University Policies
Policy Contact
Director, Recruitment and Staffing Operations Email 401-863-3175

Work Schedules Policy

Policy No. Issue Date Effective Date

1.0 Policy Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to define the University’s standard work hours, including Summer Hours and Winter Break.

2.0 To Whom the Policy Applies

This policy applies to Brown University staff. 

3.0 Policy Statement

The University's business hours are Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during the academic year. Specific work hours may vary from this standard schedule, particularly Summer Hours, Winter Break, and Emergency and/or Administrative Closure, if applicable. Non-exempt employees are paid for each hour of work, and exempt employees work the number of hours required to accomplish their duties.

All staff are expected to report for work on time and work their full shift in accordance with their work schedule. When an employee must be late or leave early, they are expected to inform their supervisor as far in advance as possible of the start of the work day.  If advance notice is not possible due to an emergency situation, then an employee must notify their manager as soon as practicable. Failure to report or to communicate a need for tardiness or leaving early, as circumstances dictate, may prompt disciplinary action.

3.1 Summer Hours, Winter Break and Emergency and/or Administrative Closures

From time to time, the University may modify standard work hours. Examples include Summer Hours for those departments that elect to observe them, Winter Break, and Emergency and/or Administrative Closures. 

A community-wide announcement will be made to announce any modification of standard work schedules. In addition, the University provides an opportunity for employees and managers to make individualized adjustments to work schedules if mutually agreeable, in certain circumstances. (Refer to Alternative Work Assignments policy).

3.2 Breaks

Under Rhode Island law, all staff who work a six hour shift must be provided a 20 minute unpaid lunch period and if a staff member works an eight-hour shift, they must be provided a 30 minute unpaid meal break.  Generally, full-time non-exempt staff are given a one hour unpaid lunch period. Break periods may not be taken at the beginning or end of the day or to extend lunch.

There is no legal requirement for other breaks; however, the University supports break time for nursing mothers in the workplace. (Refer to Nursing Parents policy). 

4.0 Definitions

For the purpose of this policy, the terms below have the following definitions:

Summer Hours:

Subject to approval, 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 three hours on each day they work.

Winter Break:

Winter Break days are approved annually. The Winter Break schedule is announced each year by University Human Resources. With the exception of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day, Winter Break days off are not considered official University holidays and do not  count against a staff member's vacation time.

Emergency and/or Administrative Closure:

An unscheduled suspension of the University's administrative operations due to inclement weather, a natural or man-made disaster, the outbreak of pandemic illnesses and/or any other unforeseen circumstances. 

5.0 Responsibilities

All individuals to whom this policy applies are responsible for becoming familiar with and following this policy. University supervisors are responsible for promoting the understanding of this policy and for taking appropriate steps to help ensure compliance with it.

5.1 Employee Responsibilities

  • Employees are responsible for submitting their time each week in Workday.
  • Employees unable to work due to illness must notify their supervisors in advance, or within the first 1/2 hour following their normal starting time. 
  • Employees who need to leave early must notify their supervisor in advance of the shift 
  • Employees must use vacation or sick time and/or a leave of absence as appropriate.

6.0 Consequences for Violating this Policy

Failure to comply with this and related policies is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension without pay, or termination of employment or association with the University, in accordance with applicable (e.g., staff, faculty, student) disciplinary procedures. 

7.0 Related Information

This policy is not a legal document. This policy does not confer a term of employment, nor is the language intended to establish a contract of employment, express or implied, between any employee and Brown University. The University reserves the right to change, amend or terminate any of its human resources policies at any time for any reason.

Brown University is a community in which employees are encouraged to share workplace concerns with University leadership. Additionally, Brown’s Anonymous Reporting Hotline allows anonymous and confidential reporting on matters of concern online or by phone (877-318-9184).

The following information complements and supplements this document. The information is intended to help explain this policy and is not an all-inclusive list of policies, procedures, laws, and requirements.

7.3 Related Forms


7.4 Frequently Asked Questions


Policy Owner and Contact(s)

Policy Owner: Vice President for Human Resources

Policy Approved by: Executive Vice President for Finance & Administration

Contact Information:

Director, Recruitment and Staffing Operations Email 401-863-3175

Policy History

Policy Issue Date:

Policy Effective Date:

Policy Update/Review Summary:

Formatted to comply with the new University Policy Template. Policy disclaimer notice added in section 7.0 on May 8, 2020. Policy footer removed on June 19, 2020.