Alternate Work Location Assignment

Responsible Office: Human Resources

Policy Type: Personnel and Payroll

Policy Number: 634

Last Date Revised: 12/16/16

Effective November 1, 2014

This program is currently in the pilot stage.

SUMMARY

The “Alternate Work Location Assignment” entails a remote-access work arrangement for at least part of the workweek on a regular basis.  In general, the “Alternate Work Location Assignment” is a privilege which may be granted under appropriate circumstances to employees whose job responsibilities are suited to such an arrangement.  Each request to participate in the “Alternate Work Location Assignment” will be decided on an individual basis under the guidelines set forth below. 

 

POLICY

In order to facilitate arrangements under which employees may participate in the Alternate Work Location Assignment as part of their work schedule, Binghamton University has adopted the following policy and procedure.

Eligibility

In general, this policy pertains to professional UUP and M/C employees.  Faculty have considerable flexibility in setting their own work schedules, including determining when and where to work off campus. In exceptional cases classified service staff may be permitted to participate in the “Alternate Work Location Assignment”.

Discussion of the “Alternate Work Location Assignment” arrangement can be at the request of either Binghamton University or the employee; however, the formal process must be initiated by the immediate supervisor. Permission to engage in the “Alternate Work Location Assignment” is at the discretion of Binghamton University and the administrative unit in which the employee is employed. Participation in the “Alternate Work Location Assignment” is voluntary on the part of the employee.

Once the "Alternative Work Location Assignment" Request Form (.pdf, 115kb) is signed by the immediate supervisor and employee, the form must then go to the Dean or Director for their approval. If the request is approved by the Dean or Director, the form must then be routed to the Division Head/Vice President. If the form is approved by the Division Head/Vice President, it must then be routed to the President.

Generally, requests to participate in the “Alternate Work Location Assignment” should be contemplated when:

  • The"Alternate Work Location Assignment" is appropriate considering the nature of the employee's job.
  • Quality of service can be enhanced for students, faculty, and other members of the Binghamton University community.
  • The employee has demonstrated reliable performance through annual performance evaluations.
  • The geographic assignment of the employee is in a region or area that makes it impractical for them to regularly report to campus and/or would result in significant travel related expenses to regularly travel to the assigned geographic area/region.

Generally, requests to participate in the “Alternate Work Location Assignment” should not be contemplated when:

  • The nature of the job requires the employee's physical presence (e.g. the “Alternate Work Location Assignment” may not be appropriate where the employee must supervise the work of other employees), or efficiency is compromised when the employee is not present.
  • The employee requires close supervision as indicated, for example, by the employee's consistent need for guidance on technical matters.
  • The employee has less than twelve months of service in the administrative unit or school.
  • The employee's current assignment requires frequent supervision, direction or input from others who are on-site.
  • The employee has documented performance issues.

The existence of this “Alternate Work Location Assignment” program does not authorize managers and supervisors to grant daily or sporadic alternate work assignment locations.  It is not intended as a substitute for child care, sick leave, workers compensation or extraordinary weather conditions.  It is also not intended to permit employees to have time to work at other jobs or to run their own businesses. Failure to fulfill normal work requirements, both qualitative and quantitative, on account of other employment, may be cause for disciplinary action or termination of employment.

Permission to participate in the “Alternate Work Location Assignment” is dependent upon the employee having a suitable work location at the off-site premises, and in compliance with the requirements set forth below.

Duration

All “Alternate Work Location Assignment” arrangements are granted on a temporary and revocable basis, and may be discontinued by Binghamton University at any time.  In addition, an employee may discontinue participation in the “Alternate Work Location Assignment” at any time. 

In making “Alternate Work Location Assignment” arrangements, both the department and the employee must be mindful that the policy is designed to provide a relatively long term working arrangement, and it should not be used as a constant series of short-term arrangements as University resources and operations may be adversely affected.  Those who opt out may be denied future approval to participate.

RESPONSIBILITY

The following responsibilities apply to the “Alternate Work Location Assignment” arrangement:

  • A specific work schedule, including work days and hours, must be agreed upon in advance.  Records of work activities must be maintained in the event of an audit.
  • Employees must be on site as necessary to attend meetings, training sessions, or similar events or occurrences.
  • Employees who are unable to work due to illness must charge sick leave and must report their absence to their supervisor.  Normal time off departmental approval procedures apply.
  • Employees who wish to be relieved of responsibility for work on a particular day or days must use vacation and/or personal leave (if applicable).  Normal time off department approval procedures apply.
  • Employees are responsible for the safety and security of all University property and proprietary and confidential information and must conduct themselves in accordance with all University, State, and Federal policies and procedures.
  • University property such as computers, printers, fax machines and other equipment loaned to an employee is the employee's responsibility while it is not on University premises.

Participants should be mindful that their on campus work location may be utilized for University business during the time they are working at their alternate work location.

Income taxes will be withheld based on the location of the employee's administrative unit, not on the location from which the employee telecommutes.  Employees may wish to consult their tax advisor with respect to other tax consequences.

University Property

Equipment and services may be provided by and paid for by the employee's department at the department's sole discretion.  In many cases, employees will be expected to provide their own equipment, such as computers and telephone lines, if they wish to participate in the “Alternate Work Location Assignment”.

Equipment such as computers, printers, software, and services such as fax lines provided on loan by the University remain the property of the University while on loan, and must be returned upon termination of the “Alternate Work Location Assignment” arrangement.

If Binghamton University equipment is provided, each piece of equipment must be listed with its serial number when the employee takes possession.  Employees must also complete the appropriate Form A for transfer of University equipment pursuant to University Management Procedure 401 -
http://www.binghamton.edu/operations/policies/facilities-and-property/property-control-state-buildings.html

Employees must return the equipment in the same condition in which it was originally received, minus normal wear and tear.  Employees are personally liable for missing or damaged equipment.

Insurance

In general, an employee working from home will be covered under NYS Workers Compensation through the State Insurance Fund.  However, the University assumes no liability for injuries occurring in the home outside of normal work schedule and unrelated work tasks during regular hours would also not be covered.  All procedures and rules for NYS Workers Compensation apply including reporting any accidents, completing forms, etc.  Please be advised that NYS Workers Compensation wholly adjudicates workers compensation claims and ultimately whether or not an employee is covered as is the case for all University employees working on campus.

It is the employee’s responsibility to insure that this type of arrangement is permissible under their homeowners or renters insurance policy.

Last Updated: 12/16/16