Telework Policy for Classified Staff
Authority: Business Affairs
Date Enacted or Revised: Enacted August 12, 2022
To establish a formal policy and guidelines for telework.
This policy shall apply to all employees of McNeese State University.
In accordance with SCS Rule 11.4.1, it is the policy of McNeese State University to provide telework as a viable, flexible work option when both the employee and the employee’s position are suitable for such arrangement. McNeese State University aims to increase efficiencies while also sustaining the recruitment and retention of highly qualified employees. Telework is not an entitlement and it in no way changes the terms and conditions of employment. Telework agreements which are temporary or situational must be reviewed dependent on the length of the agreement or as determined by the appointing authority or their designee. Formal telework agreements must be reviewed on an annual basis.
- Alternative work site: An approved work site other than the employee’s primary work site, in which an employee is authorized to conduct telework. In most cases, the alternative work site will be in the employee’s home.
- Telework: A work flexibility arrangement under which an employee performs the duties and responsibilities of their position from an approved alternative work site. Unless otherwise specified, telework herein refers to both formal telework and situational telework.
- Telework agreement: A document authorizing the employee to perform work at an alternative worksite on established days.
- Telework – Formal: Telework which occurs as part of an approved, ongoing, regular schedule or within established limits (e.g., full time or a set number of days per week).
- Telework – Situational: Telework which is approved on a case-by-case basis, where hours worked are not part of a previously approved, ongoing, and regular telework schedule (e.g., telework approved as a result of inclement weather, declared emergency, reasonable accommodations or office closures).
- Teleworker: The term used to describe the employee when they are working from their approved alternative work site.
- Primary work site: The employee’s usual and customary work site.
Eligibility for Telework
A position that is suitable for telework is one that has responsibilities that can be, at any time, conducted from an alternative work site without affecting service quality or organizational operations. Supervisors, in consultation with the director of human resources and student employment shall determine which positions are suitable for telework. Approval of the appointing authority or their designee is required for telework arrangements.
Factors in considering suitability may include but are not limited to:
- Nature of the work performed;
- Efficiency of work processes and how telework may impact or increase workload of other employees;
- Impact on ability to provide quality customer service or the need for face-to-face interactions or in person interaction with colleagues;
- Utilization of technology at the alternate work location; and
- Impact on agency budget and fiscal resources.
Unless mandated by the appointing authority or their designee due to weather closures, telework is strictly voluntary. An employee who is eligible for telework is one who has responsibilities that can be, at any time, conducted from an alternative work site without affecting service quality or organizational operations. The appointing authority or their designee may approve telework status for an employee.
Factors in considering eligibility may include but are not limited to:
- The employee’s length of service with the agency (classified employees must be in permanent status);
- The employee’s work performance (classified employees must have no documented history of performance or behavioral deficiencies);
- The employee’s ability to be supervised while teleworking and ability to work independently;
- The employee’s job duties and the ability to provide a high level of customer service while teleworking;
- Completion of required telework training; and
- The employee’s ability to provide technology resources needed to complete all tasks or the ability for the University to provide such technology resources. Technology resources will be provided by the University when feasible and available. An employee may be required to provide their own laptops, printers, and scanners. The employee must have home Wi-Fi services, which are at the cost of the employee. VPN access will be granted as needed through the Office of University Computing Services by request.
An Employee Telework Plan and Agreement Form must be completed and approved by the appropriate supervisor and received in the Office of Human Resources and Student Employment. This requirement is to ensure that both the supervisor and employee have a clear understanding of the work to be accomplished and the daily work schedule that is expected during the telework period. The Office of Human Resources and Student Employment will forward all Telework Agreement Forms to the applicable vice president or president for final approval. The president or their designee has ultimate authority over telework.
Employees who are required or approved to telework at a location other than a University-provided location will be required to designate an alternate workplace appropriate for the completion of their job duties. This may include the employee’s home or other private and isolated workspaces.
Employees required or approved to telework do so at the direction of the University and must immediately return to their regular work location, with all applicable University property, when directed by the University or their supervisor.
Telework arrangements may be considered on a case-by-case basis as a reasonable accommodation with appropriate reasonable accommodation forms. Please contact the Office of Human Resources and Student Employment or your supervisor for information on reasonable accommodation request forms and procedures.
Teleworking agreements may be modified or revoked at any time, without cause or notice.
University Policies and Procedures
Teleworkers are subject to all University policies and procedures, federal and state rules and regulations, and any other laws or rules that govern their employment while teleworking.
Hours of Work and Leave
- Teleworking employees are expected to maintain their normal work schedule, unless approval is granted for alternate hours and must follow normal University policies for time and attendance reporting.
- Teleworking employees must maintain at least the same level of availability, levels of production, and quality of work as though the employee is working from the primary work site.
- Teleworking may not be used solely for child or adult care or to perform other personal business during working hours, or for any purpose for which leave should be requested. If the employee is not performing official duties on behalf of the University, the employee must request leave as appropriate.
- Should circumstances arise whereby an employee cannot work at the alternate work location (i.e., loss of electricity, Wi-Fi, home emergencies, etc.) the employee must report these issues to their supervisor. The employee may be required to report to the primary work location, if practical, or a different designated/alternate work location, or appropriate leave may be granted/considered. Supervisors should seek guidance on this issue from the Office of Human Resources and Student Employment before taking action.
- Teleworking may not be used in place of annual, sick, FMLA, or any other type of leave. Requests to use leave must be approved according to normal University policy and departmental guidelines.
- Employees may work overtime and must have normal approval to earn overtime or compensatory leave, in accordance with University policy. Supervisor pre-approval is required.
- Employee must be able to perform their normal duties and maintain all duties as stated in their official position description and must adhere to all expectations in the annual performance planning.
Official Office Closures
Depending on the reason (i.e. weather, road conditions, etc.), an office closure may be declared to a specific building, city/town, parish, or the entire state. The official domicile for an employee that teleworks is the city/town or parish where the employee’s alternative work site is located for the days the employee is to perform work at that location. An employee may only have one (1) domicile on any given workday. Thus, if an office closure is declared on a scheduled telework day, the teleworker is:
- Not eligible for special office closure leave if the office closure is specific to the primary work site building or the office closure is specific to a city/town or parish that is different than the city/town or parish in which the employee is teleworking; or
- Eligible for special office closure leave if the office closure is specific to a city/town or parish that is the same as the city/town or parish in which the employee is teleworking.
Equipment and Supplies
- Out-of-pocket expenses for supplies customarily available through the University will not be reimbursed without prior approval of the employee’s supervisor and will be in accordance with normal purchasing policies. It is the University’s responsibility to maintain and repair any equipment that is supplied to the employee by the University. Should a delay in the repair or replacement of equipment occur or any other circumstance under which it would be impossible for the employee to telework, the employee must immediately contact their supervisor for further direction.
- The employee may be required to provide their own equipment or the University may authorize University equipment for the teleworker.
- The University will not pay for internet service, nor the repair, technical support, or maintenance of personal equipment such as home networking connectivity, routers, modems, etc.
- University-owned equipment, software, supplies, etc. at the alternate work site shall be limited to that authorized by the University and used only for University business.
- Employees assume responsibility for the physical security of University equipment, supplies, and information in their possession while teleworking.
- The University will not be liable for damages to an employee’s personal or real property while the employee is working at the approved alternate work site. The employee shall maintain their off-campus workspace in a safe condition, free from hazards and other dangers. When the employee uses personal equipment, they shall be responsible for equipment repair and maintenance.
- Materials, documents, etc. that the employee transports to and from the primary work site to the off-campus location are their responsibility and must be kept confidential and secure. The employee agrees to protect the University records from unauthorized disclosure or damage and will comply with University policies and procedures regarding such matters.
- Any equipment, supplies, software, hardware, etc., purchased by the University remain University property and must be returned after a teleworking arrangement ends or when requested by University management.
- Employees using state-provided software will adhere to the manufacturer’s licensing agreements, including the prohibition against unauthorized duplication.
- To protect the confidentiality and guard against data contamination, employees will follow University-approved data security procedures.
- At the end of the teleworking period, the employee shall return all state-owned equipment, software, data files, and other state assets. The employee must return these assets, or the University will be allowed to retrieve any assets within seven (7) calendar days of the termination of the teleworking agreement or take other measures allowed under state law or by University policy.
The employee may not submit nor receive reimbursement if traveling to a designated alternate work location outside of their home.
The employee’s home workspace, when used for teleworking, is an extension of the department workspace. The University’s liability for job-related accidents, which occur during the normal scope of duties, will continue to exist during the approved work schedule and in the employee’s designated work location.
If an injury occurs during teleworking work hours, the employee shall immediately report the injury to the supervisor, who will report to the Office of Human Resources and Student Employment. Claims are filed with the Louisiana Office of Risk Management and approved by this agency/third-party vendor for consideration of payment.
Terms and Conditions of Employment
The teleworker’s conditions of employment remain the same as for non-teleworking employees. Employee salary, benefits, and employer-sponsored insurance coverage will not change as a result of teleworking. The employee shall adhere to all policies, rules, and regulations of the University.
Mandatory training courses: Employees who are authorized to participate in telework and their supervisors, as a condition of eligibility to telework, must complete the following required telework training courses:
- CPTP SCS Teleworking for Employees WBT
- CPTP SCS Managing Teleworkers WBT
In most cases, telework agreements will not be authorized until mandatory training courses are complete unless emergent circumstances require a longer time to complete as determined by the Office of Human Resources and Student Employment. Training courses are located in LEO.
Additional training resources:
- CPTP Developing Others WBT
- CPTP Time Management for Teleworkers WBT
- CPTP Virtual Meeting Etiquette WBT
Responsibilities of Teleworking Supervisors and Teleworkers
Responsibilities of Teleworking Supervisors
- Supervisors must ensure an Employee Telework Agreement Form is completed by the employee with the appropriate duties and dates of telework agreement.
- Ensure that you contact the Office of Human Resources and Student Employment when the teleworking agreement, if temporary, is ended and the employee is scheduled to return to the normal work site.
- Ensure that you contact IT or UCS to end any University accesses that were provided to an employee on their personal computer.
- If a telework agreement is ended and the employee has returned to the normal work site, ensure that any University guidelines associated with returning to work are applied.
- Ensure the employee has the appropriate equipment/resources to telework and completes the Equipment Entrustee Form to both remove property from the campus and return property to the campus and ensure that this form is submitted to the Office of Purchasing and Property Control when equipment is returned.
- Ensure that the employee has an updated job description and understands job responsibilities related to the teleworking assignment and that all job responsibilities can be performed while teleworking.
- Establish how the teleworker will maintain regular contact with coworkers, University personnel, general public, and supervisors.
- Establish expectations for and monitoring of employee performance/work hours/leave hours while teleworking.
- Determine how the department will handle restricted access materials, security issues, and taking of electronic or paper documents from the primary workplace following all University-related policies.
- Ensure teleworking practices are consistent and compliant with state/federal law and University procedures in the use of technology and/or resources.
Responsibilities of Teleworkers
- Consistently meet all performance expectations and standards set forth and agreed upon by the supervisor.
- Maintain satisfactory performance, attendance, and conduct.
- Perform all job duties as stated in the official position description and meet all expectations as stated in the annual performance planning session.
- Follow all agreed-upon regulations concerning communication/reporting/contact with and to supervisor and other campus personnel, as required.
- Follow all University policies while teleworking.
- Submit the Employee Telework Agreement Form and adhere to any guidelines within the agreement form.
- Complete and submit the Equipment Entrustee Form when removing any University equipment and follow all regulations in the University’s Property Control Policy. When property is returned to the custodial department or person, confirm return by completing the Return Receipt portion of the Equipment Entrustee Form and submit it to the supervisor.
Classified Positions Eligible for Telework
- Accounting Specialist 2
- Accounting Technician
- Accountant 2
- Administrative Assistant 2
- Administrative Assistant 3
- Administrative Assistant 4
- Administrative Assistant 5
- Administrative Assistant 6
- Administrative Coordinator 2
- Administrative Coordinator 3
- Administrative Coordinator 4
- Administrative Program Specialist A
- Human Resources Analyst A
- Human Resources Analyst B
- Procurement Specialist 2
- Procurement Specialist 3
This policy is distributed via the University Policies webpage.