Breaks, Meal Period & Schedule Guidelines
- The University has established and maintains a 40-hour workweek.
- The workweek begins on Saturday and ends on Friday.
- The University’s normal operating hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
- Hours worked in a workweek include the time an employee is required to be on duty, on the premises, or at another place of work.
- Meal periods are not time worked and therefore are not paid. For nonexempt employees, a meal period must meet the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) criteria of a bona fide meal period to be considered time not worked and therefore time not paid. A bona fide meal period is defined as an authorized period of time, during the workday, when an employee is completely free from duties.
- Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that nonexempt employees are provided a bona fide meal period of 30 minutes or up to 60 minutes. If a nonexempt employee is not provided a meal period in which they are completely free from duties, then the time must be considered time worked. For example, if an Office Coordinator is scheduled for a 30-minute meal period but is asked by his or her supervisor to answer the phones while he or she eats lunch at his or her desk, the Office Coordinator is not completely free from work duties. The result is that the employee has not been provided a bona fide meal under the criteria of the Fair Labor Standards Act and therefore must be paid for time worked.
- A nonexempt employee may give up their meal period if they prefer to work through it and if the supervisor agrees. The employee must submit a signed written statement to that effect and forward a copy of the statement to HR to be placed in the employee’s personnel file.
- Per Washington State law an employee must be allowed to take paid breaks of at least a minimum of (10) minutes for every four hours worked. The University allows up to a maximum of a (15) minute paid rest break.
- A break period cannot be used for make-up time, overtime, to extend a lunch period, or to leave early.
Flexible Work Schedules
Full-time staff employees who have successfully completed six months of employment at the University may work a variable work schedule based upon operational or personal need. Supervisors approves flextime and the staff member must submit a Flextime Request Form. Refer to the Staff Manual for further guidance on the Flextime Policy.