Summer Hours and Winter Break

Guidelines for Administering Summer Hours

If a department observes summer hours, the guidelines listed below will help managers administer this paid time off.  Note: These guidelines do not apply to student workers or seasonal/intermittent employees.

Eligibility for Summer Hours

During the summer, regular and fixed-term full-time staff have the benefit of working 35 hours a week, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m, with an hour for lunch and the same pay. Part-time staff do not reduce their hours in the summer and must work at least 3 hours on each day they work.

Note: No department is required to work summer hours, and some departments may not observe them at all if their duties and responsibilities are better served by working the standard schedule during all or part of this time period. Individual department observance of summer hours is determined by the department head. 

Vacation and Sick Time

Vacation and sick time accrual is fully detailed in Vacation Time. As a general reminder, vacation and sick time accrual rates for full-time staff during summer hours are based on the regular schedule of 7.5 hours per day. Part-time employees should consult the policy for information about calculating their monthly accrual rates.

Vacation and sick time utilization for full-time staff is also based on the regular schedule of 7.5 hours per day. Thus, if a full-time employee takes a week's vacation during the summer, that employee's accrued vacation time would be reduced by a full week (37.5 hours).

Vacation and sick time is charged in full or half day increments for exempt staff. Non-exempt staff should have their accruals adjusted based on a 7.5 hour day. For example, if a full-time non-exempt employee works without a lunch break from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. and then leaves for the day, that employee has worked 5 hours and will use 2.5 hours of accrued vacation or sick time that day. Please note that under Rhode Island law, all staff must take at least a 20-minute (unpaid) lunch period if their work day exceeds six hours.

Guidelines for Administering the Winter Break

The Winter Break schedule is announced each year by University Human Resources. With the exception of the Christmas Eve holiday, the Christmas Day holiday, and the New Year's Day holiday, Winter Break days off are not official University holidays, nor will they count against a staff member's vacation time.

Please note: Employees who work less than 12 months and who are not scheduled to work during the Winter Break period and employees who are on an unpaid leave are not eligible for pay for Winter Break. 

Employees who are not eligible for holiday pay are not eligible for pay for the Winter Break. Sufficient time has been provided to departments to assess workloads and evaluate staffing needs during the Winter Break. To assist managers in ensuring consistent treatment of staff who will be required to work during the Winter Break, below are guidelines to help administer this paid time off.

Compensatory Time During Winter Break

Departments should manage their operations to minimize additional payroll expenses and to afford employees additional time off. Toward that end, managers of departments that must remain operational during the break have two options:

  1. Compensate staff with compensatory time in lieu of paying additional wages; the compensatory time accrued during the break does not create a legal obligation to pay staff within the same pay period because staff are already being paid for the time worked; consequently, the time worked can be "banked."
  2. Pay staff for hours worked during the Winter Break

If a department knows in advance that employees will be required to work during the break, it can designate other days during November or December that may be taken off in place of the days anticipated to be worked during the break. In cases where time off during November or December is not feasible, employees can be granted compensatory time off prior to June 30 of next year, equal to the hours worked during the Winter Break. Employees who leave Brown prior to taking the accrued compensatory time should be paid for this accrued time. There may be exceptional cases where staff members are unable to take the accrued compensatory time by  June 30. In these instances, this time should be paid as straight time in the first pay period following June 30.

Managing Vacation Time

Supervisors are reminded to consider operational requirements when presented with vacation requests for December and January. Some departments may wish to restrict vacations near the Winter Break due to workload requirements; others may actually encourage employees to use vacation time during the period between semesters. Department heads should pay attention to this issue and use their discretion.

Union Employees

Questions regarding bargaining unit members should be directed to the HR Business Partner for the specific area; all other questions should be directed to the Senior Director of Employee and Labor Relations at 3-3896.