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Viewing: Teleworking, 22-111

Current Status: Active PolicyStat ID: 164551

Teleworking, 22-111

APPLICABILITY

All persons employed or contracted by DBHDD

POLICY

DBHDD encourages teleworking where there are tangible benefits to the agency or state. Offer in  the opportunity to work at home or another alternate workplace is a management option and is not an employee right. An employee's participation in the telework program is entirely voluntary. The employee, supervisor, or manager may terminate teleworking without cause. Teleworking is a work arrangement between an individual and his/her supervisor. A supervisor has no authority to require an employee to Telework unless it is a condition of employment or a requirement of the job.  The teleworkers' conditions of employment with the state remain the same as for non-teleworking state employees similarly situated. 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 agency and state while teleworking. To participate in the Telework program, the employee and the employee's position must meet eligibility requirements.  If approved, employees can telework on a regular or an occasional basis.

PROCEDURES

  1. Eligible Positions
    All jobs are not suitable for telework.  The job duties, level of customer contact required, and the level of interdependence needed within in the unit and across the agency must be considered. A position eligible for telework will have the following characteristics:
    1. Duties that have standards of performance that are measurable, quantitative or qualitative, and results-oriented.
    2. Communication can be managed by telephone, electronic mail, facsimile, etc.
    3. Duties can be performed independently of others and with minimal need for support.
    4. Employee can be scheduled at least one day a pay period to participate in teleworking without impacting service quality or organizational operations.
    5. Supervisor is willing to perform the necessary supervisory responsibilities required to manage a teleworking employee.
    6. Minimal requirement for special equipment.
  2. Eligible Employees
    Teleworking is a voluntary work arrangement between an individual employee and his/her supervisor.  It is a privilege, not a universal benefit or employee right.  The employee, supervisor or manager may terminate teleworking agreements at any time, without cause.  An employee must meet the following criteria to be eligible for teleworking:
    1. Employed in an eligible position, identified by the employee's supervisor as satisfactorily meeting performance standards, terms, and conditions of employment of his or her position.
    2. Have been employed with the department for at least six (6) months, (certain Divisions and Offices)
    3. The employee shall have no active formal disciplinary actions on file for the current or immediately preceding review period.
  3. Prerequisites for Telework Participation
    All supervisors and managers are required to attend Telemanager Telework Training.  Specific management practices such as the ability to manage by results and skill in setting and communicating clear goals are essential. Managers must understand the benefits the teleworking program will provide them and should be trained to effectively manage employees who telework. Management buy-in is the single most important prerequisite for the success of any teleworking program. An employee wishing to be considered for telework must complete:
    1. The DBHDD Teleworker Self-Assessment (Attachment A) and forward a DBHDD Telework Request (Attachment B) form to his or her Division Director.
    2. All employees interested in telework must complete the Employee Telework Training prior to engaging in any telework.
    3. The employee must complete a Work Space Self-Certification (Attachment C) checklist as part of the application to telework.
    4. The Telemanager must review the completed Work Space Self-Certification Checklist and discuss any concerns with the employee prior to approving the telework request.
      Telework AgreementA DBHDD Telework Agreement is required for all teleworking in DBHDD. This agreement is essential to the management and legal protection needed in teleworking. The DBHDD Telework Agreement (Attachment D) documents the mandatory policies in effect and the results of any other agreements between the supervisor and the teleworker. The employee and the supervisor must sign the agreement prior to the start of any telework assignments.  By signing, both parties agree to abide by the terms and conditions of teleworking contained in the agreement and in DBHDD Policy.  A copy of the agreement will be maintained in the Office of Human Resources.
  4. Telework Requirements
    Work Space and Work HoursA defined workspace and defined core work hours are necessary (1) to reduce the state's exposure to risk, (2) to facilitate proper management of teleworkers, and (3) to ensure work is done in a productive environment.
    Work SpaceThe employee shall maintain a clean, safe workspace that is adequate for work and free of obstructions and distractions. The teleworker shall designate a specific workspace at the alternate workplace and will conduct work for the agency from that location.
    Work HoursEach employee that teleworks shall develop a work schedule with the employee's supervisor. The telework schedule must comply with the DBHDD Work Schedules (Attachment E). The employee's supervisor must agree in advance to any changes to the employee's work schedule. Employees subject to mandatory overtime must obtain approval from their supervisor before performing overtime. A non-exempt employee working overtime without such approval may cause DBHDD to terminate the teleworking option and/or take other appropriate action. The employee must obtain approval in advance from his or her supervisor before taking leave during a designated telework day.
    The employee must maintain contact with the office as specified in the work schedule, DBHDD policy, and the telework agreement.
    The employee agrees not to conduct personal business while in official duty status at the alternate workplace. The teleworker may not have business or personal guests while in official duty status at the alternate workplace.  An employee's activities outside the time of work or outside the place designated for work will be deemed to be in the employee's own personal time and place, unconnected to work activities.
    Equipment and SuppliesOffice supplies (e.g. pens and paper) will be provided by DBHDD and should be obtained during the teleworker's in-office work period.
    The employee is expected to use his or her own furniture, telephone lines, and other equipment. Any use of private facilities of the employee will be at the employee's discretion and not at the behest or expense of the state. This applies to all physical improvements and conveniences as well as services.
    In no situation should state owned equipment be installed in an employee's home. Division Directors may approve the use of certain equipment, for example computers and pagers to be checked out and used at the alternate worksite.  As agency equipment is the property of the state, the DBHDD must retain the responsibility for the inventory and maintenance of state-owned property following state laws and procedures.
    DocumentationA copy of the DBHDD Telework Agreement, including a copy of the employee's work schedule and work assignments and DBHDD Work Space Safety Self-Certification Checklist will be kept on file in the Office of Human Resources.  Teleworking employees are required to provide information about their vehicle size and commute distance for the telework database. Telemanagers are required to report the dates and number of hours worked by the teleworker to the Office of Human Resources on a weekly basis.
    Security and Access to InformationThe teleworker is responsible for maintaining confidentiality and security at the alternate workplace, as the teleworker would at the primary workplace. The employee must protect the security and integrity of data, information, paper files, and access to agency computer systems. State Information Technology policy, Internet and technology use policies, and DBHDD Internet and Electronic Mail Use Policy apply to teleworking, as they would in the primary work place.
    Expenses and Compensable TimeAn employee may work from his/her home or another alternate work site that has been approved by the employer. Mileage between the employee's home and the assigned office or telework location is not subject to reimbursement.
    Work related long distance phone calls should be planned for in-office days. At the discretion of the supervisor, expenses for business related long distance calls and cell phone calls, which must be made from the teleworker's home, may be reimbursed if the reasons and costs for the calls are documented. The teleworker is responsible for the cost of maintenance, repair, and operation of personal computers, telephones, fax machines, copiers, modems or other equipment not provided by the state.
    LiabilityThe employee's home workspace when used for telework is an extension of the DBHDD's workspace. The state's liability for job related accidents will continue to exist during the approved work schedule and in the employee's designated work location. The teleworker is covered under the State's Workers' Compensation Law for injuries occurring in the course of the actual performance of official duties at the alternate workplace.
    If an injury occurs during teleworking work hours, then the employee shall immediately report the injury to the supervisor. The employee, supervisor, and agency should follow the DBHDD's policies regarding the reporting of injuries for employees injured while at work.
    Neither the DBHDD nor the State of Georgia is responsible for any injuries to family members, visitors, and others in the employee's home.
    The DBHDD is not liable for any depreciation, maintenance costs, or replacement costs for any employee owned equipment used for teleworking, including computers, telephones, fax machines, copiers, modems or other equipment used by the employee.
    To the extent permitted by law, the employee will not attempt to hold the DBHDD or the state responsible or liable for any loss or liability in any way connected to the employee's non-work related use of his or her own home.
    The teleworker is responsible for contacting the teleworker's insurance agent and tax consultant and consulting local ordinances for information regarding home workplaces.
    Child and Dependent CareTeleworking is not a substitute for childcare or dependent care. The teleworker shall continue to make arrangements for child or dependent care to the same extent as if the teleworker was working at the main office.
    Program Reporting and EvaluationEmployee agrees to participate in studies, inquiries, reports or analyses related to teleworking at the agency's direction.
    Renewal and Revision of Telework AgreementsThe teleworker agreement should be discussed and renewed at least annually, whenever there is a major job change (such as promotion), or whenever the teleworker or supervisor changes positions. Because teleworking was selected as a feasible work option based on a combination of job characteristics, employee characteristics, and supervisor characteristics, a change in any one of these elements may require a review of the teleworking arrangement.
    A Telemanager may elect to revise the agreement when a need arises.  A copy of the revised agreement should be forwarded to the Office of Human Resources.
    Telework CoordinatorDBHDD State Office will serve as the Department Telework Coordinator.  The TeleManager will assign an employee to serve as the Telework Coordinator for each facility. The Telework Coordinator is responsible for the day-to-day coordination and management of the DBHDD's teleworking program.  The Telework Coordinator will oversee the teleworking program including compliance with policies, procedures, guidelines, completion of the DBHDD Telework Enrollment Form (Attach. F) and will report the results of telework in the DBHDD to the Department Telework Coordinator.

Exception to the Policy

In extenuating circumstances, the Commissioner may grant an employee an exception to this policy if (1) the supervisor recommends an exception, (2) the quality and quantity of the employee's work does not decline, and (3) if the exception will not cause a disruption to the productivity and work flow of the agency or division.

LEGAL REFERENCES

State Personnel Administration, formerly Georgia Merit System/Office of Planning and Budget

Statewide Teleworking Policy - March 9, 2001

Attachments:

Approval Signatures

Approver Date
Joetta Prost, Ph.D.: DBHDD Policy Director 12/16/2011
Approver Date
Joetta Prost, Ph.D.: DBHDD Policy Director 12/16/2011
Older Version Approval Signatures