- Policy Number: FA.31.014
- Version: Original
- Drafted By: Anna Pavin
- Approved By: Richard R. Rush
- Approval Date: 12/6/10
- Effective Date: 12/6/10
- Supersedes: N/A
California State University Channel Islands supports telecommuting when the campus determines that telecommuting is in its best interest. Such instances for telecommuting work arrangements may be considered when there are opportunities for improved operational performance, reduced commuting miles, as part of a disaster recovery or emergency plan, or to facilitate the potential for University savings.
As a flexible work arrangement, telecommuting allows an employee the ability to achieve a work life balance. CSU Channel Islands recognizes that with current communication technology, it is possible for some employees to perform a variety of duties and job functions from their homes or other equipped sites, and it is a way for the campus to meet the needs of a changing workforce.
CSU Channel Islands also recognizes that telecommuting is only feasible for those job duties that can be performed away from the campus. Departments are urged to carefully review both advantages and disadvantages before setting up a telecommuting agreement, to explore the wide variety of arrangements possible, and to address potential problem areas. Pilot or temporary programs may be helpful in determining what type of arrangement will be most effective. Success depends on both the nature of the work and the nature of the worker.
The telecommuting arrangement should focus on mutual expectations and results. The administrator should communicate in advance what assignments or tasks are appropriate to be performed at the telecommuting site, and what assessment techniques will be used to measure success in meeting performance standards. The employee should understand the essentials for participating in a successful telecommuting program.
Government Code Sections 14200-14203, authorize every State Agency to incorporate telecommuting as a work option. CSU Channel Islands has delegated authority to establish a telecommuting program within this authority.
Employee rights provided in the employee’s collective bargaining agreement, including the right to meet with their representative, are not affected by participation in a telecommuting program. None of the rights or benefits provided under the employee’s collective bargaining agreement between the State and the employee unions are enhanced or abridged by the implementation of a telecommuting program.
The Associate Vice President, Human Resource Programs, administers this policy at California State University Channel Islands. Questions, concerns, suggestions, or complaints should be directed to (805) 437-8490.
Human Resources Programs is responsible for the coordination of personnel policies and programs for staff employees represented by collective bargaining agreements and for the Management Personnel Plan and Confidential designated employees of CSU Channel Islands.
This policy applies to CSU Channel Islands employees who work a regularly-scheduled workday. Employees may participate in the telecommuting program by mutual agreement between the employee and the appropriate administrator.
Telecommuting: the performance of the assigned duties and responsibilities of an employee’s position in a space specifically set aside as an office, typically in the employee’s residence (home office), on a regular basis.
Telecommuter: a person participating in a voluntary telecommuting agreement. This does not include emergency operations.
Appropriate Administrator: as defined by the relevant CBAs.
Workspace for Telecommuting: a space specifically set aside as a workspace, typically in the employee’s residence (home office).
Off-site Work Location: an off-site location where telecommuting can be performed, normally in the employee’s residence or in another University-approved location. The off-site work location must conform to all the requirements of the Home Safety Checklist.
To ensure an effective, productive telecommuting program, CSU Channel Islands ("University") establishes the following policy guidelines:
- Work Standards for Telecommuters. Employees ("Telecommuters") who are authorized to perform work at off-site work locations must meet the same standards and professionalism as is expected of University employees at on-site work locations in terms of job responsibilities, work products, customer and public contact.
- Positions Suitable for Telecommuting. Telecommuting is not suitable for all employees and/or positions. Telecommuters must be self-motivated, their job responsibilities must have minimal requirements for face-to-face daily supervision, and they must have demonstrated conscientious observance of work hours and productivity requirements. The job responsibilities of the Telecommuter must be of a nature in which face-to-face interaction with students, co-workers or the public is minimal or may be scheduled to permit telecommuting. Employees with an overall rating below satisfactory, or its equivalent, or less than 12 months of service shall not be eligible.
- Approval Process for Telecommuting. An employee is not entitled to telecommute. The University must approve any telecommuting as provided below. An employee who wants to telecommute must submit a written request to his/her appropriate administrator ("Administrator", generally a Director or Manager). The appropriate Administrator will consider all relevant factors with regard to the telecommuting request, including but not limited to, the factors stated in paragraph 2 above, as well as analyzing risk factors associated with telecommuting for the position, consideration of an employee’s years of service on campus, and shall make a recommendation to the appropriate Division Head.
- Telecommuting Agreement. The Telecommuter shall sign a Telecommuter’s Agreement (see attachment) including the specific conditions relating to the permission to telecommute. The appropriate Administrator shall attach an updated position description and will denote, where appropriate, which duties or project shall be performed at the Telecommuter's University work location and which shall be performed at the off-site work location. The Administrator shall also submit a draft version of the Telecommuter’s Agreement to Human Resources Programs for review prior to finalization.
The Telecommuter’s Agreement must be executed by the employee and his/her appropriate Administrator. Copies of the Telecommuter’s Agreement and all Appendices (if any, including but not limited to special security agreements) will be forwarded to Human Resources Programs for review prior to implementation. Human Resources Programs shall maintain copies of all telecommuting agreements currently in effect.
- Emergency Business Needs. Telecommuting is voluntary, except under emergency conditions in which there are workspace issues or other problems prohibiting the person’s job being performed while physically at the University. If the employee is required by the University to telecommute, the University will bear the appropriate costs for setting up and maintaining the equipment. When the University determines that emergency business conditions exist, the unions will be notified as soon as practicably possible.
- Termination of Telecommuting. The appropriate Administrator or employee may terminate telecommuting at any time upon twenty one (21) days’ (or less by mutual agreement) written notice to the Telecommuter.
- Job Responsibilities. The Telecommuter will continue to be responsible for performance of all job responsibilities while telecommuting. The Telecommuter will meet or communicate with his/her appropriate Administrator to receive assignments, review work progress, and complete work at predetermined intervals as the appropriate Administrator directs. The appropriate Administrator shall formulate objectives, expected results, and evaluation procedures for work completed while the employee is telecommuting.
The Telecommuter shall promptly notify his/her appropriate Administrator when unable to perform work assignments due to equipment failure or other unforeseen circumstances. The Telecommuter may be assigned to another project and/or work location that may necessitate termination of the telecommuting agreement.
- Telecommuter Accessibility. Telecommuters must be accessible via telephone, fax, network access, e-mail or other forms of communication as determined by the appropriate Administrator while telecommuting as specified in the Telecommuter’s Agreement.
- Compliance with University Policies. All Telecommuters shall comply with all applicable policies and procedures of the University and within the employee’s department.
- Telecommuting Schedule. The Telecommuter shall generally maintain a consistent schedule of work hours and days to ensure regular and predictable contact with University staff and others. A determination of flexibility in work hours and days where feasible given the position’s job responsibilities may be made on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by the appropriate Administrator and stated in the Telecommuter’s Agreement. A Telecommuter's work schedule may be either on a part-time or full-time basis.
For non-exempt employees, a specific work schedule will be stated in the Telecommuter’s Agreement. Exceptions will be made when an employee's presence is required for a function or activity that cannot reasonably be rescheduled. The Telecommuter will remain flexible to his/her appropriate Administrator and working arrangements when office functions require his/her attendance.
- University's/Telecommuter's Shared Responsibility. Any agreements for the University to provide equipment or internet access will be outlined in the approved Telecommuter’s Agreement. Any equipment or internet access that is not provided by the University will be the responsibility of the employee and at the employee’s expense.
Any software required to perform work duties will be provided by the University. The employee agrees to abide by the licensing regulations and restrictions for all software under license to the University.
- Equipment and Designated Workspace. The Telecommuter’s need for specialized material or equipment at the off-site worksite must be minimal. The University will not provide off-site workspace furniture for part-time telecommuters, unless the employee is required by the University to telecommute. A full-time Telecommuter, with the approval of his/her appropriate Administrator, may submit a written request that the University provide off-site workplace furniture with the reasons such furniture is needed. The provision of off-site furniture is not guaranteed, and must be approved by the Administrator's Vice President.
Since the University does not have the ability to safeguard off-site locations, Telecommuters are responsible for University equipment used by the Telecommuters at an off-site work location if such equipment is lost, damaged, destroyed or stolen. The Telecommuter is advised to contact his/her insurance agent for information regarding insurance coverage for University equipment at home or other non-University work sites.
The Telecommuter shall designate an off-site workspace that complies with Telecommuter’s Safety Checklist. The employee is responsible for assuring that their home workspace complies with health and safety requirements.
- Home Use Permit. If the Telecommuter has not already done so, the Telecommuter shall complete a University Home Use Permit--Authorization for Off Campus Use of CI Equipment signed by the Telecommuter and his/her appropriate Administrator listing any University-owned equipment, furniture, specialized material, or other such items to be used at an off-site work.
- Indemnity Waiver. The University does not assume responsibility for any private property used, lost or damaged as a result of the telecommuting with the exception of damage resulting from University-owned equipment that has been documented as defective and documented as causing the damage. The University is also not responsible for reimbursing the employee for wear and/or repair.
- Office Supplies. The University will not reimburse Telecommuters for the expense for supplies which the employee is provided from his/her regular University on-site work location. The Telecommuter may submit an advance written request for approval by his/her appropriate Administrator for the purchase of any special supplies not available in the on-site work location.
- Right to Inspect and Off-Site Maintenance Costs. The University is not responsible for operating costs, home maintenance, property or liability insurance, or other incidental expenses (utilities, cleaning services, etc.) associated with telecommuting, the off-site workspace or use of the Telecommuter's home.
Since the employee's home or satellite workspace is an extension of the University workspace, the University liability for job-related accidents will continue to exist while telecommuting in the employee's designated work location. Workers’ Compensation law and rules will apply. The Telecommuter is responsible to ensure that safe working conditions exist (see Telecommuter’s Home Safety Checklist). Consequently, the Telecommuter shall agree in the Telecommuter’s Agreement that if a work related injury occurs, the University shall have the right to make on-site inspections of the workspace, including home workspace with advance written notice or at other mutually agreed-upon times.
- Technical Support. Regular campus help desk support will be provided to Telecommuters, as it is provided to all employees. Telecommuters who need help desk support will be required to bring University-owned equipment to campus if necessary. Specialized technical support for telecommuter-owned equipment will not be provided.
- Restricted-Access Materials. The Telecommuter shall not copy, place on another computer or delete restricted-access materials that are at the University on-site work location or accessed through the computer, unless approved in advance by the appropriate Administrator and the Information Security Officer (ISO).
- Information Security. Work done at the Telecommuter’s off-site workplace is official University business. All records, documents, and correspondence (either on paper or in electronic form) must be returned to the University at the conclusion of telecommuting or upon request by the Telecommuter’s appropriate Administrator. The Telecommuter shall protect University information from unauthorized disclosure or damage and will comply with federal, state, and University rules, policies and procedures. All appropriate rules, policies and procedures shall be provided by the appropriate Administrator to the Telecommuter on request.
Information classified as Level 1 - Confidential or Level 2 - Internal Use by the CSU Data Classification Standard must be password protected and encrypted if stored on a home computer (laptop or desktop) of the telecommuter. Storage of Level 1 and/or Level 2 data must be specifically approved in writing, in advance, by the appropriate Administrator, the campus Information Security Officer, and the Chief Information Officer. The campus reserves the right to review and inspect any software and hardware used by the Telecommuter to access Level 1 or Level 2 data. The CSU Data Classification Standard is listed as an Appendix to this policy.
If the Telecommuter’s job activities require access to campus via Virtual Private Network (VPN), the Telecommuter may be required to use campus-owned computer equipment, in order to protect the integrity of the campus network. Equipment used by the Telecommuter to connect via VPN must be reviewed by the Information Security Office and approved in writing by the Chief Information Officer.
Release or destruction of records should be done only in accordance with University records retention policy and procedure, and with the approval of the Telecommuter's appropriate Administrator.
- Benefits, Leave Requests Unchanged. The employee's salary, benefits and worker's compensation shall not change due to telecommuting. An employee who is telecommuting is not entitled to reimbursement for travel mileage to attend work unit meetings.
Requirements and the procedure for Telecommuter requests for sick leave, vacation and other leaves will not change while telecommuting.
- No Dependent or Medical Care. Telecommuting is not a substitute for dependent care or medical leave or caring for an ill family member. Telecommuters are required to make arrangements for dependent care during the agreed-upon work hours.
- Overtime. A FLSA non-exempt Telecommuter shall not work overtime without prior written approval from his/her appropriate Administrator. If the employee works overtime that has been approved in advance, compensation or compensatory time off will be provided in accordance with eligibility guidelines and applicable laws, policies and collective bargaining agreements. A Telecommuter’s failure to obtain prior approval for overtime work may result in termination of telecommuting agreement.
- Legal and Tax Implications. The employee is responsible for addressing and resolving any questions about the employee’s ability to deduct expenses related to telecommuting. The tax implications of utilizing a home office are the responsibilities of the employee.
CSU Data Classification Standard -
Appendix A of IT.01.002 Policy on Data Classification Standard
Telecommuter's Home and Safety Checklist