4.11.1 Telecommuting Procedures
The following procedures have been developed to provide direction and guidelines to Central Lakes College administrators, supervisors, and employees in the use of telecommuting. The procedures are to be used in conjunction with the Central Lakes College Telecommuting Policy
- The employee will complete a Telecommuting Request Form which will be reviewed by the supervisor.
- The supervisor, will forward the request to Information Technology (Scott Streed, W122) to evaluate any cost(s) associated with the request. IT will return the signed and completed request to the supervisor for additional processing.
- The supervisor will then route the request through the appropriate chain of command and recommend approval or denial to the appropriate Vice President or President.
- Approval or denial of the request will be communicated in writing to the employee by the Director of Human Resources. The original signed request and approval must be provided to Human Resources (Nancy Paulson, C 211 Brainerd) to be placed in the employee’s personnel file.
- A copy of the signed approval must be provided to Payroll (KaAnn Drone, C206a) and to Information Technology (Scott Streed, W122).
- The work schedule of the telecommuter will depend on the type of work to be performed and the needs of the department/unit as determined by the supervisor.
- Individual schedules for on-site and off-site work hours must be approved by the supervisor. Any changes to the schedule must be reviewed and approved by the supervisor in advance.
- Employees are expected to attend all meetings, on-site or off-site, related to the performance of their job. This may include emergency meetings scheduled with short notice to the telecommuter.
- Central Lakes College may permit the use of approved employee-owned equipment. Each employee is responsible for its maintenance and repair, along with any associated costs.
- When employees use system-owned or state-owned equipment, Central Lakes College is responsible for maintenance and repair of the equipment, along with any related costs.
- Employees will be responsible for promptly notifying their supervisor of an equipment malfunction or failure of either state-owned or employee-owned equipment. If the malfunction prevents the telecommuter from performing assigned tasks, the telecommuter must notify the supervisor immediately and may be assigned to perform a different task and/or be required to report to an alternate location, including the college campus. Additional equipment may be purchased at the employer’s discretion and installed at the telecommuter’s remote work location.
- State-owned equipment, software, documents, reports and data created as a result of work activities are owned by Central Lakes College.
- Equipment, software, data, supplies and furniture provided by Central Lakes College for use at the remote work site are for purposes of conducting Central Lakes College business and may not be used for personal use of the employee or non-Central Lakes College employees unless otherwise consistent with the Computer Use Policy.
- Telecommuters will return state-owned hardware, software, supplies, equipment and documents and other information and property to Central Lakes College prior to termination of telecommuting or employment or upon the request of Central Lakes College.
- Data Practices Act. Provisions of the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act and program data privacy policies must be followed when performing work at home and/or at an alternate work location. The telecommuter and supervisor should discuss the type and form of data which will be taken to and from the alternate work location and agree on the security and transfer process necessary to meet the needs of their assignment.
- Security. Telecommuters must provide reasonable security for the data and information that is transported to and from their office site. Simple measures such as removing disks and documents that contain sensitive data from desk areas and placing them in secure storage may prevent a major and, potentially costly, security breach or loss of information.
- Privacy and Confidentiality. Telecommuters needing restricted access information while working at alternate work locations will discuss the need with their supervisor before taking such information off-site. The telecommuter is responsible for protecting the privacy and confidentiality of data at alternate work locations the same as they would be in the assigned office.
- Data Retention. Data created and maintained on the telecommuter’s home computer, if generated for the purpose of conducting state business, is subject to the State’s records management statutes. This means proper retention and disposal procedures are required and such data remains the property of the State.
- Employees must designate a primary work location, subject to the approval of the supervisor.
- Prior to the employee beginning to telecommute, Central Lakes College may perform an ergonomic and safety evaluation of the employee’s remote work station.
- An employee is covered by Minnesota Workers’ Compensation laws while in telecommuting status. Any injury that occurs within the course and scope of employment must be reported according to state and federal reporting requirements. For the purposes of Workers’ Compensation, the employee’s designated alternate work site is considered an extension of a state work site, only during scheduled telecommuting working hours.
- The telecommuter’s designated alternate work space is considered an extension of the state agency during the agreed upon work hours and the telecommuter is subject to the same standards of conduct and work place rules required of non-telecommuting employees.
- Central Lakes College does not assume responsibility for third party injuries or property damage that may occur at the home residence or within the designated alternative work space.
- Business meetings may not be held at home work sites.
PERFORMANCE MEASURES AND REPORTABILITY
- The telecommuter’s performance will be measured by objectives and results and will not differ from what is expected of individuals who report to work at Central Lakes College. Reportability will not differ from what is expected of non-telecommuting employees.
- Any cost at the remote site associated with phone line(s), internet services, and/or DSL connections will be at the employee’s expense.
- Supplies needed for remote work space should be obtained through the normal supply procurement procedures.
- Prior approval must be obtained from the supervisor for expenses that will be incurred.Approved expenses will be reimbursed in accordance with existing Central Lakes College policies.
- Telecommuters and supervisors must comply with state policies regarding long distance costs and reimbursements. They must determine the most cost-effective means for meeting telephone requirements.
- Supervisors must designate the telecommuter’s primary work location for travel expense reimbursement purposes. This must be documented in the telecommuting agreement.
- Travel expenses between a telecommuter’s home and the primary work location shall be considered commute mileage and is not subject to reimbursement. If the employee is working at an alternate site (not home and not the primary work location), the mileage from the primary work location to the alternate work site and back may be reimbursable in accordance with the employee’s collective bargaining agreement or personnel plan.
A telecommuter who is scheduled to be working at home on a day that is declared to be a weather emergency is expected to work at home as scheduled.
Federal and state tax implications of telecommuting and use of a home office are the responsibility of the employee. If the employee makes a change in permanent residency, they must notify Human Resources.
Date of policy creation: 04-09-09
Author: Nancy Paulson
Date of Implementation: 05/03/2009