Policy Procedure

Image Caption
  • Procedure Title: Telecommuting
  • Policy Number: FA-2011-008
  • Effective Date: 
  • Review Date: 
  • Division: Finance & Administration
  • Responsible Office: Human Resources Management

Procedure Summary:

The following procedures apply to unrepresented, exempt employees and provide guidance and direction to employees and supervisors wishing to establish a telecommuting arrangement.

Process: 

A.    General

    1. The employee and supervisor will jointly determine if the employee’s position is conducive to a telecommuting arrangement. If so, they will develop a telecommuting arrangement that ensures operational needs are met.
    2. The telecommuting arrangement will be piloted for an initial 90-day period. The arrangement may be modified or terminated by ESU at any time during the pilot period if it fails to meet department and organization goals. The arrangement may be extended beyond the initial pilot if agreeable to both ESU and the employee. In such a case, the terms of the agreement and success of the telecommuting arrangement must be reviewed and updated on an annual basis.

B.      Telecommuting Agreement

    1. An East Stroudsburg University Telecommuting Agreement must be completed and approved by the employee, his/her supervisor, appropriate University employee, and the Director of Human Resources, prior to the start of a telecommuting arrangement (see Attachment A).
    2. At all times, ESU operational needs take precedence over telecommuting arrangements. The employee must remain flexible and may be required to forgo telecommuting if needed in the office or elsewhere, on a regularly scheduled telecommute day.
    3. The employee, supervisor, or department head may terminate the telecommuting agreement at any time. Management may terminate or suspend the telecommuting arrangement immediately if the employee’s performance declines or if the arrangement fails to support organizational needs.

C.      Work Assignments and Supervision

    1. The criteria for evaluation of the employee’s performance shall be the same as it is for on-site employees. The employee’s work status, job duties, and responsibilities remain unchanged as a result of telecommuting. The department may require additional duties of the employee, including periodic written reports to his/her supervisor regarding work progress and deliverables. The employee remains obligated to comply with all ESU and departmental policies, practices, and procedures, including the safeguarding of confidential information. The employee has the responsibility for maintaining the security and confidentiality of files, data, records, and other information that are located at, or accessible from, the remote work location.
    2. The employee must be accessible and available to University personnel at all times while telecommuting, except during periods of approved leave. The employee and his or her supervisor shall mutually agree upon modes of communication to be used during the telecommuting arrangement (i.e. telephone, fax, VPN network access, email, etc.). The employee may also be required to grant calendar access to his or her supervisor or others upon request.
    3. Telecommuting is not a substitute for child care, elder care, or to be used to tend to other personal matters. The employee agrees to make family care arrangements as he or she would if working on-site and further agrees that such obligations will not interfere with the employee’s work and safety obligations as outlined in this policy.
    4. The employee is required to attend all meetings, either remotely or in person, as determined by his or her supervisor. Travel expenses incurred by the employee for such meetings are the responsibility of the employee. Commuting expenses between the employees remote work location and the regular worksite location will not be reimbursed under any circumstance.

D.      Work Space and Equipment

    1. A designated remote work spaces shall be identified and maintained by the employee that is conducive to working and free of hazards. The work space may not be located in a high traffic area such as a kitchen and it should not be used by non-employees during work hours. The employee agrees that the supervisor or designee reserves the right to visit the remote work location to ensure compliance and safety.
    2. In order to maximize its use of available space, the University may provide flexible or shared office space to employees who telecommute on a regular basis in lieu of designated office space.
    3. Office supplies will be provided by the University. Employees will not be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses for office supplies or other expense, except as provided for by and in accordance with, existing University travel and procurement policies. ESU will not provide office furniture.
    4. The employee will provide telephone, fax, and internet service (as applicable) at his or her own expense. These services, including long distance phone charges, are not reimbursable.
    5. The University will provide the employee with a ESU-issued laptop with an encrypted hard drive. Employees will be required to follow all ESU security and data confidentiality policies and procedures, and state and federal laws to protect System data. VPN access and required software will also be provided as necessary. It is understood that such equipment and software are the sole and exclusive property of ESU and are subject to the same business and proper use of technology as if it were located on-site. ESU employees must utilize ESU provided technology when accessing confidential data. Any equipment that is used by an employee (personal or ESU resources) is subject to e-discovery and Right-to-Know requests.
    6. The employee is required to notify his or her supervisor immediately of any equipment, software, or internet connection malfunction or failure, or as to any theft or loss of equipment. In the event of such things occurring, the department may, at its discretion, supply the employee with temporary replacement equipment or require the employee to report to work at the University until the problem is resolved.
    7. All equipment, supplies, and other property provided by ESU is provided exclusively for use by the employee. It may not be used by any person other than the employee, including household members.
    8. Personal tax implications related to the remote work location shall be the employee’s responsibility.

E.      Conditions of Employment and Pay Status

    1. All employment responsibilities and conditions (i.e., compensations, benefits, leave, rights, privileges, and disciplinary procedures) apply at the remote work location.
    2. The employee agrees to abide by the work schedule set forth by the supervisor or department. Requests for annual leave, sick leave, etc. will be handled the same as if the employee was working at an on-site location.

F.      Work Site Safety, Occupational Injuries and Illness

    1. The remote work location is an extension of ESU and the telecommuting employee is therefore covered by workers’ compensation insurance during the course and scope of employment, during the approved work schedule, and in the designated work location. ESU assumes no liability for injuries that occur outside of the designated remote work area or outside the employee’s normal work schedule. The employee is responsible for immediately informing his or her supervisor and the Human Resources Office of any work-related injury or illness and must allow access of the remote work location for the purposes of preparing an incident report and investigating the incident. Further, ESU reserves the right to suspend the telecommuting arrangement until the investigation is complete and all corrective actions (if any) are implemented.
    2. To ensure safe working conditions exist, ESU reserves the right to make on-site inspections of the remote work location, and will provide 24 working hours’ notice to the employee of such a visit when possible.

G.    Security

    1. Employees are responsible for ensuring that non-employees do not have access to ESU files, records, or data either in print or electronic format.

H.    Assessment and Evaluation

    1. A review process shall be established between the employee and supervisor to evaluate the telecommuting arrangements and to ensure work standards are being met. Evaluation meetings will be held each quarter during the first year of the telecommuting agreement and annually thereafter.

Forms:

Telecommuting Agreement Form (Attachment A)

Related Procedures:

N/A

Other Related Information:

N/A

Contacts:

Office of Human Resource Management
Room 105 Reibman Administration Building
200 Prospect Street
East Stroudsburg University
East Stroudsburg, PA 18301-2999
570-422-3422