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Alternative Workweeks: A Primer

Many employees want to work a schedule other than the normal five days per week, eight hours per day. Employers are oftentimes more than willing to accommodate such requests, but the neglect to follow the requisite protocols and can end up owing a hefty sum in overtime compensation. Employers must pay most non-exempt employees one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of eight hours per day. An exception to that rule is the alternative workweek. The most common example of an alternative workweek is four, ten-hour days, but other alternatives are available.

The alternative workweek allows employees to choose to work something other than the standard workweek. Before considering whether to offer an alternative workweek, employers should familiarize themselves with the rules and procedures. Failure to follow the rules and procedures will result in the alternative workweek being held invalid, which will then require the employer to pay overtime based on the standard workweek.

Attached is a summary of the rules and procedures applicable to most industries, as well as some of the things an employer will want to consider before offering an alternative workweek. You should always check your applicable IWC order to ensure compliance and seek the advice of a knowledgeable attorney or HR representative before implementing an alternative workweek.

Alternative Workweeks Primer

The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego
95 South Market Street, Suite 520
San Jose, CA 95113
Tel. 408-293-6341
Original article by Robert E. Nuddleman, former associate of The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego.

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Phillip J. Griego represents employees and businesses throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, and Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Mendocino, and Calaveras counties.