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Telecommuting Policy

HROG Section:
Employment/Active Employment and Compliance Policies
Document Title:
Telecommuting General Policy
Initial Date Posted:
Draft:  Jan. 14, 2008
Board Approval:
Applies To:
DCCCD Staff Meeting Criteria
Source:
District Human Resources
Related TASB Policy:
Last Date Revised:
Sept. 1, 2011

Purpose

Background

Telecommuting is a viable alternative work arrangement primarily to meet the needs of the College District and its colleges, to use the workforce more efficiently and to increase productivity.  This regulation does not apply to faculty.  Telecommuting permits an employee to work at home for all or part of the employee’s workweek. It is a work alternative that is appropriate for only some employees and positions and requires supervisory approval and a written agreement.  An employee does not have a right to telecommute.  This agreement does not change the nature of the employment relationship or the terms and conditions of employment. The College District may discontinue, limit, reduce or change the telecommuting program at any time.

Definitions

A Telecommuting Agreement contains, at a minimum, the following elements: work expectations, telecommuting days each week, work schedule and the manner and frequency of communication. A supervisor may change this agreement upon written notice to the supervisor’s employee.


Requirement and Conditions

A full-time or part-time employee is eligible for telecommuting if the employee has been employed by the College District at least one year in a traditional, office capacity, has received a successful performance evaluation, has demonstrated good attendance and dependability, has handled responsibility well, has prioritized work effectively and utilized good time management skills. Although an employee may be eligible for telecommuting, the employee’s job may not be suitable for telecommuting as determined by the supervisor and chief executive officer of the location.
 
An employee or an employee’s supervisor may discontinue the Telecommuting Agreement at any time for any reason. Generally, the party who cancels this agreement shall give 30-days notice to the other party unless circumstances warrant a shorter or longer notice period as determined by the supervisor. The following are requirements and responsibilities of an employee who is telecommuting:

  1. Completion of all assigned work in a timely manner.
  2. Participation in all meetings, training, and other events as determined by the supervisor. (Examples may include, but are not limited to location-wide meetings, division or department meetings, staff meetings and training sessions).
  3. Compliance with all College District policies and regulations while using a home-based worksite.
  4. Maintenance of a safe and proper worksite without interference from dependants or others in the home.
  5. Recordation of hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week if an employee is non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Advance approval of overtime is required.  (Failure to comply with this requirement may result in immediate cancellation of a Telecommuting Agreement).


During the initial period of telecommuting by an employee (generally 60-90 days), a supervisor shall have frequent interaction by telephone, email or other communication devices with the employee as well as bi-weekly face-to-face meetings to discuss performance, progress and issues arising from telecommuting. An employee shall be accessible through various forms of communication during agreed upon working hours.

An employee may only use copies of College District documents, records or other documentation at a home-based worksite. Original records shall always remain at District locations. In addition, an employee who is telecommuting shall preserve and protect all College District data and College District equipment at a home-based work site, and follow all College District security procedures.

When a Telecommuting Agreement is entered into by an employee, the employee’s former office, workspace, parking space and other similar areas may be assigned to other employees.  When a Telecommuting Agreement ends, an employee may be assigned other space.

The College District shall not pay any operating costs that are associated with use of a personal residence as a home-based telecommuting site, including, but not limited to insurance, utilities, and home maintenance.

Equipment and Service

The College District may provide equipment to an employee who is telecommuting for the purpose of completing a special project or for occasional use, and this type of ad hoc telecommuting arrangement is subject to the requirements of a Telecommuting Agreement.

As indicated in this regulation, a location supervisor in consultation with location IT personnel, shall determine the equipment and services that are needed for an employee to telecommute, including, but not limited to hardware, software, modem, telephone, data line, facsimile equipment and printer. The location IT personnel shall maintain the equipment. Any employee-owned equipment is the sole responsibility of the employee. A supervisor or IT personnel may change equipment at a home-based site at any time. An employee my use College District equipment for business purposes subject to the College District’s Computer Use policy and regulations regarding incidental personal use.

An employee who is telecommuting must sign an inventory list that reflects all College District equipment or other property used in telecommuting and must agree to take appropriate action to protect College District property from damage or theft.

Home Environment

All employees who are telecommuting shall strictly comply with the College District’s policy, regulations and other procedures regarding information security.

In addition, an employee shall receive written supervisory permission to download or store, or both, confidential information.  When confidential information is no longer needed by an employee, the employee shall erase, upload or destroy this information.

An employee who telecommutes shall establish an appropriate environment within their home for work purposes.  The College District is not responsible for costs associated with the initial setup of a home-based work site such as remodeling, furniture, lighting, repairs or modifications of the site or similar costs.

Insurance

During agreed upon work hours, an employee who is telecommuting is covered by workers’ compensation at the home-based work site.  If an injury occurs at this site, an employee shall contact the employee’s supervisor before seeking medical attention unless it is an emergency.  An employee shall also contact the location Human Resources office as soon as possible and complete appropriate forms regarding the injury.  The College District is not responsible for third-party injuries or property damage at a home-based site.

The College District shall supply an employee who is telecommuting with appropriate office supplies for exclusive use in completion of job responsibilities.  The College District shall reimburse an employee for reasonable business-related expenses incurred as a result of job responsibilities and in accordance with College District reimbursement regulations, for example phone calls and shipping costs.

The use of an employee’s home may have federal income tax implications, which is the employee’s responsibility.

Eligibility

Jobs generally suitable for telecommuting may include the following elements: analysis and writing, policy development, research, report writing, computer oriented tasks such as programming, data entry and web development. Jobs not generally suitable for telecommuting involve tasks that are difficult to perform away from an office and require employees to personally and regularly interact with a supervisor, students, other employees or the public. Essential personnel, as determined at the location, are not eligible for telecommuting.

Procedures

Before telecommuting is implemented at any location, the chief executive officer at the location shall give primary consideration to the needs at the location for telecommuting, utilization of the workforce, productivity and security of information.

An employee may request a telecommuting assignment by completing a Telecommuting Agreement and submitting the agreement to the employee’s supervisor. Approval of a telecommuting agreement is at the sole discretion of the supervisor and chief executive officer at the location.

Prior to approval of this agreement, a supervisor shall consult with the supervisor’s employee, location Human Resources and Information Technology (IT) to evaluate the following areas:

1. Job requirements.
2. Employee eligibility.
3. Equipment and IT services.

Employee Responsibility

HR Responsibility

Exceptions To Policy

Other Notes

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