Number: V.1.C.5.
Date Issued: Dec. 21, 1990
Date Revised: Aug 91, Dec 92


To describe methods and procedures required for an individual to reduce work hours in their position assignment.


Personnel Regulations Section 162.1.B. Scheduled Hours


While an employee may occasionally work fewer that the authorized/scheduled hours of work of his/her position, there are several reasons why this should not occur on an on-going basis without a corresponding reduction in the scheduled/authorized hours. First, if this occurs on an on-going basis it has a negative effect on the employee. These negative effects are described in II.H. and II.O. of this policy section.

Second it can result in employees who work less than there scheduled/authorized hours being treated better than other part-time employees. Using holiday leave as an example, an employee in a half-time position who actually works 20 hours a week will receive 4 hours holiday leave for a full-day holiday. That employee cannot receive more than 4 hours holiday leave. However, an employee in a full-time position, who is assigned to work a maximum of 20 hours a week, COULD claim 8 hours of holiday leave on his/her time card and this would probably go undetected, although it constitutes, in effect, fraud.

  1. An employee in a budgeted position may voluntary reduce his/her work hours, to a minimum of 20 hours per week, with agreement with the department and upon the approval of the department head and the County Administrative Office.
  2. Impact of Hours Reduction - The following areas will be impacted upon voluntary reduction of work hours.

    1. Base Pay - Base pay will be reduced equivalent with the reduction in hours worked. Going from 40 hours a week to 36 hours a week will result in a 10% reduction in base pay.

    2. Take Home Pay - The actual reduction in take home pay will depend on the employee's tax bracket, deductions and number of dependents.

    3. Seniority - Seniority is prorated for part-time employees. For example, a half-time employee (20 hours per week), gains seniority at half the rate of a full-time employee. Any hours worked beyond those authorized are non-service hours and do not count toward seniority, even though the reduced schedule was voluntary.

    4. Step Increases - Eligibility for step increases is determined by hours worked within the authorized weekly number; and 2080 total hours are required regardless of whether an employee is full-time or part-time. A full-time employee thus would be eligible after one year of work, and a .9 (36 hours a week) employee after 13.3 months. Any hours worked beyond those authorized are non-service hours and do not count toward step increases, even though the reduced schedule was voluntary. 

    5. Overtime at Time and One-half - Overtime at time and a half, (payable in cash or compensatory time, depending on the representation unit), is dependent on the number of hours worked during the work period which applies. (Most employees have a one week work period, where hours worked in excess of 40 hours constitutes overtime. Other employees who are eligible for overtime have a two week work period, with overtime defined as hours worked in excess of 80 or 90 (depending on the representation unit) during the two week period). If a 36 hour a week employee on a one week work period works 40 hours, no overtime at time and a half is earned. The extra four hours are paid at straight time. If a 36 hour a week employee on a two-week work period works 80 hours, no overtime at time and one-half is earned; the extra 8 hours (80-72) are paid at straight time.

    6. Holidays - Holidays for part-time employees are pro-rated. A .9 employee would thus receive 7.2 hours of holiday leave, rather than 8 for a full-time employee.

    7. Differentials - Differentials, such as night shift differential or bilingual differential, may be paid on hours worked or on hours worked plus hours of paid leave, depending upon the particular differential and representation unit. In general, the fewer hours worked, the less differential pay.

    8. Paid Leave Which is Accrued (annual leave, vacation, sick leave, administrative leave). These types of paid leave are accrued on an hourly basis for scheduled hours of work. A part-time employee will accrue such leave on a prorated basis.

      1. Eligibility to receive such paid leave is not affected by  part-time employment; provided, however, that a reduction in a number of hours worked WITHOUT a corresponding decrease in the number of authorized/scheduled hours for the position will have a negative effect on the employee. For example, an employee working only 20 hours a week in a 40 hour a week position will not be eligible for annual leave until 1040 hours of service are completed (approximately one calendar year). However, if the employee works 20 hours a week in a position authorized for 20 hours, the employee will be eligible for annual leave after 520 hours of service (approximately 6 months).

        Employees are eligible to receive annual leave and sick leave after working hours of service equivalent to six months. Employees are eligible to receive vacation after hours of service equivalent to one year.

      2. Accrual of service to receive a higher increment of annual leave or vacation is based on scheduled hours worked. Thus, an employee must work 10,401 hours to receive the next higher accrual rate, regardless of whether they are full or part-time.

      3. A part-time employee will use less annual leave than a full-time employee. Thus, a week's vacation uses 40 hours of annual leave for a full-time employee, and 36 hours for an employee whose scheduled hours are 36 hour per week.  

        For employees who receive administrative leave, the provisions of part 166.5.B.1.c. should be reviewed regarding the impact of a change in scheduled hours during the first year when the initial credit is received.


    9. Sick Leave - For those employees with accrued sick leave, including employees in the General Representation Unit who have sick leave balances remaining from accruals prior to 7/20/79, the rate at which sick leave accrued is converted to cash at the time of separation is dependent upon hours of service. A part-time employee must work a longer period to reach a higher conversion rate than a full-time employee.

    10. Other Leave With Pay - (Jury Duty, Donation of Blood, Taking Examinations). An employee can not be paid more than their scheduled hours for the purposes of Other Leave With Pay. For example, if the employee is scheduled to work 6 hours and the activity takes 8, they will be paid for the 6 hours scheduled.

    11. Insurances - County contributions and employee contributions remain the same for insurances (medical, dental, vision, life, LTD, as determined by the representation unit) whether an employee is full-time or part-time. LTD benefits are scaled to earnings and thus usually are less for part-time than for full-time employees, depending on the earning level.

    12. Unemployment Benefits - Unemployment benefits are related (but not strictly proportionate) to earnings. Thus, a person who was part-time and who is receiving UI will usually receive less than a person who was full-time.

    13. P.E.R.S. and Social Security (OASDI) - PERS retirement benefits and Social Security benefits are affected to some extent by part-time work. As benefits are based on years of covered service, age and earnings, no specific impact can be identified which applies to all employees. If an employee is within three years of retirement, he/she should contact the Employee Relations Division Manager in Personnel for more specific information.

    14. Eligibility for Promotion - Minimum requirements for examinations are based on full-time experience. Thus, if one year of experience is the typical way to be eligible for a job class, a 20 hour week employee would have to have 24 months experience to meet the requirements. See Policies on Establishing Minimum Qualifications - III.5. and Qualifying Exams-Alternate Hire Classes IV.6.

    15. Probation Period - The length of the probation period is based on hours worked equivalent to six months or 12 months, depending upon the job class. The probation period should be the same for full-time and part-time employees; provided, however, that a reduction in hours worked WITHOUT a corresponding decrease in the number of authorized/scheduled hours for the position will have a negative effect on the employee. The net effect of working fewer that the authorized/scheduled hours of a position is to prolong the employee's probation period. For example, if an employee with a six month probation period only works 20 hours per week in a 40 hours per week position, the employee will be on probation for 1040 hours (approximately one calendar year).

    16. Working Extra Hours - If an employee works hours in excess of their scheduled hours, the added hours do not count towards step increases, holidays, paid leave accrual, seniority or PERS service.


      1. Approvals for Reduction of Work Hours will be authorized using PER1088 which states the requirements to effect Reduction in Work Hours.

      2. Employees wishing to voluntarily reduce work hours will receive a copy of this Policy. 

      3. The operating department will complete the PER1088 form, have the employee sign the form, and submit it to the County Administrative Office for approval.

        In completing the form, the operating department should consider including the following conditions for the reduced work hours;

        1. Approval of reduced work hours may be rescinded at any time and an employee's work hours restored to normal (e.g. 40 hours a week) due to administrative requirements of the department or failure of any employee to maintain satisfactory attendance or performance standards.

        2. For job sharing, if one of the two employees resigns, the second employee may be required to return to full-time.

        3. For job sharing, if one employee wishes to return to full-time, s/he must wait until a full-time position is open as determined by the department. (An employee does not have rights back to a full-time position that may be held for salary savings.)

      4. The CAO will return the approved form to the operating department. 

      5. The department will submit the approved form and a Personnel Action Form to Personnel for processing.

      6. After approval, distribution of the form will include 1 copy to the employee, 1 copy to the operating department, 1 copy to Personnel for the employee personnel file and 1 copy to the County Administrative Office.

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