POLICY OF BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF PEARL RIVER COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Adopted: Thursday, June 14, 2022
Pearl River Community College allows employees to telework in situations in which is mutually beneficial for both the College and its employees.
1. Telework – According to the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, telework is “a work flexibility arrangement under which an employee performs the duties and responsibilities of such employee’s position and other authorized activities from an approved worksite other that the location from which the employee would otherwise work.” Telework duration will be determined by the appropriate Vice President.
2. Continuity of Operations – Continuity of Operations (COOP), as defined in the National Continuity Policy Implementation Plan (NCPIP) and the National Security Presidential Directive51/Homeland Security Presidential Directive20 (NSPD-51/HSPD-20), is an effort within individual executive departments and agencies to ensure that Primary Mission Essential Functions (PMEFs) continue to be performed during a wide range of emergencies, including localized acts of nature, accidents, and technological or attack- related emergencies.
3. Alternate Work Location – an off-campus site other than the normally assigned place of work where official routine College business is performed on a temporary basis. Employees who are assigned work at an alternate non-campus location for a limited time on a non-routine basis are not considered to be teleworking.
The Pearl River Community College President recognizes that employees who telework from alternative worksites are an invaluable resource during certain circumstances. Telework opportunities are established primarily to meet the PRCC Mission and operational needs.
Telework promotes management efficiencies; increases resiliency in severe weather and other emergencies; and can improve the quality of employee work-life. The PRCC Telework Policy creates no employee rights in relation to telework.
Telework can only be authorized and approved by the PRCC President or appropriate Vice President. Telework requests will be evaluated based on available information relating to:
1. Needs of the College;
2. Circumstances surrounding the individual or the office requesting telework;
3. Work shall be of a nature wherein face-to-face interaction is minimal or may be scheduled to permit teleworking;
4. Direction and guidance from higher authorities;
5. The health and safety of personnel;
6. The ability to execute essential functions;
7. Changes in threat advisories;
8. Intelligence reports;
9. The potential or actual effects on communications systems, information systems, office facilities, and other essential equipment; and
10. The expected duration of an emergency situation. Telework is not:
1. Suitable for all employees and/or positions;
2. An employee right;
3. Intended to serve as a substitute or replacement for a child or adult care. If children or adults in need of primary care are in the alternate work location during employees’ work hours, some other individual must be present to provide the care;
4. Intended to be used in place of paid leave.
Essential functions are a subset of functions that are determined to be critical activities. These essential functions are then used to identify personnel, supporting tasks, and resources. When identifying essential staff, consider the following factors:
a. The predetermined essential supporting activities and deferrable supporting activities that must be performed, regardless of the operational status of PRCC primary operating facilities.
b. Employee knowledge and expertise in performing these essential functions; and
c. Employee ability to telework from home or other remote site during an emergency.
PRCC-issued equipment, such as Wi-Fi- devices and Virtual Private Network (VPN) access, may be assigned depending on the essential function.
PRCC will not assume responsibility for the cost of personal equipment, repair, or service.
PRCC will not assume responsibility for operating costs, home maintenance, or other costs incurred by employees for the use of their homes as telework locations. In telework, employees are expected to furnish their own office space and other supplies.
2. Continuity of Operations (COOP)
Employees who have been designated as essential personnel in the PRCC COOP agree to follow the procedures established for reporting for duty when a COOP is activated.
During any period that PRCC is operating in a COOP status, the continuity plan shall supersede any telework policy agreement.
3. Work Schedule
Work schedules identify the days and times an employee will work while teleworking. Normally, telework schedules parallel those at the traditional place of employment; however, schedules differ to meet the needs of the agency or the employee. Employees are required to submit actual hours worked. Work schedules may also include fixed times for supervisor/employee conversations to ensure ongoing communication.
4. Terms of Employment
The PRCC Telework Policy is not a contract of employment and does not provide any contractual rights to continued employment. It does not alter or supersede the terms of the existing employment relationship. The employee remains obligated to comply with all policies, procedures, practices, and instructions that apply to working at the PRCC worksite. Work products the employee develops or produces while teleworking remain the property of PRCC. While teleworking, work hours, compensation, and leave scheduling must conform to applicable human resource policies. The supervisor must approve requests to use accrued leave in the same manner as when the employee works at the regular PRCC worksite.
5. Telework Assignment, Accountability, and Performance Measurement
Appropriate Vice Presidents are responsible for developing employee telework assignments, performance and communication expectations, and work schedules. PRCC employees will remain cognizant of ongoing PRCC events and will facilitate communication with stakeholders and coworkers to interact with the employee while teleworking. The employee will also keep his or her supervisor informed of progress requiring information of ongoing assignments at the alternate worksite along with any problems encountered while teleworking. The employee will structure his or her time
to ensure attendance at required meetings as designated by the supervisor. The supervisor agrees to facilitate communication with the employee, stakeholders, and workgroups.
6. Equipment and Office Supplies
PRCC-owned resources may only be used for PRCC business. The employee is responsible for ensuring that all PRCC items are properly used. The employee agrees to take reasonable steps to protect any PRCC property from theft, damage, or misuse. This includes maintaining data security and record confidentiality to at least the same standard as when working at the regular PRCC worksite. The employee will comply with all licensing agreements for the installation and use of PRCC-owned software, including software installation on multiple computers. The employee will not copy PRCC-owned software in any manner unless such copying is expressly permitted by the licensing agreement. The employee may be responsible for any damage to or loss of PRCC property.
When the employee uses personal equipment, software, data storage supplies, and furniture, the employee is responsible for the maintenance and repair of those items unless other arrangements have been made in advance and in writing with the supervisor. PRCC assumes no responsibility for any damage to, wear, or loss of the employees’ personal property.
The employee agrees to return, in good working order, and, in a timely manner, all PRCC-owned items used at the alternate worksite, upon request, or if the telework agreement is discontinued for any reason.
7. Home Work Site
Federal OSHA regulations have a limited scope when applied to telework sites. The teleworker must establish and maintain a dedicated workspace that is quiet, clean, and safe, with adequate lighting and ventilation. The teleworker will not hold business visits or meetings with professional colleagues, stakeholders, or the public at the home worksite.
8. Incidental Costs
Unless otherwise stated in the Telework Policy, all incidental costs, such as residential utility costs or cleaning services, are the responsibility of the teleworker.
In case of injury, theft, loss, or tort liability related to telework, the teleworker must allow appropriate PRCC personnel to investigate and/or inspect the telework site.
The employee will be covered by workers’ compensation for job-related injuries that occur in the designated workspace, including the teleworker’s home, during the defined work period. In the case of an injury occurring during the defined work period, the employee shall immediately report the injury to the supervisor. Workers’ compensation will not apply to non-job related injuries that might occur in the home. PRCC does not assume responsibility for injury to any persons other than the teleworker at the approved telework-site. Employees are required to contact his or her supervisor and the Department of Human Resources in the event of an accident or injury while teleworking.
The telework employee must obtain supervisor approval before using leave in accordance with PRCC policy.
12. Personal Business
Telework employees shall not perform personal business during hours which were agreed upon as work hours.
13. Record Retention
Products, documents, and other records that are used, developed, or revised while teleworking shall be copied or restored to the PRCC computer systems.
The teleworker will not be paid for time or mileage involved in travel between the telework site and the primary worksite.
15. Tax Implications
The telework employee is responsible for addressing and resolving questions pertaining to expense reductions related to telework.
16. PRCC Policies and Procedures
All PRCC policies and procedures shall apply at the telework site, including those governing communications internally and with the public.
17. Additional Considerations
Many homeowners’ policies exclude claims arising from the commercial use of homes.
If an employee chooses to use his or her home for commercial purposes, such as a home office, the employee’s homeowner’s insurance may be jeopardized as a result of this commercial exposure. PRCC encourages teleworking employees to notify their homeowners insurance carrier of their teleworking arrangements and have the carrier issue an endorsement allowing for limited use of the home for commercial purposes.
Any additional cost incurred for the insurance rider or endorsement will be the responsibility of the employee.