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Policy 7.20 Telecommuting
Original Date of Issue: 10/20/2021
Delaware County Community College (hereinafter the College) has developed a Telecommuting policy for all non-faculty regular exempt and non-exempt employees (full-time and part-time) to mutually benefit employees and the College. Telecommuting is a flexible work arrangement that allows employees to perform their job responsibilities remotely as opposed to on Campus. In order for employees to take advantage of the Telecommuting policy, it must meet the needs of both the employee and the College. There are certain parameters and organizational constraints that must be taken into consideration when entering into a telecommuting agreement. The implementation of the College’s Telecommuting policy and agreement is put in place at the discretion of the College and should not be considered a right, benefit, replacement for leave or an ADA accommodation.
Nothing in this policy guarantees an employee a telecommuting agreement for any specific duration and the College can modify the agreement at any time. The College reserves the right to revoke any telecommuting arrangement at any time and/or to otherwise modify this policy or any particular employee’s ability to telecommute is the College’s sole discretion. A telecommuting agreement in no way changes the at-will terms and conditions of employment with the College.
Telecommuting or working remotely entails working the work week or some portion of the work week away from the conventional workplace; typically, from home and communicating via computer-based technology. Telecommuting may be appropriate for some employees and jobs, but not for others.
A successful telecommuter is a highly disciplined, self-directed and self-motivated individual capable of balancing work and personal demands. Telecommuters must be able to function in an environment that is less structured and more autonomous than a traditional work environment. This type of arrangement can be successful only if the telecommuter has demonstrated good organization and time management skills. Telecommuters must be computer literate and must have adequate connectivity resources to successfully perform job functions remotely. 2 Individuals requesting a telecommuting arrangement must be employed with the College for a minimum of twelve (12) months of continuous employment and must have a satisfactory performance record.
Requesting a Telecommuting Agreement
- An employee interested in telecommuting must submit a proposal to their supervisor on the approved form, with a copy to the Human Resources Department. The proposal must include the following:
a. The reason for the request;
b. The duration of the Telecommuting;
c. The number of hours per day or days per week that the employees will be telecommuting, including when (what days/hours) the employee will be accessible;
d. A description of the impact on students and employees in terms of service and quality of work;
e. An explanation of how necessary communication with College offices and customers will be maintained;
f. The daily hours when the telecommuter is accessible to coworkers and/or students when necessary;
g. A list of duties to be performed while telecommuting;
h. A list of the necessary equipment and where/how/by whom it will be obtained and maintained; and
i. A list any potential concerns (if any).
- The supervisor will then review the proposal with Human Resources and the appropriate Vice President. A decision on the request will be consistent with this policy. If a telecommuting arrangement is feasible, the supervisor will discuss all aspects of the telecommuting agreement with the employee and will put any particular restrictions and parameters in place. Once approved, the employee will complete the Telecommuting Agreement Form and have it signed by the supervisor, the area Vice President, and Human Resources.
Compensation and Work Hours
- An employee’s compensation, benefits, work status and work responsibilities will not change due to telecommuting. The amount of time an employee is expected to work per day or per pay period will not change as a result of telecommuting. If an employee is unsure of what hours they are expected to work while telecommuting, they must consult their respective supervisor.
- Telecommuting employees who are not exempt from overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act will be required to accurately record all hours worked on a weekly basis. Hours worked outside of or in excess of those scheduled per day/per workweek (including time spent reading and/or responding to emails or other communications or making or taking telephone calls) require the advance approval of your area Vice President.
- Employee agrees to operate College-provided equipment in accordance with all applicable College policies and procedures.
- The College may provide specific equipment for the employee to perform their current duties. This may include computer hardware, computer software, connectivity to host applications, and any other applicable equipment as deemed necessary and appropriate.
- Employees will be responsible for maintaining a secure, reliable internet connection and telephone service. The use of equipment owned by the College when working remotely is limited to authorized persons and for the sole purpose of conducting College related business.
- Telecommuting employees must designate an appropriate remote workspace and must maintain this workspace in a safe condition, free of hazards. Telecommuting employees will be required to take the same appropriate measures as they would on Campus to ensure the protection of the College’s information and student records accessible from their remote workspace and comply with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations (i.e., FERPA).
- Employees agree to take all reasonable measures necessary to secure and protect any and all College information at all times while in their possession. Specifically, employees agree to:
a. Never leave confidential information on their work computer screen or openly accessible where it can be viewed by others. Screens should be locked at all times when away from your work computer;
b. Secure all passwords and the Yubikey;
c. Promptly follow instructions for system updates and security patches, as required;
d. Never disclose or make available any confidential information to any third party; and immediately report to their supervisor any known or potential unauthorized disclosure of confidential information;
e. Comply with all laws, rules, regulations and College policies, procedures, and best practices;
f. Return all confidential information to the College upon request, and in any event upon termination of employment with the College.
Communication and Accessibility
- Telecommuting employees must be accessible and available by telephone and email during the College’s core business hours and/or during their scheduled shifts if outside of the College’s core business hours), unless an accommodation or time off is approved in advance by the employee’s supervisor.
- Telecommuting employees must provide their direct supervisor with a valid telephone number (best number in which they can be reached). Employees will be required to communicate with their direct supervisor regularly, within normal/scheduled working hours, to make sure all expectations are being met. It is suggested that your College telephone extension be forwarded to a personal smart phone or laptop using the College’s Avaya Workplace Application for conducting College business. If a personal cellphone will be used, employees should consider modifying voicemail greetings appropriate for receiving College related business calls.
- Telecommuting employees will be responsible for complying with all College policies and procedures. All telecommuting employees must stay abreast of all College guidelines, policies, procedures and best practices. Close communication between the telecommuter and their direct supervisor will ensure that the employee is aware of any department or College priorities.
- In the event that College business requires the telecommuting employee's presence to attend an on-campus function, training, meeting, or other event, the employee is expected to report to campus, even if such occurs during normally scheduled remote work hours.
- The employee is expected to report for work on campus on any workday not specified as “telecommuting approved days” as indicated in the agreement. Any unplanned need to “work remotely” outside of the agreement must be approved by the supervisor. Telecommuting is not an option to address an illness or personal situation. In these instances, employees will be required to use their accrued sick, personal, half-staff, and/or vacation days.
- Telecommuting is not designed to be a replacement for appropriate childcare. Although an employee's schedule may be modified to accommodate childcare needs on an as needed basis, the telecommuting agreement should not be utilized for these types of requests.
Office supplies will be provided by the College as needed. All requests for supplies must be approved by the direct supervisor. Out-of-pocket expenses for other supplies will not be reimbursed unless by prior written approval by the supervisor and the area Vice President.
Quality customer service will continue to be a top priority, including customer service and service among colleagues within the department and across the College. This includes, but is not limited to, awareness of training required both for the telecommuter and for colleagues who will be interacting with them. When establishing a telecommuting schedule, the needs of the office, customers and students must be considered.
All telecommuting employees understand that they are covered by the applicable workers’ compensation policy for job-related injuries that occur in the course of and within the scope of the telecommuting agreement. Telecommuting employees must report any work-related injuries to employee’s direct supervisor and the Human Resources Department as soon as possible, but no longer than 12 hours after such injury. Employee agrees that the College and its agents have the right to visit Employee’s remote office to investigate any work-related injury. Employee must be working within the scope of their job duties at the time of any accident for it to be potentially considered a work-related injury.
Family or Medical Leaves of Absence
All telecommuting employees will continue to accrue sick and vacation hours during their telecommuting agreement and will continue to be subjected to all applicable federal, state, and local laws, as well as College policies and procedures regarding absences from work.
All telecommuting employees will be responsible for determining any income tax implications for maintaining a remote-work area. The College cannot provide tax guidance, nor will the College assume any additional tax liabilities.