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Telecommuting and Remote Work Guidelines and Forms

Cal Poly supports the use of a telecommuting work option in positions where appropriate and beneficial to the University and the employee. The Telecommuting/Remote Work program recognizes the benefits available through a planned and managed telecommuting program. Such an option can save commute time and expense for employees, relieve some of the congestion on campus, and offer some uninterrupted time for concentrated work.

The opportunity to participate in a telecommuting program is offered only with the understanding that it is the responsibility of the employee to ensure that a safe and proper work environment is maintained (e.g., an ergonomically appropriate and safe workspace is required; dependent care arrangements are made as not to place dependents at risk of a lack of appropriate care or interfere with the employee’s ability to perform work; personal disruptions such as non-business telephone calls and visitors are kept to a minimum; etc.). Failure to maintain a safe and proper work environment provides cause for an employee’s immediate termination from this program.

Telecommuting opportunities are based upon the duties of the employee’s position and program requirements as determined by the appropriate Vice President. Eligibility of represented employees may vary from bargaining unit to bargaining unit, depending upon negotiated agreements.

A part-time or full-time telecommuting/remote work arrangement may be approved for an exempt or non-exempt employee when it is in the best interest of the University and the employee, and for bargaining unit employees, when it is allowed by the respective Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The opportunity for telecommuting/remote work is at management’s discretion and must take into consideration numerous factors, including the job/position, nature of the work performed, operational needs, impact on the department and employee performance. Decisions concerning approval, terms, and termination of telecommuting are within the sole discretion of management and there are no rights to appeal, grievance, or any other process to challenge the decision.

Process for Establishing a Telecommuting Work Arrangement

STEP 1

Review Cal Poly’s Telecommuting and Remote Work Guidelines

Before you initiate a conversation with your supervisor or appropriate administrator, familiarize yourself with Cal Poly’s Telecommuting and Remote Work Guidelines (Rev. 2021) so that you understand the obligations, responsibilities, and limitations associated with Telecommuting or Remote Work.

STEP 2

Self-Assessment & Safety Checklist

Complete the Self-Assessment for Routine Telecommuting/Remote Work and the Self-Certification Safety Checklist.

STEP 3

Meet with your appropriate administrator

Meet with your appropriate administrator to discuss the possibility of telecommuting, using the Cal Poly Self-Assessment for Routine Telecommuting form as a basis for the conversation (if applicable).

STEP 4

Complete necessary training

You and your appropriate administrator complete necessary training. Employees with telecommuting or remote work arrangements and the appropriate administrators who supervise such arrangements are required to complete the training once per year.

For Telecommute Agreements beginning in 2021, employees and administrators may complete any of the online courses, on-demand learning activities, or readings available on the links below.

STEP 5

Telecommuting/Remote Work Agreement

If a telecommuting arrangement will be feasible, your supervisor should initiate the Telecommuting/Remote Work Agreement, which will then route to you to complete and then to your appropriate administrator, and the VP of your division for approval.

It is also an option for you to initiate this form, but it’s preferable for your supervisor to do so.

The form should reflect which duties/job functions may be completed at the alternative worksite and which must be completed at the Cal Poly worksite.

Approval

The Agreement is routed to HR for approval.

A copy of the signed Agreement will be placed in your personnel file.

(If your request to telecommute is denied, the appropriate administrator shall, at your request, provide a written explanation of the reasons for the denial.)

Process for Establishing a Remote Work Arrangement

  1. If considering a remote work arrangement for one or more employees, the appropriate administrator must first inquire with Human Resources (HR) to determine if the job/position is approved for remote work. HR will request Chancellor's Office approval if needed. Once a remote work arrangement is approved and in effect, the employee does not have a right to a CAL POLY worksite other than hoteling space as available.
  2. Follow the above-listed process for establishing a Telecommute Work Arrangement.

Definitions

  • Definitions

    CAL POLY Worksite: Physical CAL POLY campus or a CAL POLY-maintained location other than the main campus.

    Employee Regular Worksite: Primary worksite location at which the employee is expected to perform their work.

    Routine Part-time Telecommuting (hereafter referred to as “part-time telecommuting” in this document): An established arrangement that allows an eligible employee (whose regular worksite location is at a CAL POLY worksite) to work on a regular, part-time basis at an alternate location other than a CAL POLY worksite. The arrangement can be a set schedule or variable/upon request. Routine part-time telecommuters have an assigned work location (e.g., office, cubicle, or hoteling space) at a CAL POLY worksite. Routine telecommuters live locally (within 100 miles) and are expected to be available to come to a CAL POLY worksite for meetings or other work on short notice (e.g., same day). Any and all commute expenses incurred are the employee’s responsibility and time spent commuting is not compensable.

    Routine Full-time Telecommuting (hereafter referred to as “full-time telecommuting” in this document): An established arrangement that allows an eligible employee (whose regular worksite location is local to CAL POLY worksite) to work on a regular, full-time basis at an alternate location other than a CAL POLY worksite. Routine full-time telecommuters do not have an assigned work location (e.g., office or cubicle) at a CAL POLY worksite but may use hoteling space if available. Routine full-time telecommuters live locally (within 100 miles) and are expected to be available to come to a CAL POLY worksite for meetings or other work on short notice (e.g., same day). Any and all commute expenses incurred are the employee’s responsibility and time spent commuting is not compensable.

    Remote work: Working off-site pursuant to an established arrangement that allows an eligible employee to work entirely at an alternate work location other than a CAL POLY worksite. Remote work can occur in the San Luis Obispo region, anywhere in the State of California or, pursuant to the Cal Poly HR and Chancellor’s Office approval, anywhere in the United States. Remote workers are not expected to be available to come to a CAL POLY worksite on short notice and will not have an assigned CAL POLY worksite (e.g., individual office or cubicle) but may use hoteling space as available.

    Situational Telecommuting: Working off-site that is NOT part of a previously established alternative work arrangement. In the event of circumstances in which telecommuting is necessary or appropriate but conditions for routine telecommuting or remote arrangements are not feasible (e.g., a pandemic, natural disaster, strike, etc.), the university may authorize or direct all or some employees to temporarily telecommute.

    Exempt employees: Employees who, based on duties performed, are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime provisions. Exempt employees are paid an established monthly salary and are expected to fulfill the duties of their position(s) regardless of hours worked. Exempt employees are not eligible to receive overtime compensation or compensatory time off. Exempt titles are identified in CSU Classification Standards and Cal Poly Position Descriptions.

    Non-exempt employees: Employees who, based on duties performed, are subject to all FLSA provisions. Non-exempt employees are required to account for time worked on an hourly and fractional hourly basis and are to be compensated for qualified overtime hours pursuant to the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement or, if none, the FLSA. Non-exempt titles are identified in University-wide title and pay plans.

    Hoteling Space: Designated, shared workspaces available and reserved by remote employees to perform occasional work on campus.