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Telecommuting (Policy 7600)

University Policy 7600

Download a Printable Version of Policy 7600

Effective Date

August 26, 2020

Responsible Party

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, (208) 426-1200
Human Resources, (208) 426-1616

Scope and Audience

This policy applies to all Classified and Non-Classified/Professional Employees during normal working conditions.

This policy does not apply during emergency situations such as closures due to inclement weather or a public health emergency in which the University remains open for business but requires employees to temporarily work from home. During such emergency situations, the University will provide affected employees with specific direction and the requirements needed for any temporary work at home arrangement.

1. Policy Purpose

To provide guidelines for granting and maintaining a successful Telecommuting arrangement.

2. Policy Statement

Boise State University considers Telecommuting to be a viable, flexible work option that can improve performance, increase employee retention, and reduce commuting and departmental costs. Telecommuting may be appropriate for some employees and positions but not for others. Telecommuting is not an entitlement, it is not a University-wide benefit, and it does not change the employee’s terms and conditions of employment with the University. 

3. Definitions

3.1 Alternate Work Location

A worksite other than the employee’s Central Workplace, including an employee’s residence, approved through the Telecommuting Agreement.

3.2 Central Workplace

The place of work where an employee normally performs their official position duties with the University.  This is also referred to as an “Official Station” in University Policy 6180 (Travel).

3.3 Telecommuting

Paid employment performed away from the Central Workplace at an Alternate Work Location for all or part of the workweek. Flex Schedules, responding to emails/messages from home, or occasional out-of-office work assignments are not considered Telecommuting.

3.4 Telecommuting Agreement

The written agreement between the University and the employee that details the terms and conditions of the employee’s work and other work productivity while Telecommuting. Telecommuting Agreements are required for a Telecommuting arrangement.

4. Responsibilities and Procedures

4.1 Eligibility

a. The determination that a position may or may not be appropriate for a Telecommuting arrangement is made on a case-by-case basis by the supervisor in consultation with Human Resources.

b. Generally, a request for Telecommuting should be considered when:

(i.) The employee has demonstrated satisfactory performance, and the supervisor believes the employee can maintain the expected quantity and quality of work while telecommuting.

(ii.) The department or unit can maintain quality of service for students, faculty, staff, and other members of the University community.

(iii.) Telecommuting is appropriate considering the nature and duties of the position.

c. Generally, a request for telecommuting should not be considered when:

(i.) The position requires the employee’s physical presence at the Central Workplace or Telecommuting would harm the department or unit’s efficiency or service.

(ii.) The employee’s current position duties require frequent supervision, direction, or input from others who are onsite; or the employee is required to provide frequent supervision, direction, or input to employees who are onsite.

(iii.) The employee’s performance evaluations do not indicate satisfactory performance or the ability to work independently.

(iv.) The ability to observe and supervise the employee’s productivity would be impeded by remote supervision, or tracking and confirming accurate work hours for the employee would be difficult, such as may be the case for certain non-exempt, hourly positions.

4.2 Telecommuting Agreement

a. A Telecommuting Agreement must be completed, signed, approved, and submitted to Human Resources prior to the employee initiating a Telecommuting arrangement.

b. A Telecommuting Agreement must be approved at a minimum by the immediate supervisor. The vice president may establish additional approval requirements for their division.

c. If a Telecommuting Agreement is not approved, a written notification should be submitted to Human Resources stating the basis for the denial.

d. Approved Telecommuting Agreements and written notifications of denials will be maintained in the employee’s personnel file in Human Resources.

4.3 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Reasonable Accommodation

If an employee applies for Telecommuting under an ADA reasonable accommodation request, the request must be reviewed and approved by Human Resources (See University Policy 7570 – Accommodating Disabilities in the Work Environment).

4.4 Alternative Worksite Safety

The employee, position, Alternate Work Location, and other conditions must be deemed suitable by the supervisor based on the Telecommuting Agreement before Telecommuting is permitted.

4.5 Commute Time

The commute time from the Alternate Work Location to the Central Workplace for required meetings and other events is not considered work hours and is not compensable.

4.6 Workplace Environment

An employee under a Telecommuting Agreement should ensure a workplace environment with minimal distractions and availability for communication and contact similar to the normal workplace.

4.7 Information Security

The University reviews employee computer usage (and related devices) to ensure it meets information security standards. The employee is responsible for acquiring internet access and related equipment (See University Policy 8130 – Remote Access).

4.8 Outside Employment

Any outside employment must not pose a conflict of interest or commitment and must be disclosed as required under University Policy 1110 (Conflict of Interest and Commitment).

4.9 Liability and Workers’ Compensation Insurance

a. An employee working anywhere in the United States or US territories is covered for Liability and Workers’ Compensation insurance while working in the course and scope of employment from the Alternate Work Location.

b. An employee should not conduct business meetings or have business visitors at the site of their Alternative Work Location.

c. An employee should carry homeowner’s or renter’s insurance for protection against third-party liability injury claims at the Alternate Work Location.

d. An employee should conduct work from the Alternate Work Location in a safe environment and report any incidents or accidents while working from the Alternative Work Location immediately to Risk Management and Insurance.

4.10 Resident Taxing for State Outside of Idaho

The University will review, but has no legal obligation to withhold or remit income tax of another state. It is the employee’s responsibility to ensure they are in compliance with any out-of-state tax requirements.

4.11 Other Federal and State Laws

Telecommuting is not intended to cover or be a substitute for other work-related situations covered by other laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and other similar federal and state laws.

4.12 Discontinuing and Review of Telecommuting Agreement

a. A supervisor may discontinue a Telecommuting Agreement at any time based on, but not limited to: declining performance, violation of this policy and/or the Telecommuting Agreement, violation of University policy, or for business needs. Every effort will be made, when practical, to provide reasonable notice to the employee when discontinuing the Telecommuting Agreement.

b. An employee may request to review the Telecommuting Agreement with their supervisor.

c. The University’s need for the employee’s physical presence at the Central Workplace for longer than one pay period will discontinue the Telecommuting Agreement.

5. Forms

Telecommuting Agreement

6. Related Information

Office of Information Technology – Working Remotely

Risk Management and Insurance

University Policy 7570 (Accommodating Disabilities in the Work Environment)

University Policy 8130 (Remote Access)

University Policy 1110 (Conflict of Interest and Commitment)