Is An Alternative Workweek Schedule Right For Your Practice?

Is An Alternative Workweek Schedule Right For Your Practice?

August 19, 2019 - Arminco Inc.

Some dental practices need their employees to work overtime in order to meet patient needs, and the costs associated with overtime work can put an economic strain on them. In California, Labor Code section 511 and Wage Order 4 provide regulations that allow employers to schedule a workweek requiring an employee to work more than 8 hours in a day. This schedule has certain advantages, such as providing extended patient hours and reduced commute time for employees.

This schedule is more appropriate for employers who typically have regular working hours and don’t change them often.

However, this schedule needs to be approved by the employees in a vote. These steps must be taken before approving an alternative workweek schedule. Failure to do so will result in noncompliance with overtime wages.

  1. The schedule must be no more than 10 hours a day or 40 hours a week and a written notice must be provided to all employees.
  2. A secret ballot must be conducted among employees.
  3. Discuss your plans with your employees at least 2 weeks prior to implementing it.
  4. Two-third of the votes must be positive in order to implement this schedule.
  5. Employees must be notified of the results.
  6. Send a written report to the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) within 30 days of the results in order for the vote to be valid.
  7. The new schedule should be incorporated 30 days after approval.
  8. Records of results and meetings must be kept.

In order to avoid noncompliance with overtime law, this schedule must be followed year after year. if the employer requires an employee to work fewer hours than those that are regularly scheduled, the employer must pay the employee overtime at the rate of one-and-one-half times the employee's regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of eight hours, and double the employee's regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 12 hours for the day the employee is required to work the reduced hours. However, under an alternative workweek schedule, if the employee opts to clock out early, he will still be paid normal wages, even if he works for more than 8 hours.

Keep in mind that employees are still entitled to breaks. Create a different schedule for employees who are unable to work for more than 8 hours a day for any reason. Some changes may be made to the schedule within a week’s notice.

This schedule must be kept for 12 months before it can be repealed or eliminated. In order to do so, a ballot must be conducted again and the changes must take place within 60 days. So yes, an alternate schedule can help with accommodating patients, but the effect on the office can be tremendous. So don’t dive into this without doing your homework!

Source: www.cda.org

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