Cabrini University - Flexible Work Arrangement Policy
Cabrini University recognizes the value of ‘flextime’ in promoting a healthy working environment. However, a university is a distinctively different workplace from a corporation or agency whose main work may well occur with minimal public contact; an academic institution serves a broad and ever-present public constituency who have a right to find offices open and staff prepared to be helpful during the published business hours of the institution. Accordingly, Cabrini seeks to implement a modified ‘flexible work arrangement’ policy that fulfills the University’s duties to all of its constituents while also providing reasonable flexibility to supervisors and staff for creating individual work schedules.
Supervisors and employees may work together to create flexible work schedules that occur within the official business hours of the University, or within such other parameters as the nature of the work may require (e.g., Physical Facilities, Residence Life). Employees may participate in the creation of the schedules, but ultimately, the determination of work hours rests with the University. An employee is not entitled to any particular schedule, and must abide by the schedule that is approved by his or her supervisor and area Vice President.
Flexible scheduling may result in different schedules for employees from department to department. What may be possible in one office may not be possible elsewhere. Employees working in different departments should not expect to be able to have the same kind of scheduling across-the-board. With the exception of positions that entail specific responsibilities outside of the official business hours, employees are expected to spend a minimum of 35, 37.5, or 40 hours (depending on position classification) each week on the campus during the official business hours.
Employees should work with their supervisor in order to complete the "Flexible Work Arrangement Agreement".
Flexible Work Arrangement Agreement-PDF
Guidelines for Flexible Work Time
- Under flexible working hours, weekly hours totaling 35, 37.5 or 40 per week, 4 or 5 days per week, may be selected during the time that best suits the needs of the constituents the department serves.
- Some departments may be unable to offer flexible hours or flexible days for some positions and/or during certain times of the year.
- A fixed schedule should be selected for a period of time at least three months in duration and can be reevaluated after that time.
- Lunch time must be scheduled for a minimum of 1/2 hour.
- A request for an alternative schedule (i.e., other than regular departmental hours with one hour lunch) must be discussed and confirmed in writing on the Agreement of Flexible Work Schedule form with the signature of the employee, supervisor and area Vice President. A copy of the form will be submitted to Human Resources.
- The individual selecting an alternative schedule must see that at least one other person is available to handle issues that arise during his or her absence.
- Hours actually worked must be recorded on each non-exempt employee's Timesheet Form.
- Staff members in their first six months in a new job may expect to be asked to work the standard departmental schedule to assure appropriate training and interaction with others in the department.
Cabrini University is officially open for general business from Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, except during periods when the University is not in session for classes or on official holidays published separately each year. However, beyond these “official business hours,” Cabrini conducts many programs that occur at other times during the day and evening, on weekends, and during the summer, and some employees, depending on their position, may be required to work at these other times.
Within these “official” business hours, Cabrini's non-exempt employees work 35, 37.5, or 40 hours per week, exclusive of the lunch period. From time to time non-exempt employees may need to work overtime, with the approval of their supervisors, and such work is paid at a rate of time-and-a-half after 40 hours.
The responsibilities of exempt (salaried) employees may require work beyond 35 hours and outside of the official business hours of the University in order to fulfill the duties of the position and to achieve the goals of the department. Cabrini does not practice ‘comp time’ for exempt employees, but flexible scheduling gives supervisors the opportunity to adjust schedules after an intense period of work.
Because of the nature of the work of the University, from time to time all personnel may be asked to adjust hours, to provide assistance during special events or functions like Commencement, or to respond to emergencies involving the campus community. The nature of work in a University requires staff to be flexible and responsive to time demands that may not be foreseeable at the moment of hiring. The ability to adapt to changing schedule needs is an important consideration in accepting employment with Cabrini.
Because Cabrini includes a residential component, and because some of the work of the University occurs outside of the regular business hours, some staff may have job assignments that require them to work overnight, on weekends, to travel, to respond to campus emergencies, or to conduct University-related work in other unusual ways. Such an environment requires both employees and supervisors to be flexible, to respect the weekly time-at-work expectations, and to be fair and honest in reporting actual hours worked, and in performing the duties of the position professionally at times when no supervisors are present.
Cabrini University - Telecommuting Policy
The purpose of this policy is to allow employees to work at alternate work locations for all or part of their workweek. Telecommuting can improve productivity and job performance as well as promote administrative efficiencies (e.g. reducing office and parking space), increasing employee morale, reduce traffic congestion and transportation costs, support continuity of operations plans, and sustain the recruitment and retention of a highly qualified workforce by enhancing work/life balance. This policy applies to all full-time and part-time eligible employees of the university and to faculty to the extent provided below.
Alternate Work Locations - Approved locations other than the employee's central workplace where official university business is performed. The most common alternate work location is the home of an employee, subject to the approval described in this Policy.
Central Workplace - An employer's place of work where employees normally are located. Most commonly this is the main Cabrini campus.
Telecommuting - A work arrangement where the employee enters into a formal agreement with the university to perform his/her usual job duties in an alternate work location at least one day per week.
Telecommuting is a voluntary work alternative that is appropriate for some employees and some jobs but not all employees and all positions. No university employee is entitled to or guaranteed the opportunity to telecommute. Certain categories of positions are ineligible for telecommuting. Telecommuting decisions are made on a case-by-basis for positions that the university identifies as eligible for telecommuting. These decisions include an evaluation of the likelihood of the employee succeeding in a telecommuting arrangement as well as the supervisor’s ability to manage remote workers. Telecommuting may also be considered as a reasonable accommodation for qualified employees with disabilities.
All employees who are approved for telecommuting will be required to sign a telecommuting agreement with the university consistent with this Policy. All telecommuting employees perform essentially the same work that they would in the central workplace in accordance with their same performance expectations and other agreed-upon terms. Telecommuting agreements may be established for a long-term or short-term period.
Employees who are approved to telecommute must install and connect to Cabrini’s network and systems using a virtual private network (VPN). While the VPN software is activated the user is bound by the Cabrini Acceptable Use Policy, and each employee will be held responsible for the security, privacy, and confidentiality of the information to which they have access.
All computers accessing Cabrini’s network and systems are required to have active anti-virus software installed and configured to automatically update each time the computer is connected to the Internet. Cabrini reserves the right to verify that proper safeguards are in place on the home network and computer, and to revoke access to the University’s network.
An employee’s classification, compensation, and benefits will not change if the employee is approved for telecommuting. The university may establish telecommuting as a condition of employment, based on the university’s business needs. In such cases, this requirement should be included when the position is advertised and in correspondence offering employment.
Eligible Positions and Employees
Supervisors, in consultation with the Office of Human Resources, will analyze the nature of a position and how the work is performed and determine which positions are appropriate to designate or approve for telecommuting. Several factors should be considered in determining the feasibility of telecommuting, including the university’s ability to supervise the employee adequately and whether any duties require use of certain equipment or tools that cannot be replicated at home. Other critical considerations include whether:
- there is a need for face-to-face interaction and coordination of work with other employees;
- in-person interaction with outside colleagues, clients, or customers is necessary;
- the position in question requires the employee to have immediate access to documents or other information located only in the workplace;
- the telecommuting arrangement will impact service quality or university operations;
- the position can be structured to be performed independently of others with minimal need for support and little face-to-face interaction; and
- performance can be measured by quantitative or qualitative results-oriented standards, not time spent doing the job.
The Office of Human Resources, in consultation with the departments, will also identify broad categories of positions that are not eligible for telecommuting. Direct service and place-specific positions such as public safety officers, grounds workers, student health staff, residence life staff, facilities trades workers, including plumbers, electricians, and HVAC technicians, and administrative assistant positions are some examples of positions that are not eligible for telecommuting.
If an employee in an eligible position requests approval for telecommuting, the supervisor and area Vice President in consultation with the Office of Human Resources, will determine whether the employee is eligible. Generally, the following conditions must be met to approve an employee for telecommuting:
- The employee has been in the position for at least twelve months ;( although, this condition can be waived if telecommuting is determined to be an appropriate arrangement for the employee and the University at the time of hire).
- The employee has no active formal disciplinary actions on file for the current or immediately preceding review period;
- The employee has a demonstrated ability to work productively on his/her own and is self-motivated and flexible; and
- The employee received at least a satisfactory evaluation in the previous evaluation cycle.
General Expectations and Conditions
- Compliance with Policies - Employees must agree to comply with university rules, policies, practices and instructions and understand that violation of such may result in the termination of the telecommuting arrangement and/or disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. Employees who telecommute will be subject to the same policies as other employees.
- Hours of Work - The total number of hours that telecommuting employees are expected to work will not change, regardless of work location. The university also expects the same level of productivity from telecommuting employees that is expected from employees at the central workplace. Telecommuting employees who are not exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act will be required to record all hours worked in a manner designated by the university. Hours worked in excess of those specified in the telecommuting agreement will require the advance approval of the supervisor. Telecommuting is not intended to serve as a substitute for 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. Supervisors may require employees to report to a central workplace as needed for work-related meetings or other events or may meet with employee in the alternate work location as needed to discuss work progress or other work related issues.
- Use of Leave - Employees cannot use telecommuting in place of sick leave, Family and Medical Leave, Workers’ Compensation leave, sabbatical leave, or other types of leave. However, the university may determine whether or not it is appropriate to offer telecommuting as an opportunity for partial or full return to work based on the university’s return-to-work policies following an injury or illness and the criteria normally applied to decisions regarding the approval of telecommuting.
- Liability - The university assumes no responsibility for injuries occurring in the employee's alternate work location outside the agreed upon work hours or for injuries that occur during working hours but do not arise out of and in the course of employment. The university also assumes no liability for damages to employee’s real or personal property resulting from participation in the telecommuting program. Workers' compensation coverage is limited to designated work areas in employees' homes or alternate work locations. Employees agree to practice the same safety habits they would use in the university and to maintain safe conditions in their alternate work locations. Employees must follow normal procedures for reporting illness or injury.
- Equipment and Materials - Normally, the university will provide equipment and materials needed by employees to effectively perform their duties; however, the university will not duplicate resources between the central work place and the alternate work location. Telecommuting employees may use university-owned equipment only for legitimate university purposes. Telecommuting employees are responsible for protecting university-owned equipment from theft, damage and unauthorized use. The university will maintain, service and repair university-owned equipment used in the normal course of employment. The university will stipulate who is responsible for transporting and installing equipment, and for returning it to the central workplace for repairs or service. The telecommuting agreement may also permit employees to use their own equipment. When employees are authorized to use their own equipment, the university is not responsible for the cost, repair or service of the employee’s personal equipment, unless otherwise expressly agreed to in advance in the telecommuting agreement.
- Costs of Telecommuting - The university is not obligated to assume responsibility for operating costs, home maintenance, or other costs incurred by employees in the use of their homes as telecommuting alternate work locations. The university may use appropriated funds for telecommuting costs if there is a business need and funding permits for: installation and basic telephone service in employee’s alternate work location; cell phones or personal digital assistants (PDAs) for business use; reimbursing employees for business-related long distance calls made from their personal telephones if no cell phones or PDAs are provided; or internet access and related services.
- University Information - Employees must safeguard university information used or accessed while telecommuting. The university must grant permission according to university procedures for employees to work on restricted-access information or material, as defined by the university, at alternate work locations. Telecommuting employees must agree to follow university-approved security procedures in order to ensure confidentiality and security of data.
- Training for Managers and Supervisors - The university encourages the successful and appropriate use of telecommuting within the university by providing training to supervisors and managers in effectively managing telecommuting employees. The university has provided guidance on Managing Employee Performance Expectations.
This policy provides a general framework for telecommuting employees. It does not attempt to address the special conditions and needs of all employees. Work performed in alternate work locations is considered official university business; therefore, the university is allowed to establish specific conditions that apply to employees working in alternate locations. The telecommuting agreement must be approved by the area Vice President and employee’s supervisor, and kept on file in the Office of Human Resources.
Exceptions to the Telecommuting Agreement Requirement
It is an accepted practice for teaching and research faculty to carry out their work with varied schedules on campus and at alternate locations. Normally, a formal telecommuting agreement will not be required for faculty unless the normal work assignment is consistently at an alternate location (i.e. not the standard assigned office). On occasion, a department may also determine that employees may need to work at alternate worksites for a short period of time to accommodate unusual circumstances, such as a brief office closing for renovations or relocation. In such cases, the formal telecommuting agreement is not required, but should be documented for department files by memorandum or email, specifying work expectations and duration.
Termination of the Telecommuting Agreement
The supervisor, in consultation with Human Resources and the area Vice President may terminate the telecommuting agreement early (before the end of the specified term) for performance concerns, changing operational needs, or any other non-discriminatory reason. The employee may also terminate the telecommuting agreement at any time, unless it was a condition of employment. Any termination typically will be made with at least two weeks’ advance notice.
Employees should complete the "Telecommuting Employee Agreement" and work with their supervisor in order to accurately complete the "Telecommuting Work Agreement" both found below.
Telecommuting Employee Expectations Agreement - PDF
Telecommuting Work Agreement-PDF