**Scheduling Consecutive Days Off**

A practical problem encountered in man: service organizations is setting schedules so that employees can have two consecutive day – off even though the operation is open seven days a week. The importance of the problem sterns from the fact that the Fair Labor Standards Act requires that overtime be paid for an} hour worked (by hourly workers) in excess of 40 hour- per week. Obviously. if L) consecutive pays off can’t be scheduled each week for each employee. the likelihood of unnecessary overtime is quite high. In addition, most people probably prefer two consecutive days off per week. The following heuristic procedure was modified from that dew loped by James Browne and Rain Tibrewala to deal with this problem.

**Objective**. Find the schedule that minimizes the number of five-day workers with consecutive days off. subject to the demands of the daily staffing schedule and assuming that the workers have no preference for which days they get off. Procedure. Starting with the total number of workers required for each d of the week, create a schedule by adding one worker at a time. This is a to-step procedure:

Step 1 Circle the lowest pair of consecutive day – off. The lowest pair is the one where the highest number in the pair is equal to or lower than the highest number in any other pair. This ensures that the days with the highest requirements are covered by staff. I Monday and Sunday m~y be chosen even though they are at opposite ends of the array of day In case of ties choose the days-off pair with the lowest requirement on an adjacent day. This day may be before or after the pair. If a tie still remains. choose the first of the available tied pairs. (Do not bother using further tie-breaking rules. such as second lowest adjacent Davis.)

**Step 2** Subtract 1 from each of the remaining . the days nor circled I. This indicates that one less worker is required on these days. since the first worker just been assigned to them.

**Step 3** The two steps are repeated for the second worker