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Wellness Participation Guidelines

August 16, 2019

In 2014, the College communicated the CALS Wellness Guidelines. Since we have had staff and management turnover, this document is intended to reinforce the College’s support for use of flex-time to allow employee participation in Wellness activities or paid time via staffs vacation or health/personal leave.

Our College encourages supervisors to consider requests by employees in good standing to participate in Wellness activities, aligned with the University Wellness Participation Guidelines. Within those guidelines, we encourage supervisors to consider requests as follows:

  • Any employee that intends to participate in a Wellness Program should complete the Flexible Work/Wellness Agreement Form. This form is available at the Wellness Participation Guidelines website. FAQs may be found online.
  • We encourage employees and supervisors to review these guidelines before beginning a wellness program. The College strongly supports cost neutral flex-time options that allow employees to participate in wellness activities. A flex or alternative work schedule is a scheduling arrangement that permits a variation from the employee's core hours in starting and departure times, but does not alter the total number of hours worked in a week. Please see the flexible arrangements website for more information. When properly planned and managed, wellness activities have substantial benefits for both employees and supervisors, and we encourage providing employees flexibility in scheduling their work to enable participation. Generally, flex-time results in no budget impact to units, and should be the first option considered. 
  • Next, if there is not an ability to support flex-time, due to the nature of the work required or employee constraints, and yet there is support of the supervisor to provide pay during the time employees participate in wellness (up to the maximum allowed in the Wellness Participation Guidelines) Employees may voluntarily choose to utilize either vacation or health and personal accruals to provide paid leave for their Wellness time.  
  • It is important to note that under the current Wellness Guidelines, participation does not change expectations of work output or productivity for employees, and such participation must not result in overtime.
  • The College does not pay for memberships associated with Cornell wellness or external membership fees for wellness activities such as gym memberships either through payroll job related allowances or reimbursements regardless of fund source.

These guidelines apply to both exempt and non-exempt staff. If the use of HAP time is approved by the supervisor, non-exempt staff may record time in Kronos applied on an hour by hour basis. Exempt employees should work with their supervisors to record time away each pay period in half day increments aligned with the leave taken for wellness during the entire pay period.

These guidelines have been in effect since July 1, 2014.  

If you have questions regarding the new policy please contact your local department Human Resources Generalist.