800 - Work Hours & Pay Practices

801 - Hours of Operation

The standard business hours of the University offices are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Individual departments may operate on alternative schedules based on the nature of the particular services they provide or as part of a flexible work arrangement. For an employee to alter the standard workweek schedule, advance approval is required. See  Flexwork Program for more information.

802 - Meal Period

The University affords staff members one (1) unpaid hour for lunch, which is scheduled by the department supervisor. No employee shall be required to work more than five (5) consecutive hours without a meal period.

Special note for non-exempt employees: Non-Exempt employees must be completely off duty during this lunch period.  An employee can waive a meal period and work through it if the supervisor agrees. This request or waiver must be initiated by the employee in writing and this time would then be counted toward time worked.

803 - Rest Periods

The University affords a fifteen (15) minute paid break for every four (4) continuous hours of work. Rest periods may not be waived by employees or supervisors. Time not taken as a rest period cannot be used to shorten the workday, accrue compensatory time, or be added to the meal period. An attempt should be made to schedule this break near the middle of a shift or work period. Intermittent rest periods may be allowed instead of a scheduled break when the nature of the work allows intermittent rest periods equal to fifteen minutes during each four hours of work.

804 - Work Week Definition

A workweek is 12:00 a.m. Sunday through 11:59 p.m. Saturday.

805 - Overtime

Overtime pay is applicable only to non-exempt employees. A full-time non-exempt employee normally works thirty-seven and a half (37.5) hours per week [seven and a half (7.5) hours per day]. In accordance with the requirements of federal and state wage and hour laws, non-exempt employees are paid one and a half (1.5) times the regular hourly rate for hours actually worked in excess of forty (40) hours per work week [straight time is given for the hours beyond thirty-seven and a half (37.5) and up forty (40) hours]. Federal and state wage laws require that employees be compensated for any work the employer allows, requests or requires, including work done from home or in the workplace prior to or after normal work hours. Employees may not waive their right to overtime. The supervisor must authorize overtime and/or changes to an employee's regular schedule in advance and in writing. Questions about overtime guidelines should be directed to HR.

806 - Flexing Schedules for Non-Exempt Employees

Arrangements for compensatory time “in lieu of” overtime is not allowed. If a non-exempt employee exceeds 40 hours in a week, the employee must be paid overtime for that week rather than working a shortened week the following week. With approval by a supervisor, however, non-exempt employees may adjust schedules within a workweek so that an employee does not exceed their normally scheduled hours thereby eliminating the need to pay additional straight time (those working 37.5-hour weeks only) or overtime (for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week). This adjustment must be recorded accurately on the employee’s timesheet.

For example: Pat is a non-exempt employee working 37.5 hours per week. Pat works 3 additional hours on a Tuesday evening to assist with a campus event, therefore Pat and the supervisor agree to allow Pat to leave 3 hours early on the Friday of the same work week. Pat would record 10.5 hours worked on Tuesday and 4.5 hours worked on Friday when submitting the timesheet for the week.  This policy applies to non-exempt employees regardless of whether a flexwork arrangement has been approved. 

807 - Travel Time

The university will pay a non-exempt employee’s door-to-door travel time to and from other cities when the university has required the employee to travel for university-related work. While the non-exempt employee is at the out-of-town destination, the university will pay for the employee’s time performing work but will not pay for the employee’s free time.

For example: The university has required Pat, a non-exempt employee, to organize and attend an event on a Tuesday in San Francisco, California. On Tuesday morning, Pat walks out the front door of Pat’s home in Seattle at 7:00 a.m. and takes the light rail to the airport for Pat’s 9:30 a.m. flight. Pat responds to some work-related emails at the airport and watches a movie during the flight. Pat’s flight lands in San Francisco at 11:30 a.m. Pat takes a taxi to the hotel, arriving at 12:30 p.m. Pat sends and responds to work emails from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. From 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Pat goes for a run, grabs dinner across the street from the hotel, and showers and changes for the evening university event. From 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Pat sits in traffic in a taxi on the way to the event. Pat arrives at the event site at 6:30 p.m. and spends the next half hour checking on final preparations. Pat attends the event from its start time at 7:00 p.m. to its conclusion at 8:30 p.m. Pat helps clean up and close the event from 8:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. From 9:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., Pat has a beverage across the street from the event site with university colleagues. From 10:00 p.m. to 10:15 p.m., Pat rides home to the hotel in a taxi and goes to bed. On Wednesday morning, Pat walks out the front door of the hotel at 7:00 a.m. and takes a taxi to the airport for a 10:00 a.m. flight. Pat once again answers some emails at the airport and watches a movie on the flight. Pat’s flight lands in Seattle at 12:05 p.m. Pat takes the light rail home from the airport, arriving home at 1:15 p.m. Pat sends and responds to work-related emails until 2:00 p.m., then spends the remainder of the day with his family, except for a 15-minute zoom call from 3:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. with his supervisor to debrief from the event.

Pat’s total hours worked are:

Day  Activity Time Work Hours Non-work Hours
Tuesday - work Door to door travel 7:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 5.50  
  Reading/replying to work email 12:30 - 3:30 p.m. 3.00  
  Working event 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. 2.50  
Tuesday - nonwork Exercised, eats, gets ready to attend event 3:30 - 6:00 p.m.   2.50
  Travel to/from event  6:00 - 6:30 p.m., 10:00 -10:15 p.m.   0.75
  Socializing with colleagues 9:00  - 10:00 p.m.   1.00
Tuesday total hours     11.00 4.25
Wednesday - work Door to door travel 7:00 a.m. -1:15 p.m. 6.25  
  Reading/replying to work email 1:15 - 2:00 p.m. 0.75  
  Zoom call 3:30 - 3:45 p.m. 0.25  
Wednesday total hours     7.25 0.00
    Totals = 18.75 Paid 4.25 Unpaid

Where possible, work weeks with significant travel may require the non-exempt staff member to flex their work schedule during the same work week.  Refer to the Section 806 – Flexing Schedules for Non-exempt Employees directly above this section for details.   

808 - Flexible Work Arrangements

Seattle University (SU) supports flexible work arrangements (“flexwork”) for certain staff positions where the arrangement allows staff to continue to deliver excellent service to students and stakeholders, enables SU to attract and retain a talented and diverse workforce, and furthers SU’s sustainability goals.  


Flexwork may not be suitable for all staff positions and is not an employee benefit program. Flexwork requires a formal application process, is subject to periodic review, and may be changed or terminated at any time for any reason at the university’s discretion.  Flexwork is not “leave,” and is thus not intended to be used in place of sick leave, Family and Medical Leave, leave used under the Washington State Paid Family Leave Act, Workers’ Compensation leave, or other types of leave. Subject to the other considerations in this policy, flexwork may be available to existing staff with positive performance/performance history as well as new staff who have successfully completed an introductory work period of 3-6 months.

Program Options

Typical Flexwork Options

Hybrid work schedule

A preapproved number of workdays off campus. The maximum number of days off campus will be 2 unless approved by the Dean or Division Leader in consultation with the appropriate Senior Leader. 

Flexible hours

Flexible work hours may commence before or after SU standard business hours (8:00AM – 4:30PM, Monday – Friday).

The university will consider the following additional flexwork options under limited circumstances:

Compressed workweek

The 37.5-hour workweek is completed in less than five .

Note: This option will be reported to Payroll for proper time reporting.

Reduced workweek

The workweek is less than 37.5 hours. This option can be considered if the work unit can maintain the same or better levels of quality and service.

Note:  This option requires a wage change form and pay & benefits will be impacted according to other SU policies.

Fully remote (Domestic U.S.)

This option could apply to a limited number of roles subject to the requirements in the approval form. 

Working from outside of Washington, but within the United States, is generally discouraged. It is permissible only with prior formal approval of a Senior Leader and Human Resources. Employees who request to work outside of Washington are responsible for employees’ tax, insurance, and benefit implications.

Full details about this option can be found here.

Flexible Work (International)

Working from outside the United States is generally discouraged. It is permissible only with prior formal approval of the Vice President, Human Resources, the Provost, and the President. 

Full details about this option can be found here.


Submission of a flexwork request form is not required when a staff colleague and a supervisor agree to an infrequent work schedule adjustment, such as working from home or altering work start and end times for just a few days.

Escalation process

If a staff colleague believes the flexwork policy or the program guidelines have not been fairly administered, the staff colleague may contact hr@seattleu.edu.

Changes or Alterations

Flexwork arrangements may be adjusted for a variety of reasons, including changes in the employee’s role or the realities of the academic year.


Flexible work agreements require recertification. Recertification will occur annually in alignment with the Annual Staff Performance Review process. Changes that are approved during the year will be tracked locally by the Flexwork Coordinator. 

809 - Holiday Premium

Holiday premium pay is applicable only to non-exempt employees. Holidays are rarely worked at the University with the exception of essential services. Any non-exempt employee accepting a request to work on an observed holiday receives a holiday premium. There are two options for the holiday premium: (1) an employee may receive premium pay at one and a half (1.5) times the regular hourly rate for working a holiday and, therefore, may not receive a paid day off on another day; or (2) the employee may be paid straight time for the holiday worked and receive a paid day off on another day within that fiscal year as pre-arranged and pre-approved with the supervisor.

810 - Lactation in the Workplace

It is the policy of Seattle University to comply with all state and federal laws and regulations covering the rights of employees to express breast milk in the workplace.

Lactation in the Workplace

Seattle University acknowledges the important role that the workplace environment can play to support employees’ nursing and lactation goals. Breastfeeding employees who choose to continue providing their milk for their child after returning to work will receive:

  • Milk Expression Breaks

Breastfeeding employees can express milk during work hours using their normal breaks and mealtimes. For time that may be needed beyond the usual break times, employees may use personal leave or may make up the time as negotiated with their supervisors. These breaks will be provided for the first twenty-four (24) months of the child’s life.

  • A Place to Express Milk

A private room (not a restroom) will be available for employees to breastfeed or express milk. The room will be private and sanitary and have access to an electrical outlet. If employees prefer, they may also express milk in their own private office or in other appropriate locations agreed upon in consultation with the employee's supervisor.

Employee Responsibilities

An employee planning to express milk at work should provide reasonable notice to their supervisor, either verbally or in writing. If the employee wishes to take breaks to express milk over and above scheduled paid break periods, the employee may use personal leave. Alternatively, the employee may make up time used over and above scheduled paid break periods by using flexible scheduling options as arranged with the employee’s supervisor, including starting shifts early or leaving later. Employees are also responsible for storing breast milk.

Supervisor Responsibilities

Supervisors are responsible for negotiating practices that will help facilitate each employee's lactation goals. This includes the break schedule as well as agreed upon location.  Supervisors should consult with Human Resources for assistance.

FAQs Lactation in the Workplace