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The Administrative Policies

TAP NO. 54: TELEWORK

Scope

This policy applies to regular, full-time, non-union, administrative/professional and support staff employees who live within daily commuting distance of our campus location in Pittsburgh, PA.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance on telework to employees and managers in establishing alternate work arrangements for qualifying employees whose responsibilities can be performed outside the customary/traditional office setting during part or all of the week. This policy addresses regular, on-going arrangements and is not meant for sporadic or infrequent occurrences, such as working from home for a day or two at a time due to unique or unforeseen circumstances with supervisory permission. Regular seasonal arrangements, such as telework schedules for summer months, are within the scope and intended purpose of this policy.

In appropriate circumstances, and with authorized approvals, Duquesne University allows teleworking where such arrangements are consistent with departmental goals and business operational requirements. Teleworking arrangements must be approved and managed on a consistent basis and may not adversely affect departmental operations or productivity.

POLICY

I. Definitions

"Telework" is an approved ongoing, regularly scheduled work arrangement that allows an employee to perform work during any part of the employee's regular work hours at an approved alternative worksite such as an employee's home or other approved location. This definition of telework includes what is sometimes referred to as working remotely. The definition of telework does not include any work done while on official travel or work that is approved on a case-by-case basis, where the hours worked remotely were not part of a previously approved, ongoing and regular telework schedule (e.g. for inclement weather, doctor appointment, or special work assignments).

II. Request and Approval

Requests for a regular telework arrangement may be initiated by an employee or a supervisor.

An employee or a supervisor may submit a Telework Application. The employee, the supervisor, Dean/senior department head, and Human Resources must sign an approved Telework Agreement. The Telework Agreement must also be approved and signed by the appropriate Vice President. Direct reports to the President must have his/her approval. The Telework Agreement will specify the terms and conditions of the employee's off-site work, as outlined in the policy. Agreements will be reviewed by Human Resources on an annual basis. The Telework Agreement will become part of the employee's personnel file. A Telework Agreement is mandatory in order for an employee to participate in telework.

The ability to telework is a privilege and not an entitlement, and is granted at the discretion of the University. The determination of whether an employee is eligible to participate and will be approved for telework, will be made in accordance with this policy and the department's business needs. The supervisor, in concurrence with the senior department head, Vice President and Human Resources, is ultimately responsible for any decision to start or discontinue a telework arrangement. Final approval and arrangements for situations covered by this policy are at the discretion of the University.

A. Job criteria

Whether some amount of telework is permissible depends first and foremost upon the nature of the position involved. Not all positions are suitable for telework. Following a discussion with the supervisor and the employee, Human Resources will review the position description with the supervisor to determine the suitability of the position for teleworking. Jobs best suited for telework are those that require independent work and little direct, face-to-face interaction, and result in a specific, measurable work product. Other factors that may be considered in connection with a Telework Application include, without limitation: potential impact on co-workers; whether the employee works with restricted data; financial or other possible burdens to the department; consistency with other requests; and, the number of other existing approved telework arrangements.

Jobs that require direct face-to-face interactions with students, faculty, staff, vendors and/or campus visitors in the provision of services and/or support are not suited for telework. Jobs involving performance of discrete, measurable tasks that can be effectively accomplished without face-to-face contact are more likely to be suitable.

Telework is not to be used as a substitute for leave for personal matters or dependent care including, but not limited to, child care or elder care.

B. Employee criteria

Employees requesting a telework arrangement must have been employed for a minimum of six months, must be performing at a satisfactory level in the judgment of their supervisor, must not have a recent annual performance appraisal with one or more ratings below successful performance, and must not have any active informal or formal disciplinary actions.

C. Schedules

The supervisor will approve the number of days of telework allowed each week, and the daily work schedule the employee will maintain. Teleworkers and supervisors are expected to establish work practices that make working remotely as seamless as possible to colleagues and clients. If so requested by the supervisor, the employee will be required to report to work on campus on a regularly scheduled telework day.

D. Work Area and Equipment

The employee must establish an appropriate, work-conducive and safe work environment consistent with the guidelines outlined in the telework agreement. Teleworkers are expected to ensure that the expectations for information security are met and that University property is secured the way it is for employees working at the office. The University assumes no responsibility for the teleworker's expenses related to internet access, heating, electricity, water, security, insurance for personal property, including but not limited to homeowners or renters insurance, and space usage.

The standard arrangement shall be that the employee will be issued a University laptop for use at work and at home when teleworking. If this is not feasible, the department may agree that the employee may use his/her own equipment so long as the employee brings the equipment to campus and CTS approves its usage, with such software modifications as CTS deems appropriate. In all cases, the employee must sign an Information Security Requirements for Remote Access agreement. Generally, the University will be responsible for the service and maintenance of University-owned equipment and an individual teleworker will be responsible for the cost, repair and replacement of his or her own personal equipment.

The supervisor may make an on-site visit to the teleworker's remote work site during the employee's scheduled telework hours for the purposes of verifying that the employee is teleworking as scheduled, determining that the site is safe and free from hazards and to maintain, repair, inspect or retrieve University property.

E. Management and Supervision

Supervisors are responsible for managing the telework arrangement and work product with the employee, and along with the employee must ensure that departmental needs are met and all work is accomplished at or above existing levels absent the telework arrangement. Supervisors must approve the mechanism for accurately tracking the number of hours worked remotely (non-exempt employees) or to confirm adherence to the work schedule (exempt employees) and the effectiveness of such work. Supervisors and teleworkers shall maintain regular and necessary communications, and the teleworker is to be included as appropriate in meetings and other interactions.

Prior to the commencement of an approved telework arrangement, the employee, supervisor and a representative of the Office of Human Resources will meet to review the arrangement and confirm respective responsibilities for successful implementation.

F. Compliance

The teleworking employee must comply with all University and departmental policies and procedures. The teleworking employee's compensation, benefits, work status, work responsibilities, and all other conditions of employment with Duquesne University remain the same.

G. Evaluation and Discontinuation

Telework arrangements will be periodically assessed for their effectiveness by the supervisor and will be reviewed for renewal on an annual basis by departmental management. The University has the right to terminate a teleworking arrangement at any time at the discretion of the supervisor. Any performance issue shall be just cause for ending the telework arrangement. Where practicable, employees will be given a two-week notice regarding the termination of the telework agreement, so all arrangements may be appropriately concluded.

III. Responsibility

While employees are accountable for complying with the Telework Agreement and this policy, Supervisors are also responsible for ensuring that employees follow the procedures in accordance with the policies and abide by the Telework Agreement.

IV. Related Information

Telework Application

Information Security Requirements for Remote Access

Telework FAQ's

V. Violations

Violations of this policy will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and are subject to formal disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

VI. History

Date of most recent revision: January 1, 2018. 

VII. Ownership of Policy

Questions related to this policy should be directed to the Office of Human Resources.