Policy: Telecommuting

University Policy: Telecommuting


Date Revised:  June 2021

Date Effective: June 7, 2021


Responsible University Official(s): Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services

Policy Owner: Chief Human Resources Officer

Policy Contact: Human Resources Department


REASON FOR POLICY

UW System Administrative Policy 1228: Telecommuting provides the framework and is the primary source of authority for telecommuting agreements within the University of Wisconsin System. The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the application, approval, and administration of telecommuting arrangements for UW-Platteville employees.


SCOPE

Telecommuting is a cooperative arrangement between the employee and employer. It is not a basic right of all employees (emphasis added). A telecommuting arrangement is based on the needs of the University and on the employee’s past and present levels of performance. Administrative and professional University Staff and Academic Staff employees of UW-Platteville are eligible for consideration under this policy.

This policy does not apply to telecommuting agreements that are part of a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or a religious accommodation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This policy does not apply to employees who telecommute on an intermittent basis.

This policy does not apply to faculty, instructional academic staff, graduate assistants, or LTEs. For Faculty and Instructional Academic Staff, an agreement is not required for commonly accepted off-campus work practices, such as grading, class prep, online teaching, research, etc.

Telecommuting on behalf of UW-Platteville is only allowed within the United States.


BACKGROUND

UW System Administrative Policy 1228: Telecommuting enables UW System institutions to establish telecommuting arrangements with employees when appropriate and desirable for the institution and the employee.


DEFINITIONS

Telecommuting: An employment arrangement in which an employee performs their job functions from an approved alternate worksite other than the employee’s primary headquarters location (main office), one or more days per month on a standard and recurring basis.

Intermittent Telecommuting: An unplanned period of telecommuting arising out of transient circumstances (e.g. illness, weather emergency, temporary school closure, etc.) lasting no longer than ten business days.

Short-Term Telecommuting: A continuous period of part-time or full-time telecommuting lasting no longer than three months.

Long-Term Telecommuting: A continuous arrangement for part-time or full-time telecommuting subject to at least annual review.


POLICY STATEMENT

UW-Platteville believes extending the workplace is a viable alternative work arrangement in certain instances. This voluntary telecommuting program is intended to be an innovative work option that benefits the University as well as the employee. A telecommuting arrangement is based on the needs of the University and on the employee’s past and present levels of performance.

Telecommuting is a management tool allowing for flexibility in work options. It does not change the basic terms and conditions (including compensation and benefits) of employment. This voluntary telecommuting policy does not limit the right and ability of the University to require employees to work at alternate work sites.

Telecommuting is approved on a case-by-case basis consistent with the mission of the University and the respective unit/department. Each telecommuting arrangement will be cost-justified and will be reviewed periodically for continued mutual benefit. The role of the managing supervisor is critical to the success of the telecommuting arrangement.

Telecommuting is not a substitute for dependent care (i.e. childcare, eldercare, etc.).

Employee Selection Criteria and Conditions

The unit director/supervisor will review the telecommuting request and will consider the unique circumstances of each request including the factors listed below:

  1. Needs of the University, department or unit,
  2. Employee’s work duties and the ability to set clear and quantifiable objectives in order to measure work performed,
  3. Availability and costs of needed equipment,
  4. Adequate and appropriate workspace at the employee’s home or other off-site location,
  5. Employees’ current and past job performance,
  6. Employee’s work skills, such as time management, organizational skills, self-motivation, and the ability tot work and solve problems independently,
  7. Effect on the rest of the work group, unit, department or University,
  8. Nature of employee’s duties (ability to perform work off-site); and
  9. Other items deemed necessary and appropriate by the director/supervisor.

Work Performance

A telecommuting employee is responsible for maintaining availability, levels of production at the expected standard, and quality of work at the expected standard while telecommuting. Inadequate availability, reduced work production and/or work quality may be cause for modifications or termination of an employee’s participation in telecommuting and, possibly, disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

Scope of the Telecommuting Agreement

The employee understands that all obligations, responsibilities, and terms and conditions of employment with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville remain unchanged, except those specifically addressed in the Telecommuting Agreement. Any breach of the Agreement by the employee may result in modification or withdrawal of telecommuting privileges under the Agreement, termination of the Agreement, and/or disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Termination of Agreement

Normally, an employee will be given at least four weeks’ notice before a telecommuting agreement is terminated. However, telecommuting agreements may be modified or discontinued at any time at the discretion of the employee’s supervisor.

Equipment and Information Security

University-provided equipment at home is not an entitlement of telecommuting employees. Depending on the job, equipment needs for telecommuters will vary and are determined by the director/supervisor.

  1. Telecommuting employees using university-provided computer hardware and software to perform their jobs must abide by the University’s policies covering information security, software licensing, internet access, and data privacy.
  2. Maintenance on university-owned equipment will be performed by a university authorized technician. The employee will be responsible for bringing the equipment to the employer- designated repair location. Necessary maintenance and repairs on university-owned equipment will be performed at the University’s expense.
  3. Maintenance and repair of employee-owned equipment is the responsibility of the employee. The University is not liable for such equipment even if the employee is engaged in university work at the time of malfunction; therefore, the Information Technology department will not be responsible to support and assist with employee-owned equipment.
  4. Employees must return all university-owned equipment to the University when requested by their director/supervisor, when the agreement ends, or when employment is terminated.

Confidential or restricted data should not be accessed via a personal device. You will need a university- owned device for access to confidential or restricted data. Reference UW System Administrative Policy 1031: Information Security | Data Classification and Protection and the UW-Platteville Information Security Program - Sec 2: Access, Security and Control of Data and Information Policy for more details. Examples of restricted and confidential data include, but are not limited to: 

  • Faculty; staff; student, and vendor, etc.
  • Personal information (social security number, etc.);
  • Medical and healthcare information;
  • Electronic protected health information (EPHI);
  • Customer data;
  • University financial data;
  • Product and/or service plans;
  • Details and schematics, network diagrams and security configurations;
  • Communications about university legal matters;
  • Password management information and/or,
  • Bank account information and routing numbers, payroll information other than your own, credit card information, any restricted data held for a third party.

When using employee owned devices for non-confidential or restricted data, it is expected that the employee will take reasonable precautions to keep the machine patched, updated and in good running condition. This is the responsibility of the employee.

If a university device, it should be only used by the university employee and only for business purposes. Please see the UW-Platteville Acceptable Use Policy for more information.

Confidential Information

Telecommuting may require the employee to take confidential information to the alternate worksite. The employee will take reasonable precautions to prevent disclosure of confidential information.

Expenses

  1. Employee will be provided with a method of telephone communication to avoid use of the employee’s personal device for work purposes. Long distance telephone calls and/or fax transmissions will not be reimbursed.
  2. The employee is required to establish, pay for, and maintain a home internet connection with sufficient bandwidth to effectively perform the duties of their position, including video conferencing and meetings.
  3. Basic office supplies shall be obtained through the normal departmental procurement procedures.
  4. Any other expense reimbursement related to telecommuting requires prior approvals by the director/supervisor.
  5. Any costs related to remodeling and/or furnishing the workspace shall be non-reimbursable and the responsibility of the employee.
  6. Any costs incurred traveling to and from the remote work location and the University will be in accordance to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code and may be the sole responsibility of the employee. Employees allowed to telecommute from their home are not eligible for reimbursement of miles from their home to the locations that would have been their assigned headquarters, if they were not telecommuting.
  7. Normal household expenses such as heating and electricity shall be non-reimbursable.

Insurance

Workers’ Compensation

The employee will be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for any injury or illness that arises out of the employee’s work, occurs at the worksite, and occurs during the working hours specified in the agreement. A job-related accident/illness during the remote work hours must be reported to the supervisor or other authorized university representatives within 24 hours. When the telecommuting work site is out of state and if the out-of-state location is the primary work site, a separate policy regarding worker’s compensation is required. Any expense in obtaining this policy will be the unit/department’s responsibility.

University Property

The University will insure all university property identified in the Agreement.

Indemnification

The employee agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the University, from and against any and all claims, demands or liability (including any related losses, costs, expenses and attorney’s fees) resulting from, or arising out of injury to or death of third persons including, but not limited to, the employee’s family members caused directly or indirectly by the employee’s willful misconduct, negligence, or omissions relating to his/her duties and obligations under these guidelines, except where such claims, demands, or liability arise from the University’s negligence.

Tax Liability

The tax implications of telecommuting are the responsibility of the employee. The employee is encouraged to seek professional advice in this area.


PROCEDURES

Approval Process:

  • Employee completes the Telecommuting Request Form
  • The Telecommuting Request Form is routed electronically and approved by the Supervisor, Dean/Director, Provost/Vice Chancellor, and Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Upon approval of the Telecommuting Request Form, the employee completes the
  • Telecommuting Agreement through MyUW Portal
  • The approved Telecommuting Request Form is maintained in the employee’s personnel file. The approved Telecommuting Agreement is housed electronically within MyUW Portal/HRS.

 The employee is not authorized to begin telecommuting until the employee completes the Telecommuting Agreement in MyUW Portal and it is approved by their Supervisor.


RESPONSIBILITIES

Position/Office: Chief Human Resources Officer | Human Resources Department | Supervisors

Responsibilities:

The Human Resources Department has the responsibility to consistently manage the implementation of this Policy for all employees.

Supervisors have the responsibility of assessing telecommuting applications for approval or denial, holding employees accountable for their work performance while working remotely, and reviewing long- term telecommuting agreements for effectiveness and continuation at least annually.


CONTACTS

Those designated to receive questions and feedback on the policy.

PositionPrimary ContactPhoneEmail
Chief Human Resources OfficerSarah Vosberg608.342.1176vosbergsara@uwplatt.edu
Human Resources DepartmentHuman Resources608.342.1176humanresources@uwplatt.edu

RELATED DOCUMENTS

UW-Platteville Telecommuting Request Form

UW System Administrative Policy 1228: Telecommuting UW System Administrative Policy 1230, Workplace Safety

UW System Administrative Policy 1031: Information Security | Data Classification and Protection UW-Platteville Information Security Program - Sec 2: Access, Security and Control of Data and Information Policy

UW-Platteville Acceptable Use Policy

Regent Policy Document 25-3. Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources Regent Policy Document 25-5, Information Technology: Information Security


HISTORY

Revised June 2021: Updated from Guideline to Policy and approved on an expedited timeline.

Revised First Approved: “Telecommuting Guidelines” December 11, 2015


SCHEDULED REVIEW

2026




Keywords:Telecommuting policy, guidelines, university policy, human resources, policy, remote, UW System Administrative Policy 1228, UWS 1228, work   Doc ID:111147
Owner:Sarah V.Group:UW Platt Admin Services
Created:2021-06-02 08:07 CDTUpdated:2021-09-16 13:57 CDT
Sites:UW Platt Admin Services
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