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Flexible Work Arrangements – Policy Statement

The purpose of flexible work arrangements is to create flexible working conditions to help employees accomplish work more effectively. Not all College positions lend themselves to flexible work arrangements; therefore, decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis and will be dependent on the best interests of the College as determined by its goals and objectives.

All terms and conditions of employment remain unchanged during flexible work arrangements except those addressed by the arrangement.

It is recommended that flexible work arrangements be implemented on a trial basis to provide an opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of the arrangement. In no event shall a flexible work arrangement continue beyond one year without going through a formal approval process.

*Note: Exempt employees are not covered by the overtime and record keeping requirement of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Therefore, there is inherent flexibility in work scheduling for them. Even though the law allows this latitude, exempt staff members still need to discuss specific scheduling arrangements with their supervisors and obtain their written approval.

In certain instances, Family and Medical leave is a more appropriate option than flextime or telecommuting. For more information on Family and Medical Leave provisions, contact the Benefits Office of the Department of Human Resources.

The College will consider two flexible work arrangements, flextime or telecommuting.

Telecommuting

Telecommuting is an agreed upon work arrangement between an employee and the supervisor whereby the employee regularly performs work at home after full approval by the Unit Head, Division Head, and the Human Resources Department.  Telecommuting allows employees to work away from the College premises on one or more workdays per week and accomplish tasks by computer, telephone, fax machines or other means.

Flextime

Flextime allows for flexible scheduling arrangements that permit variations in starting and departure times, but does not alter the total number of hours worked in a workweek. All flextime arrangements must conform to the overtime, record keeping and break provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the applicable bargaining unit contract.

Procedures for Telecommuting or Flextime

Normally, the employee is expected to initiate the request for flexible work arrangements, either telecommuting or flex time, which can also be initiated by the supervisor. A written justification prepared by the employee and/or the supervisor of the need for a flexible work arrangement must be submitted to the Unit Head. The Unit Head and employee must jointly be responsible for determining and documenting: how performance will be assigned and measured; what the work hours will be; how the arrangement will not burden coworkers; what the methods for adequate communication during specified hours will be; and make clear the employee shall come to the primary work site when necessary regardless of the telecommuting or work schedule. The written justification should specify how the arrangement will benefit the College.

If the Unit Head endorses the request, it should be passed on to the Division Head. If the Division Head endorses the request, it should be passed on to the Department of Human Resources for final approval or disapproval. The Department of Human Resources will notify the Unit Head regarding the decision.

If the flexible work arrangement is approved, a flexible work agreement must be signed by the employee, the supervisor, and the Human Resources Department. If the telecommuting arrangement is not approved, there is no right to appeal such decision which is not grievable.

All agreements shall contain the following language:

Termination of Flexible Work Agreement

The College has the right to discontinue the flexible work arrangement with two weeks notice, unless otherwise mutually agreed to, for any reason.

The employee may discontinue this agreement with two weeks notice, unless otherwise mutually agreed to, if it does not work out as planned and expected, subject to the College’s needs.

For Telecommuting Arrangements

The employee shall remain accessible (by phone, fax or e-mail) during designated work hours and shall hold the College harmless for injury caused to others and agrees to carry workers’ compensation for household employees who may enter the offsite work office. Workers’ Compensation liability for the telecommuter shall be limited to work-related injuries in the workspace. All College procedures with regard to medical treatment must be followed.

  • Employee’s vehicles shall not be used for College business unless specifically authorized by the supervisor.
  • Employee agrees to return to the College all equipment, materials, files (paper and electronic) within 10 business days of terminating any telecommuting agreement.
  • Employee shall be responsible for tax consequences, if any, of a telecommuting agreement including conformance to any local zoning regulations.
  • Telecommuters shall be responsible for keeping their supervisors informed of progress on assignments worked on at home, including any problems they may experience while telecommuting. Regular communication with the supervisor is considered vital to the success and integrity of a telecommuting work arrangement.
  • Employee shall not duplicate any College owned software.
  • Employee shall not use College information for personal business.
Equipment

The College will provide computer or other necessary equipment and access to the College’s computer network on an as-needed basis within the limits of available resources. Employees must agree in writing to replace the equipment or repay the College if the equipment is damaged, lost or stolen. A personal computer may be used but must be evaluated and configured appropriately. Any software changes must be approved by the Information Technology Services Department. The College is not responsible for damage or loss to the staff member-owned equipment, and if used, is subject to the College’s right of inspection. There will be no expectation of privacy as to files kept on any computer used during a flexible work arrangement. All files shall be subject to the New Jersey Records Retention Act.

College equipment in any off-site workspace shall be subject to the same inventory control and disposal procedures as that in the primary work site.

  • The employee shall be responsible for bringing equipment to the primary work site for inspection, maintenance and repair. The College will repair, upgrade or replace the equipment unless it is lost, damaged or stolen through the employee’s negligence or abuse.
Flextime Arrangements

To ensure that management and staff have a mutual understanding of the specifics of the flextime schedule, it will be put in writing. Any modifications in the schedule may be made only with the prior consent of management. Some of the possible variations of flextime are:

  • Fixed starting and departure times that are selected periodically.
  • Starting and departure times that can vary daily.
  • Variations in the length of the workday which may result in a compressed workweek (i.e. a four-day work week similar to the College’s normal summer schedule)

Regardless of the variations chosen, a staff member must work the total standard number of hours each workweek. Flexible schedules may involve the need for staff to be present or accessible during certain core number of hours each day.

All contractual entitlements for lunch and breaks must be adhered to.

College Responsibilities

The College shall provide the employee with a specific written job description with duties to be performed off-site along with measurable performance expectations.

The College shall provide clear expectations for the employee fulfilling detailed duties and such should be discussed prior to implementing the agreement.

The College shall set out expectations for accessibility and accountability. Times for employee accessibility by phone, and computer will be specified, i.e. during regular business hours or other.

The College shall set out timing of requests for authorization of time off, reporting usage of time will be set out. The College shall establish clear procedures for reporting time worked. All agreements will provide that all College policies and procedures, including time and attendance reporting and leave time, continue to apply during flexible work arrangements.

The College will compensate fixed workweek employees as required for hours worked. Supervisory approval for overtime for fixed workweek employees is required in advance and no overtime may be worked without such approval.

Job performance will be measured using established College procedures and forms. In addition to usual measures of quality, quantity and timeliness, the supervisor must consider length of time spent on tasks and appropriate use of resources. Therefore, a weekly accounting of the employee’s work may be useful in a flexible work arrangement specifying amount of time spent on each task. The supervisor and staff member must plan with coworkers how workflow issues will be addressed (e.g. callers, mail, meeting) while the staff member is telecommuting or not present during normal business hours.

Employee Responsibilities

The employee shall assure College equipment and records in the off-site workspace are maintained in safe and secure conditions.

The employee shall assure College equipment is used for College business. College e-mail account shall be used for College business. The employee shall protect against unauthorized or accidental access, use modification, destruction, loss, theft or disclosure of College owned equipment, records or materials. Any loss, damage, or unauthorized access to College equipment, records or materials shall immediately be reported to the supervisor.

The employee shall provide safe and secure workspace in an ergonomically sound manner and hold the College harmless for injury or harm caused from employee’s home office equipment.

Flexible Work Arrangements Agreement

Flexible Work Agreement

Parameters

This policy is not meant for employees who may occasionally participate in flexible work arrangements under special circumstances. Examples of occasional arrangements include weather conditions that prevent an employee from traveling to work, or when an employee wants to work at home to complete a report or when faculty do work at home or research off-site.

May 19, 2008

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