does not fall during the same work week as the employee’s regularly scheduled eight hour day, an hour must be made up during the holiday week. This can be done in one of several ways:

  • Work an extra hour on one other day
  • Work an extra half hour on two other days
  • Take an hour of vacation time
  • Take an hour of voluntary leave without pay

Step 10: A record of the new schedule and the new work week must be kept in the department. Samples of the record can be kept in the H.R. department, and forms to assist in developing and implementing a 9/80 schedule are included with this information.

Exempt Employees

Since there is no limitation on the hours worked by an exempt employee, and no overtime pay is required by law, there are no special procedures for beginning such a schedule. The exempt employee can begin working the new schedule at the beginning of any pay period. No change in the work week is required, and it is not necessary to split the flex day or keep any special records.

Glossary of Terms

The 9/80 compressed work schedule is working eight days of nine hours, one day of eight hours with the tenth day off (flex day) in a two week period.

The calendar week is Sunday through Saturday.

The work week is a seven-day (168 consecutive hours) period that is established to calculate overtime. It does not change from week to week. It could be the same as the calendar week, but it doesn’t have to be.

The work schedule is the schedule of hours that an employee is actually expected to work. The schedule may change from week to week, and can be whatever combination of hours that the employer needs or requires the employee to work.

The flex day is the day that the employee is off every other week.

The short day is the eight hour day of the 9/80 schedule.