University of California, Riverside

Human Resources

Compressed Workweek - Exempt Employees

This guideline is designed for departments to use as a tool to efficiently implement compressed schedules that are equitable, clearly understood, and to the mutual benefit of the unit/department and employee, while ensuring compliance with applicable regulations, personnel policies/procedures and/or collective bargaining agreements.

Related Policies & References

Personnel Policy 30 - Compensation
Alternative (Flexible) Work Schedule Considerations
Alternative (Flexible) Work Schedule Agreement


Alternate Work Schedules:  A full-time work schedule that consists of 40 hours in one designated workweek, or 80 hours in two consecutive workweeks.  On our campus, alternate work schedules consist of flextime and compressed workweeks.

Compressed Workweek: Compressed workweeks are alternative work arrangements where a standard workweek is reduced to fewer than five days, and employees make up the full number of hours per-week by working longer hours.
The most common type of compressed workweek schedules are:

  • 4/10 schedule (four 10-hour days per week).
  • 9/80 schedule (80 hours in a two week period worked over nine days instead of ten).

Core Work Hours:  Core work hours are the hours when all employees must be at the worksite.  Core hours may vary depending upon the requirements of the position and operational needs of the department.

Standard Workweek: The standard workweek is from midnight Sunday to midnight the following Sunday and is typically eight (8) hours per day on five (5) consecutive days from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with one (1) hour for a meal period.


All exempt employees with the understanding that:

  1. A compressed workweek is not appropriate for all positions, or in all settings, or for all employees.
  2. A compressed workweek during the probationary period is not advisable because of the need to clarify job responsibilities, establish relationships with co-workers and clients, and assess suitability for continued employment.
  3. Employees who have problems with punctuality, attendance, and/or performance, or who require close supervision, are not good candidates.


Determining if Compressed Workweeks are Appropriate

  1. Review the Alternative (Flexible) Work Schedule Considerations document.
  2. A compressed workweek schedule should not negatively affect the workload or productivity of coworkers either by shifting burdens or creating delays and additional steps in the workflow.  The supervisor/department head should ensure that other employees in the same unit/department understand how and why compressed workweek schedules function.
  3. In the event that more employees request compressed workweek schedule arrangements than a unit/department can reasonably manage, the supervisor/department head shall respond to requests that are consistent with these guidelines in ways that are equitable to all employees and in the best interest of the University. Among the measures that might be adopted are rotating turns between employees, staggering schedules, and establishing core work hours.

Managing Compressed Workweek Schedules

  1. The employee should initiate a request for a compressed workweek by submitting a proposal to her/his supervisor/department head. 
  2. If the employee and supervisor/department head agree to a compressed workweek arrangement, the  employee and supervisor shall:
  3. The supervisor/department head shall maintain open communication, ensure that the employee’s hours of work do not fall below the normal workweek hours and discuss with the employee any concerns as they arise.
  4. Modifications and/or renewals also shall be documented appropriately.
  5. The employee must note their specific compressed workweek schedule (i.e., 9/80, 4/10, etc.) on their timesheet each month.
  6. The original Alternative (Flexible) Work Schedule Agreement shall be maintained in the employee’s personnel file, with copies to the employee and the supervisor/department head.
  7. Compressed workweek arrangements shall be initiated on a trial basis, and may be discontinued at any time at the request of either the employee or supervisor/department head.  The unit/department reserves the right to suspend the arrangement in the event of unanticipated circumstances regarding employee performance or operational needs, provided 30 days notice is given.
  8. Flex Day Switching: Since there is no limitation on the hours worked by an exempt employee, and no overtime pay is required by law, upon department approval, an exempt employee may switch their flex day to another day within the same pay period. 
  9. Holidays - Occurring on an Employee’s Regularly Scheduled Workday: When a paid holiday falls on an employee’s regularly scheduled workday, the employee will be paid eight hours of holiday pay for the holiday, similar to employees on regular work schedules.  No additional day off will be given.
  10. Holidays - Occurring on an Employee’s Regularly Scheduled Flex Day:  When a paid holiday falls on an employee’s regularly scheduled day off, the employee will be paid eight hours holiday pay for the holiday AND be given an alternate day off during the same pay period (e.g., the month the holiday occurs in).
  11. Vacations and Sick Leave – Absences of at Least One Full Day, But Less Than a Full Week:Full day absences that occur as a result of vacation or illness will require charging the number of hours the employee was normally scheduled to work on the specified day (e.g., an employee is scheduled to work 10 hours and is absent due to a vacation or illness, must have 10 hours of vacation or sick time deducted from his/her leave accruals).
  12. Vacations and Sick Leave – Absences of a Full Week: When leave time is taken for an entire standard workweek, the employee may make an advance request to temporarily revert back to a traditional schedule to ensure no more than 40 hours in any given week is docked from leave accruals.
  13. Jury Duty – Occurring on an Employee’s Regularly Scheduled Workday:  Jury duty shall be paid for the number of hours in the employee’s regularly scheduled workday.  If jury duty continues for an extended period (longer than one week), the employee will revert back to a standard workweek schedule.
  14.  Jury Duty – Occurring on an Employee’s Regularly Scheduled Flex Day:  Jury duty shall not be paid for time spent during an employee’s regularly scheduled flex day, since the employee is not scheduled to work on that day.

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Riverside, CA 92521
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Human Resources
1201 University Ave., Suite 208
Riverside, CA 92507

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