Gov. Gibbons signs order for 4-day work weeks |

Gov. Gibbons signs order for 4-day work weeks

Associated Press Writer

Gov. Jim Gibbons has signed an executive order cracking down on overtime and allowing agency heads to implement flexible work weeks.

Gibbons last week vetoed a bill passed in a special session of the Legislature that would have implemented four-day, 10-hour work weeks for most state agencies beginning July 1 and required any employees granted exemptions from a one-day-per-month furlough to instead take a 4.6 percent pay cut – the equivalent loss in pay.

In his veto message, the governor called the bill unworkable, saying it didn’t provide flexibility and would actually cost the state time, money and manpower to implement.

He also criticized some aspects of the bill, such as reinstatement by lawmakers of salary adjustments and incentives being received by some current employees, and a requirement that any furlough exemptions be approved by the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee.

Gibbons said he would implement cost-saving measures contained in the bill through executive orders and regulations.

“Innovative work schedules may improve efficiency, decrease costs to employees and the state, and improve employee morale,” Gibbons said in his order dated Monday.

It encourages agency directors to implement schedules that decrease employee commuting costs and state energy consumption provided client service and work processing times remain the priority.

Any work week adjustments must be submitted to the executive budget office first, with the governor’s office to make a final determination.

The order also imposes oversight for employee overtime, requiring prior written approval by a director. There are exceptions for round-the-clock facilities and public safety.

Regardless of schedule, the order requires written approval by department directors before overtime is granted, with exceptions noted for “special circumstances,” such as at round-the-clock facilities or to ensure public safety.

In those instances, authority to grant overtime can be delegated.