Alternate Work Arrangements

Marine Biological Laboratory
Policy No. G.1.21

Human Resources

Initiated by: Director of Human Resources
Approved by: MBL President/Director
Date: March 7, 2011
Distribution: MBL Managers and Supervisors

1.0 Policy Statement
MBL is a multi-faceted organization and the needs of each area of the organization may vary. A constant of working at the MBL is the collegiality and close working relationships of the employees as well as the customer service necessary to provide the visiting students, faculty, and scientists with the services they require. This policy provides a guideline for the consideration of alternative working arrangements. This policy pertains to operations staff primarily but the concepts may be applied to all staff.

2.0 Normal business hours:
While MBL has activities that occur 24 hours a day/7 days a week, the core business hours of the MBL are 8 am – 5 pm Monday through Friday, except in the Conferences, Housing and Dining group. Services should be available in all departments during these core business hours. Schedules that include regular or occasional weekend work or hours outside the normal business hours may be necessary to accommodate the business needs.

3.0 Standard work schedule:
The standard fulltime work schedule is eight hours of work with an unpaid lunch hour to equal a 40 hour work week.

3.0 Flex time

3.1 Flex time is a work schedule with time of arrival and departure that differs from the normal business hours.
3.2 Supervisors may approve flextime on a case-by-case basis. The employee must first discuss possible flextime arrangements with his/her supervisor and then submit a written request. The supervisor will approve or deny the flextime request based on staffing needs, customer service responsibilities, the employee’s job duties, the employee’s work record and the employee’s ability to temporarily or permanently return to a standard work schedule as needed.
3.3 Bargaining unit:
Flexible working hours are available to bargaining unit employees as stated in the collective bargaining agreement.
3.4 A flextime arrangement should be in writing for a specified period of time, ie. six months, subject to renewal in writing and may be suspended or cancelled at any time by either party.

4.0 Working from home or other off site location

4.1 Working from home or another off site location, sometimes called telecommuting, is a work alternative that may be appropriate for some employees and some jobs. It is not an entitlement; it is not appropriate for all jobs; and is determined by agreement between the employee and supervisor after careful review and consideration of the business impact on the MBL.
4.2 Individuals requesting formal telecommuting arrangements must have been employed by the MBL for a minimum of 12 months of continuous, regular employment and must meet or exceed expectations in the annual performance review process.
4.3 If an employee requests a telecommuting arrangement, the employee will be required to assess, in writing, the impact of his/her request on the MBL, and the community served as well as his/her co-workers. He/She should propose solutions to issues that might arise as a result.
4.4 The supervisor/manager will evaluate the proposal based on the impact to the business of the MBL. This is not an alternative to child care or family needs. The employee’s personal reasons for pursuing the arrangement will not be considered and should not be part of the proposal. If the proposal will create a neutral or positive impact, supervisors/manages may approve the request on a pilot basis. If there is a negative impact, supervisors/managers will decline the request.
4.5 Any telecommuting arrangement made will be on a trial basis for the first 3 months and may be discontinued, at will, at any time at the request of either the employee or the MBL. The arrangement should be continually monitored and may be modified. The employee should provide the supervisor and any other staff with whom they regularly interact contact information, telephonic and email, and be available at any time during the regular work hours. If the employee is non-exempt, overtime should not be worked without the prior approval of the supervisor.
4.6 The employee must cover all costs associated with this arrangement, including but not limited to computer, internet access and telephone access. The home work space may be reviewed to make sure it is appropriate.

5.0 Procedures
Written procedures for implementing this policy are available from the Human Resources Office.

6.0 Exceptions:
Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the President/Director, in consultation with the Director of Human Resources.

7.0 Policy Clarification and Updates:
Policy clarification and updates are available in the Human Resources Office.