Telecommuting Procedure and Agreement

Procedure Section: 
Human Resources
Effective: 
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Last Revised: 
Monday, March 16, 2020
Procedure: 

South Puget Sound Community College encourages and supports telecommuting work for medical accommodations, special circumstances, and as a means of achieving administrative efficiencies, or other work and performance efficiencies.

South Puget Sound Community College defines telecommuting as working at an alternate worksite such as a private residence or other location that is not the official working location for one or more days per week, month, or selected time period.

Occasionally working off-site for a few hours or a day does not require a Telecommuting Agreement (which is defined later in this procedure). These types of informal arrangements are permitted, but must be arranged between an employee, their supervisor, and respective Vice President. They must be for the purpose of meeting a specific business need.

Telecommuting is a voluntary workplace alternative available through a mutually agreed upon arrangement between an employee and their supervisor. The arrangement is not permanent and may be terminated by the employee or the College at any time.

Telecommuting shall not negatively impact South Puget Sound Community College’s service to students, adversely impact other faculty and staff, interfere with efficient conduct of daily College business or the employee’s ability to perform the functions of their job.

Telecommuting agreements do not change conditions of employment, expectations of the position, or required compliance with College policies and procedures.

Position Suitability

A suitable position is a position that can be, at a given time, conducted from a remote location without negatively impacting quality of work or College operations. Position suitability is determined by Human Resources and the employee’s supervisor.

A suitable position meets the following criteria:

  • The position allows for flexibility regarding face-to-face interaction and coordination of their work with other employees, their supervisor, students, and/or the public
  • Some or all of the work activities are portable and can be performed effectively while working away from any of the SPSCC campus’
  • Appropriate technology to support assigned work activities is available from the employee and/or the College
  • Work performance can be evaluated using methods other than measuring time spent on the job
  • The position does not require immediate access to equipment, documents, or other information located only on campus

Other factors for consideration when determining a position’s suitability:

  • Nature of the work
  • Work strategy meet the Security Plan standards and provides required protections of confidential information (FERPA/PII/HIPAA)
  • Employee’s job performance history
  • Potential impact to the service to students
  • Effect on workload
  • Competing leave requests/scheduled time off

The above list of factors is not an exhaustive list. Supervisors and/or the applicable Vice President and HR may use their discretion in approving telecommuting.

Employee Suitability

Employees suitable for telecommuting must meet the following requirements:

  • Employee’s position is considered suitable
  • Employee medical accommodation may include a telecommuting assignment
  • Employee is not involved in corrective or disciplinary action, a disciplinary investigation, and does not have any past performance issues
  • An approved Telecommuting Agreement is in place prior to telecommuting

Employee Responsibilities

An employee’s work responsibilities and scheduled work hours will not be affected by a telecommuting arrangement.

Telecommuters are responsible for maintaining effective workflow and communication among co-workers, supervisors, students, etc. Professional standards and job performance requirements remain. Employees in telecommute arrangements are still required to comply with all College policies and procedures. Failure to perform adequately or comply with policies and procedures, may result in a termination of the Telecommuting Agreement and/or corrective or disciplinary action.

An employee may not be the primary source of care for a dependent while they are telecommuting. The employee must maintain an in-home worksite that is reasonably free of hazards and is maintained in a safe and secure manner. The employee is liable for any injuries to third parties or family members or any damage at the in-home worksite**.

**South Puget Sound Community College is waiving this requirement during the Covid-19 Virus. 

South Puget Sound Community College shall provide worker’s compensation and liability protection as obligated by the State statutes for the employee while they are in the course of employment within the agreed upon location and defined work schedule. The College assumes no responsibility for injury to any other persons at the employee’s residence or the alternate workspace within it. The College is not liable for any activity, damages, or injury, which is not directly associated or resulting from the employee’s official job duties for which the College has no ability to exercise control.

The employee will maintain public records in compliance with the Public Records Act and records retention schedules.

Work Hours & Accessibility

The employee’s number of work hours per week remains the same even if they telecommute. Telecommuting hours will be specified in the Telecommuting Agreement. Any changes to the Telecommuting Agreement must be approved by the supervisor in advance.

The supervisor and the employee must comply with all applicable laws, rules, and policies including but not limited to:

  • Work hours
  • Meal and break periods
  • Leave
  • Submitting timesheets
  • Employee conduct and ethics
  • Performance expectations
  • Communication procedures
  • Confidentiality

During telecommuting hours, employees must be fully accessible to their supervisor, co-workers, and others that they normally interact with. Requests for leave will follow normal procedures.

A scheduled telecommute day supersedes a campus closure due to suspended operations if work can proceed at the alternate worksite. If an emergency childcare situation arises for a related reason when the College’s operations are suspended (i.e. inclement weather that causes child’s school to close), the employee would not be expected to telecommute. Suspended operations rules related to pay and leave would apply.

In the case of an alternate worksite emergency such as power outage, a telecommuting employee is required to report to their office on campus unless the campus is also affected by the emergency.

Equipment, Supplies, Communications, & Workspace

The telecommuting site is considered an extension of the College for limited purposes while the employee is in telecommute status. An employee in telecommute status will be available during the approved work schedule for phone calls and other methods of communication.

The employee will work with HR and IT to ensure that computer hardware, software, and equipment used for telecommuting meet college security and confidentiality requirements. The employee agrees to manage the remote workspace so that access to data and applications are controlled to them only as it would be from a campus workstation.

Supplies necessary to complete work at the telecommuting site such as paper and other office supplies, are to be obtained from the on campus office/department. South Puget Sound Community College will not reimburse employees for purchased office supplies for the telecommuting site that would not be purchased normally.

The employee assumes responsibility for all costs associated with telecommuting other than costs referenced in the Telecommuting Agreement. Individual tax implications, auto/home owner’s insurance, losses from a fire or theft, or incidental residential utility costs are the responsibility of the employee.

The employee may not conduct face to face business meetings at the telecommuting site.

Security

Products, documents, and other records used and/or developed while telecommuting shall remain the property of and be available to South Puget Sound Community College. Restricted access or confidential documents may not be taken off campus without appropriate prior approval. The security of any restricted access or confidential materials removed from the office with appropriate approval is the responsibility of the telecommuter.

The employee is required to comply with all College policies related to equipment, data security, data confidentiality, and hardware/software manufacturers licensing agreements.

Telecommuting Agreements

Regular or project specific telecommuting that has a specified duration of time require an approved Telecommuting Agreement signed by the employee, the employee’s supervisor, their Vice President, and Human Resources. The Telecommuting Agreement will set forth the specific telecommuting schedule. Telecommuting Agreements expire June 30 of each year. New Telecommuting Agreements must be submitted if the agreement expires.

 

Failure to comply with the Telecommuting Agreement will cause the immediate termination of the agreement, and may also result in corrective or disciplinary action.

Purpose: 

South Puget Sound Community College encourages and supports telecommuting work for medical accommodations, special circumstances, and as a means of achieving administrative efficiencies, or other work and performance efficiencies.

Definitions: 

South Puget Sound Community College defines telecommuting as working at an alternate worksite such as a private residence or other location that is not the official working location for one or more days per week, month, or selected time period.

Occasionally working off-site for a few hours or a day does not require a Telecommuting Agreement (which is defined later in this procedure). These types of informal arrangements are permitted, but must be arranged between an employee, their supervisor, and respective Vice President. They must be for the purpose of meeting a specific business need.

Telecommuting is a voluntary workplace alternative available through a mutually agreed upon arrangement between an employee and their supervisor. The arrangement is not permanent and may be terminated by the employee or the College at any time.

Telecommuting shall not negatively impact South Puget Sound Community College’s service to students, adversely impact other faculty and staff, interfere with efficient conduct of daily College business or the employee’s ability to perform the functions of their job.

Telecommuting agreements do not change conditions of employment, expectations of the position, or required compliance with College policies and procedures.

 

Procedure Code: 
PRHMRS6819