From the day we join the workforce, we are trained to think work means 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. This is especially true in California, which swoops in to reward employees with overtime pay when they work over 8 hours a day. You might be surprised, however, to learn that California allows for some flexibility. Instead of the normal 8 hour day, employers and their workers have the ability to implement an “Alternative Workweek Schedule,” which, if done right, lets employees work more than 8 hours per day, without daily overtime, while putting in fewer days of work per week.
Q: What is an Alternative Workweek Schedule?
A: An Alternative Workweek Schedule (or “AWS” in hip lawyer lingo) is a fancy term for a process allowing employers, with their employees’ permissions, to set work schedules that vary from the usual 8 hours per day, 5 days a week, without paying daily overtime. California Labor Code section 511 governs the requirements for implementing an AWS.
Q: Why would I want to do this?
A: Short answer? Happier employees. Employees like an AWS because it allows greater flexibility in their personal lives. Many employees who are told they can finish their work week in four days by working two extra hours a day will pounce on the idea with unbridled enthusiasm.
The other answer? A well-designed AWS can essentially eliminate the payment of overtime for those using it. Your finance guys will thank you.
Q: What are the possible work schedules?
A: Employers have many options to choose from. The most common are: four days of work per week, for ten hours a day (aka a “4/10 ”); and what’s referred to as a “9/80.” A 9/80 allows for nine days worked in a fourteen day calendar period, totaling eighty hours of work.
Continue Reading Tired of the 9-5 Grind? Consider an Alternative Workweek Schedule!