UO Voluntary Summer Work Share Program - Unit and Supervisor Guidance

The following information provides unit-leadership and supervisors guidance for establishing and applying criteria to consistently manage employees requesting or participating in reduced schedules as part of the UO Work Share Program.

Please feel free to discuss the program with employees. Such discussions should focus on making sure employees are aware of the program and overall opportunity, messages sent to them, and website resources. If employees have questions after reviewing the material that you are unable to answer, please refer them to HR. They can email their question to workshare@uoregon.edu.

Notify Human Resources right away if an employee misses work opportunities or something changes with an employee's position.

Supervisors must notify Human Resources right away if an employee misses any work opportunities, as we are required to submit that to the Oregon Employment Department on a weekly basis. A missed work opportunity would include a no call/no show situation, if an employee takes unpaid time off, or if they don’t work a shift that is offered to them which causes them to work less than their reduced FTE for the week. If an employee misses a work opportunity, please email HR at workshare@uoregon.edu right away, provide the employee’s name and UO ID, and describe the situation. Please note that if an employee takes paid leave, such as vacation, sick, personal leave, or comp time, you do not need to report this to HR, as that is not considered a missed work opportunity.

Supervisors must notify Human Resources right away if something changes with an employee’s employment or position, such as if the employee no longer works at UO, transfers to another position at UO, or needs to be removed from the program due to operational needs that require them to return to their full FTE. If something changes with an employee’s employment or position, please email HR at workshare@uoregon.edu right away, provide the employee’s name and UO ID, and describe the situation.

Remind employees they must take action to enroll in the program and receive unemployment benefits.

University Human Resources will oversee the UO Work Share Program and manage the program application, claim forms, and weekly reports required by the Oregon Employment Department based on the information provided by participating employees. Employees must:

  • Submit weekly certification by 5:00 p.m. every Monday while in the program.
    Please note that failure to submit the weekly certification by the deadline will result in an employee being ineligible to receive unemployment payments for the previous week. We are unable to make exceptions to this requirement.
    Also note that supervisors are not required to review or review the weekly certification, due to technology limitations and timeline constraints.
  • Complete enrollment forms (which includes 1 required form and two optional forms) and submit to Human Resources as soon as possible. The Oregon Employment Department will not initiate payments to participants until the required Initial Claim form is completed and submitted.

Set expectations for weekly work hours and modified duties.

When determining employees’ schedules under the UO Voluntary Summer Work Share program, consider what days or times would be best for your employees to be off and the employees’ needs. Schedules should align with your department workflows. For example, if you have all-staff meetings on Thursdays, you will need your employees to work on Thursdays to attend.

If your employees participate, please work with your employees to prioritize their tasks. Their workweek will now be shorter than usual and they may need assistance in determining what work to perform first.

Supervisors must document employees’ summer schedules and modified duties under the program. Summer schedules must reflect reduced hours and duties that align with the employees reduced FTE. For example, an employee at .8 FTE, can only work 32 hours every week. This is true for hourly and salaried/exempt employees. Documentation can be an email that explains the agreed upon schedule and reduced duties over the program period or the reduced schedule template.

Remind employees about meal and rest breaks requirements.

Some exempt/salaried program participants will drop below the FLSA threshold and be required to take meals and rest breaks and track hours. Supervisors may designate and document a default schedule with the employee using the template above where only changes to the set schedule need to be tracked. Time spent checking emails and answering phone calls outside of work hours is generally considered time worked under FLSA. As a result, supervisors should communicate expectations to employees during this time. Employees should record and be paid for time spent engaging in this activity.

Direct employee questions about unemployment payments to the FAQ.

The Work Share FAQ includes a section dedicated to Unemployment Payments. Please direct employees to this resource if they have questions.

Due to the unusually high volume of unemployment claims currently being processed by the Oregon Employment Department, there will likely be a significant lag between the time participants begin working a reduced schedule at reduced pay and receiving their first unemployment benefits payment from the State of Oregon. It could be 6 weeks or more until participants receive an unemployment payment from the State of Oregon. The university is offering a Work Share Payroll Advance for employees while they wait for their unemployment benefits to begin.

Do not submit a PRF to change an employee's FTE.

Supervisors and departments do not need to take action in order to reduce or reinstate FTE related to this program. Please do not submit a PRF to reduce or reinstate FTE related to this program; Human Resources and Payroll are collaborating to take care of this via a mass upload.

Continue timesheet and leave usage reporting as usual.

Employees must continue to report their time/use of accrued leave following their normal timesheet/time entry process and timeline while they are on the program.

No retaliation for participation.

Supervisors may not retaliate against employees who show interest in or participate in the Work Share program. The program has been approved by the University as a means to recoup some budget savings for a limited period over the summer. So long as the program will work for your unit, employees are free to apply and participate in the program without fear of adverse employment action.

Performance evaluations are not impacted by participation.

When working on an employee’s performance evaluation for next year, the fact that they participated in the Work Share program cannot be used against them in assessing their annual performance.  Supervisors should understand and account for the fact that employees will be working less and therefore their duties should either be reduced or extra time should be provided to complete tasks. However, if the employee’s quality of work drops, or if their pace of work drops more than reasonably expected due to the reduction in hours, those performance drops could be noted on an evaluation as they normally would be. If you have questions or concerns, please contact uoelr@uoregon.edu.

Return employees to full FTE at the end of program period.

Employees who participate in the Work Share program should generally be returned to their prior FTE at the end of the program. That said, during the challenging times ahead departments may need to make changes based on budget needs, including unit-specific Work Share programs, layoffs and – in the future – progressive pay reduction, furloughs, and/or FTE reductions. If you are seeking to take additional employment actions in conjunction with or following the Work Share program, these actions will need to be unit-wide and not focus solely on those employees who participated in Work Share. Units must work with HR prior to communicating or taking any unit-level actions described in this paragraph. For more information, please contact uoelr@uoregon.edu.

Set and use objective and reliable criteria for approval.

You will need to use objective and reliable criteria and document your decision-making when determining who can or cannot participate in the UO Voluntary Summer Work Share program. The main factor that you should be considering in this analysis is whether the department can operate effectively with staff participating in the work share program.  If you deny an employee’s participation, you need to provide concrete criteria and rational for why an employee’s participation in the workshare program would hinder operations.

  • The simplest method is to either approve or deny all requests to participate from employees in your unit, or use seniority as the basis for your decision if you have classified employees.
  • If you are going to be more selective, you will need to define what objective criteria you used in allowing some employees to participate and not others. Criteria are objective and reliable if:
    • They do not include protected personal characteristics (prohibited discrimination is prohibited);
    • HR can review the criteria and understand why you arrived at the decision; and,
    • Generally, the decision is based on documented information.
    • Examples: You have two executive assistants who are both requesting 20% FTE reductions through the work share program. The easiest way to review these requests is to approve both requests or to deny both requests.  If you feel like that is not possible because, due to operational need, you can only have one person in this position working at .8FTE over the summer, then you need to use objective and reliable criteria to explain your choice between the two employees.  Objective criteria could be the employees AY 19-20 performance reviews, the employees’ duties (to the extent one has a duty that must be performed over the summer and the other does not), or seniority (length of time at the institution.)
  • If certain business needs are mission critical, then all employees who work on those aspects should be treated similarly.
  • If you have questions about what objective and reliable criteria you should use to make a decision about work share, please contact uoelr@uoregon.edu.