Policy Portal

University Policy

Telecommuting

Policy Number: 3349-07-151
Effective Date: 09/10/2010
Updated: 02/02/2015
Reviewed:
Responsible Department: Human Resources
Applies To: All University Employees

A. Purpose

  1. To establish a Policy to govern requests from employees to perform job functions in alternative work locations and to allow for the performance of job functions during University declared short or long‐term emergencies.

B. Scope

  1. This Policy applies to all faculty, administrative staff at the University who work a regularly scheduled workday; unclassified hourly employees and classified civil service employees may be permitted to telecommute on an emergency basis, as defined in this policy.

C. Definitions

  1. Consult University Policy No. 3349‐7‐01.
  2. “Alternate Work Location” is an approved work site that includes an Employee’s home or other approved location away from an Employee’s central workplace.
  3. “Central Workplace” is an Employee’s usual place of work.
  4. “Telecommuter” refers to an Employee who does not work at the central workplace for part of the work week.
  5. “Telecommuting” is a work arrangement in which the Immediate Supervisor permits Employees to perform their usual job duties away from their central workplace, in accordance with the same performance expectations and their conditions as set forth in the Telecommuting Agreement. This does not include or apply to work “taken home” beyond the usual workday or other professional activities pursued at home which extend beyond the usual workday; or temporary work at home due to special conditions such as providing dependent care, recovering from an illness or caring for an ill family member. Telecommuting may also be employed by the University when addressing the needs of the University in time of emergency, whether short or long‐term.
  6. “Telecommuting Agreement” (“Agreement”) refers to a written agreement that details the terms and conditions of Employees’ work away from their central workplace.
  7. “Telecommuting Request Form” is the form completed by Employees and submitted to their immediate supervisor requesting permission to telecommute for a specified period of time or project.
  8. “Work Schedule” sets forth an Employee’s usual hours of work.

D. Policy Statement

  1. Voluntary Telecommuting
    1. An Employee may seek approval to telecommute on a part‐time basis for a period not to exceed more than eight (8) hours per day and/no more than two (2) days per week for a specific purpose and/or for a specified period of time.
    2. Employees seeking approval to telecommute must submit a Telecommuting Request Form to their Immediate Supervisor.
      1. The Telecommuting Request Form shall include the following information:
        1. Proposed telecommuting work hours and days;
        2. Proposed start day of telecommuting;
        3. Project or assignment;
        4. Floor plan of the Alternative Work Location for telecommuting period; and
        5. A description of the resources including equipment and software programs that are available to enable the Employee to complete the proposed task.
    3. Evaluation criteria
      1. An Employee’s telecommuting request shall be evaluated, and approved or denied, based on a review of the following criteria:
        1. The nature of the Employee’s job;
        2. The Employee’s productivity and performance levels exceed expectations based upon a review of the Employee’s past performance evaluations;
        3. The University’s and Department’s ability to maintain a high quality of service while the Employee is telecommuting;
        4. The Employee’s attendance record meets expectations;
        5. The Employee has no current disciplinary issues; and
        6. The Employee’s ability to work independently.
    4. An Employee’s Immediate Supervisor, in consultation with the Department Head and the Director of Human Resources, shall make the final determination regarding the request.
    5. If a telecommuting request is approved, the Employee shall be required to enter into a Telecommuting Agreement with the University. A copy of the Telecommuting Agreement must be forwarded to the Director of Human Resources.
      1. The Telecommuting Agreement shall include at least the following information:
        1. The duration of the Agreement;
        2. The work schedule and the method for changing the Work Schedule;
        3. How routine communication between the Employee, supervisor, co‐workers and other individuals will be handled;
        4. The Employee’s performance plan and expectations;
        5. The resources that the Employee will use and who will be responsible for providing and maintaining such resources;
        6. Any applicable data security procedures;
        7. Any additional specific terms and conditions agreed upon between the University and the Employee regarding the telecommuting arrangement; and
        8. Safety requirements.
      2. Temporary Telecommuting for unclassified hourly and classified civil service employees in Response to a Short or Long‐Term University Declared Emergency
        1. In the event of a University declared emergency, unclassified hourly and classified civil service Employees may be required to telecommute. A modified telecommuting protocol will be initiated by the University for a specified period of time to adequately account for the emergency. This protocol will be communicated to the affected Employees. Some or all the components of a Telecommuting Agreement as described herein may be employed depending on the nature of the emergency. The affected Employee’s responsibilities, as set forth below, may be modified at the University’s discretion.
      3. Employee responsibilities
        1. An Employee’s duties, obligations and responsibilities remain unchanged during the period of the Telecommuting Agreement. Employees shall comply with all University policies, procedures, and federal and Ohio laws and regulations while working at their Alternative Work Location.
        2. An Employee shall use any University provided resources only for
          business purposes and shall immediately notify the University when there is a malfunction.
        3. Employees shall be accessible by telephone, facsimile, network access or email while at their Alternate Work Location during the specified work hours.
        4. On‐campus communications must be maintained by checking voicemail and email at least two (2) times per day.
        5. Employees’ voicemail greeting must indicate that they are working at an alternative work location and advise when a response will be made.
        6. An Employee shall be required to make arrangements for dependent care during the specified work hours. Employees may be asked by their Immediate Supervisor or the Director of Human Resources to provide information regarding dependent childcare arrangements.
        7. Employees shall immediately notify their Immediate Supervisor of any situations which interferes with the Employees’ ability to perform their job while at the Employees’ alternate work location.
        8. While at their alternate work location, Employees shall practice the same safety habits that they would use while working at their central workplace and maintain safe work conditions.
        9. Employees shall immediately notify the Safety and Security Administrator of any injury that occurred while telecommuting.
        10. Employees shall release the University from liability and hold it harmless for damages to real or personal property that occurs while telecommuting.
      4. Telecommuting assignments shall not change an Employee’s scope, terms, or other conditions of employment.
      5. Restrictions
        1. Employees shall be prohibited from voluntarily telecommuting if they have less than six (6) months of service in the Department or at the University.
        2. Employees shall not be entitled to reimbursement for travel mileage to attend meetings at the Employees’ central workplace on days the Employees are scheduled to work at their Alternate Work Location.
        3. Employees are prohibited from performing personal business or activities during specified telecommuting hours.
      6. Worksite
        1. Employees must maintain a designated workspace at their Alternate Work Location that is quiet, free of distractions and kept in a clean, professional and safe condition with adequate lighting and ventilation.
        2. The University is not responsible for operating costs, home maintenance, property or liability insurance or other incidental expenses (utilities, cleaning services, etc.) associated with the use of an Employee’s Alternate Work Location.
      7. University Resource Usage
        1. Resources may be provided by, or paid for by, the Employee’s Department at the Department’s sole discretion. Employees are expected to provide their own access to the internet and telephone if they wish to telecommute.
        2. Resources such as computers, printers, software, and services provided on loan by the University remain the property of the University while on loan, and must be returned upon termination of the Telecommuting Agreements.
        3. If University resources are provided, each resource must be recorded by the Department with its serial number on a listing retained by the Department when the Employee takes possession. Employees must return the resources in the same condition in which it was originally received, taking into account normal wear and tear. Employees are personally liable for missing or damaged resources.
      8. Security
        1. Employees must obtain their Immediate Supervisor’s specific approval to work on restricted‐access information or materials at their Alternate Work Location.
        2. An Employee shall protect the University’s information from
          unauthorized disclosure or damage and shall comply with the University’s policies and procedures, and Federal and Ohio laws and regulations, regarding disclosure of public and official records and the use, storage and transmission of confidential information.
      9. Sanctions for violation
        1. Employees found to have violated this Policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of their employment.

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