9 days, 80 hours
The plan is called 9-80 because it enables employees and managers to work 80 hours in nine days. On Monday through Thursday, the employee works nine-hour days, with an eight-hour day Friday. On alternating Fridays, the employee has the day off. Toyota piloted the plan last year and is rolling it out this year.
"Alternative work schedules are something that have been of interest to people trying to manage the work-life balance," said Sharon Oda, work-life manager for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. "You don't have to be married with kids or caring for elders to have these issues."
In past interviews, some Toyota employees and managers have said their workday schedules often stretch beyond 10 hours. Many managers come in at 7 or 8 a.m. to start tasks sent overnight from Toyota Motor Corp.'s Japan headquarters, then stay until 6 p.m. or later to hand off work to their Japanese counterparts.
While managers are not eligible for overtime, nonmanagement employees who work the same hours get extra pay. In signing up for 9-80, an employee signs a labor-rights document waiving his right to overtime for those nine-hour workdays because he gets alternating Fridays off.
Oda declined to give Toyota's overtime costs.
Some can't do it
Until now, Toyota provided flex time for employees who repeatedly worked long hours. But California labor laws -- especially for nonmanagerial employees -- are strict regarding overtime pay. Toyota's previous efforts were insufficient under state law, Oda said.
Some departments -- such as the treasury, which handles payroll on Fridays -- are not eligible. Marketing is geared toward weekend events, which can present logistical problems.
Jim Farley, Toyota Division's vice president of marketing, said: "If one of our guys has Friday off, and we're sponsoring a BassMaster tournament that weekend, then we might have no one from Toyota at the event."
You may e-mail Mark Rechtin at [email protected]