Telecommuting Guidelines and Policies

Zoom Meeting

 

WHAT IS TELECOMMUTING?

Telecommuting is a work arrangement in which an employee regularly performs work at a remote location for a specified portion of the workweek. A successful arrangement is beneficial for participating employees and employers.

Telecommuting arrangements may be long-term or short-term in response to an environmental event, building closure, etc. Occasional or temporary offsite work does not require the execution of a Telecommuting Agreement.

APPROVAL PROCESS

Department heads have the authority to establish, approve or deny telecommuting arrangements for individual employees. Each telecommuting arrangement should be thoroughly assessed beforehand to ensure operational needs and impacts are considered. Department heads are encouraged to give serious consideration to all reasonable requests but must place the highest priority on effectiveness.

TELECOMMUTING ELIGIBILITY

The primary criterion for determining whether telecommuting is appropriate for any employee is whether or not the arrangement meets the department’s business needs. Remote work is not suitable for all employees. Telecommuting eligibility will depend on the department’s operations and an employee’s job function. Certain jobs can only be performed on site, with telecommuting not feasible.

Jobs that entail working with equipment that can be easily moved to an alternate worksite are often more suitable for remote work (e.g., writers, editors, analysts, programmers, etc.).

Jobs that require physical presence or constant interaction with clients and coworkers may not be suitable for remote work (e.g., mail processors, grounds keepers, lab workers, instructors, etc.).

Employees who telecommute must be available to travel when required. This includes travel to the primary worksite when necessary, regardless of the established remote work schedule.

Remote work arrangements must not negatively impact colleagues’ workload or productivity by shifting burdens, creating delays or adding steps in the workflow.

GUIDELINES

When telecommuting, employees are expected to meet the same performance standards as they would when working on site.

Telecommuting arrangements are subject to ongoing review and may be terminated at any time with 30 days’ notice provided by either party, based on business and operational considerations. When a 30-day notice is not practical because of the department’s operational demands, department management may adjust the notice period accordingly. 

The University owns all software, data, reports, text and graphics created as a result of any work-related activities.

All terms and conditions of employment with the University remain unchanged. This includes, but is not limited to, job responsibilities, performance standards, attendance requirements, benefits, salary, and adherence to UC Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM) and departmental policies and procedures.

Non-exempt employees who telecommute must accurately record workday start and end times, and meal periods. Non-exempt employees must also obtain advance approval from their supervisors prior to working overtime.

TELECOMMUTING PRINCIPLES

  • Job tasks must be adaptable to the telecommute arrangement
  • Performance is evaluated on results, not when or where you work
  • Telecommute arrangements are to be transparent, equitable and communicated to all
  • Telecommuting agreements must be executed for employees who have been authorized to work remotely, and arrangements are to be documented and regularly evaluated, and are subject to termination
  • Telecommuting is a partnership with all parties involved

TELECOMMUTING LOCATION

If a telecommuting arrangement has been approved, the employee may work anywhere in the United States. However, all employees who telecommute must travel when their work requires, including to their primary worksites. Employees who reside outside of California will be subject to tax withholding for the state in which they reside.

If an employee requests permission to telecommute from another country, the department must obtain approval from the UCLA Global Operations Group. All requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. An employee who resides in another country will be subject to that country’s residency, visa, employment and business tax laws.

UCPath cannot withhold and remit international income and employment taxes, as UCLA is required to do by law. There may be University tax liability and establishment issues that prohibit the employee from working outside of the United States. Department heads can contact the Global Operations Group at [email protected].

REQUEST PROCESS

Decisions regarding telecommuting are made on a case-by-case basis. Operational and business needs are a priority when considering an employee proposal.

A. Employee Telecommuting Arrangement Proposal:

  1. Employees should prepare a written proposal with plans for the timely completion of assignments and regular communication with your supervisor and colleagues.
  2. The proposal should highlight how the telecommuting arrangement will impact your work, the work of your colleagues and your department’s operations.
  3. The employee should schedule a meeting with their supervisor to discuss the proposal. If the proposal is approved, a UCLA Telecommuting Agreement should be completed. 
  4. If your telecommute request is related to a medical condition or disability, please visit Employee Disability Management Services for more information and download and complete a Reasonable Accommodation Request form.
    1. Utilize this to request to work remotely and to describe your functional limitations. If you believe that you are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 due to age and/or an underlying medical condition, download and complete the COVID-19 Accommodation Request Form. A Disability Management Consultant will be in contact with you.

B. Supervisors Reviewing a Telecommuting Proposal:

  1. Should review each proposal on its own merits and give equal consideration to all requests. Consider the potential benefits and drawbacks of the proposed arrangement. Consult departmental colleagues as needed to ensure operational consistency within your organization.
  2. If the proposal is unacceptable, clearly explain to the employee why it cannot be approved. Be supportive and suggest practical alternatives. If appropriate, encourage the employee to revise the proposal.
  3. If the proposal is acceptable, sign the UCLA Telecommuting Agreement and obtain approval from your department head.
  4. Provide a copy of the completed agreement to the employee, and forward the original agreement to your HR representative for placement into the employee’s personnel file.
  5. An initial trial period of 1-3 months is recommended; however, at the discretion of department management, a shorter or longer trial period may be implemented.
  6. Schedule regular meetings with the employee to review the success of the arrangement, particularly during the initial trial period.
  7. Amend or re-approve the arrangement at the conclusion of the trial period.
  8. Telecommute requests arising from a medical condition or disability must be considered. If the request is acceptable, follow the process outlined above. If the request is not acceptable, the University must engage the employee with a reasonable accommodation process. Please contact Employee Disability Management Services (EDMS) at [email protected] to request assistance. Please visit the EDMS website for more information.

Review the Guidelines for Managing Remotely. If further guidance is needed, consult your Employee Relations Consultant.

CHR POLICY AND GUIDANCE LINKS