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Alternate Work Location for Staff

Policy
Purpose: 

Staff may work in off-site locations if it is in the best interests of the University. 

Applies to: 

Unclassified professional and university support staff who work in an alternate work location as defined herein for two pay periods or more on a repeated basis.

Campus: 
Lawrence
Edwards
Parsons
Juniper Gardens
Yoder
Topeka
Policy Statement: 

It is the responsibility of each department head to determine the most effective means of accomplishing the unit’s mission. Staff may request or be assigned to an alternate work location by completing the Alternate Work Location and Equipment Maintenance Agreement. However, not all staff jobs can be reasonably performed from an alternate work location. It is generally not encouraged for non-exempt staff to work off-site since monitoring and approving actual hours worked is required for non-exempt staff. Working at an alternate off-site work location is an option and not a right.

Eligibility Requirement

Existing staff must have satisfactory performance as reflected in a current performance evaluation with at least a rating of meets expectations. New staff must have successfully completed the probationary period unless all work is performed in an alternate location when hired.

Alternate Work Location Considerations

Before department heads authorize or assign an alternate work location, the following factors must be taken into consideration:

  • Can the work be performed adequately in an alternate location?
  • Are adequate staff available on site to perform needed job duties?
  • What precedent and effect on morale are being established?
  • Will others in like situations be allowed to work in an alternate location?
  • What are the overtime and commuting requirements under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for hourly staff?

Alternate Work Location Agreement

If the department head authorizes or assigns an alternate off-site work location (including employees working out of state) for assuring effective operations, a signed Alternate Work Location and Equipment Maintenance Agreement form must be submitted by the department to Human Resource Management (HRM). A review period with subsequent approvals is required before renewing the agreement on an annual basis. Approval or assignment of an alternate work location is at the sole discretion of the University and may be revoked at any time.

The primary work location for employees living 50 miles or less from Lawrence, Kansas is the University’s on-site department location. The primary work location for employees living more than 50 miles from the University’s department location is the site at which the employees regularly work, including employees located out of state.  Normally, any commuting costs to/from the primary work location for office meetings or events is the employee’s responsibility. Applicable University travel reimbursements are based on the primary work location assignment.

Managing Work at Alternate Work Locations

The following guidelines represent best practices to manage off-site work after hire:

  • Employee must meet performance and attendance standards and should demonstrate an ability to work independently with a high degree of accountability.
  • Establish clear written expectations as to the work product quantity and quality standards and deadlines that will demonstrate adequate productivity.
  • Follow the established University rules for submission and approval of actual hours worked for non-exempt staff and for absences requested and approved for all eligible staff. Ensure understanding that approval of an alternate work location does not change the number of assigned work hours and that for non-exempt staff overtime requires the prior approval of the supervisor. 
  • Identify what level of paid support, if any, for equipment and supplies will be provided by the department, e.g.: office furniture, paper, stamps, office supplies, computer, printer, fax, phone line, internet or remote access service and devices, etc. Identify mechanisms to return University property and equipment if arrangement changes or ends. Normally, the supplies are provided by the University, and no home expenses for furniture, connections, or renovations are reimbursable.
  • The supervisor, department head, unit head, or designee may visit the alternate work location with reasonable notice to ensure that provisions of the agreement are being met, including the maintenance of equipment and the work site in a safe, secure, and orderly manner.
  • Require regular mandatory meetings on-site to review work performed if work location is nearby; otherwise utilize other forms of regular remote communication. Establish any arrangements or expense payments for associated travel if applicable for on-site meetings.
  • Establish core work hours during which staff must be available for communication. .
  • Hold regular conversations by phone or electronic communication during the work week to track work performed.
  • Ensure understanding that regardless of use of a private or University provided computer the employee remains bound by the Intellectual Property Policy for the Lawrence Campus.

Workers’ Compensation

Because unknown workers' compensation liability may be incurred if accidents occur off-site, the employee will immediately report to the supervisor job-related accidents which occur at the alternate work location during the agreed upon work hours while performing work-related duties. 

The accidents will be reported on the specified University form available at the link on this HRM webpage:  http://humanresources.ku.edu/workers-compensation. The State Self Insurance Fund, the University’s insurance carrier, will determine the compensability of such claims

Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 

Conditions of employment with the University of Kansas are not affected by working in an alternate work location. The staff member is expected to follow all professional standards of performance and conduct, State of Kansas statutes and regulations, Board of Regents and University of Kansas policies while at all work locations.

An alternate work location agreement is not intended to provide dependent care, convalescing, or caring for an ill family member. The presence of children or other dependents in the alternate work location cannot disrupt the performance of work activities or negatively affect the productivity of the employee.

Working in an alternate location may be authorized for shorter time periods in the best interests of the employee and the University. The guidelines outlined in this policy also apply for such temporary arrangements.

The employee will be subject to the applicable tax jurisdiction, zoning, and tax liability associated with the alternate work location as determined by KU Payroll Services.

Employees whose alternate work location is out-of-state or country will be subject to applicable laws related to employment conditions.

This policy is not applicable for staff assigned by KU for research or academic program remote deployments of up to 3 consecutive months in duration. Staff assigned to such deployments do, however, remain subject to all applicable University policies and practices.

It is generally not encouraged for non-exempt staff to work off-site since monitoring and approving actual hours worked is required for non-exempt staff. For example, hourly staff may be eligible for shift differential if work hours regularly occur before 6:00 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m.  An alternate work location complicates a supervisor’s ability to accurately track and approve hours worked.  In addition, many non-exempt staff job responsibilities require the physical presence of the staff member in order to fulfill work obligations.

Contact: 

Department of Human Resource Management
103 Carruth-O’Leary Hall
1246 W. Campus Road
Lawrence, KS  66045
785-864-4946
hrdept@ku.edu

Approved by: 
Mike Rounds, Senior Associate Vice Provost
Approved on: 
Friday, May 11, 2018
Effective on: 
Friday, May 11, 2018
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Definitions: 

An alternate work location includes two types of recurring formal arrangement of two pay periods or more:

  • the employee works one or more days at a remote site in addition to work in the office; AND/OR
  • the employee’s primary workplace is a remote location from the primary work location. 
Keywords: 
alternate work site, telecommuting, remote work site, working at home
Change History: 

06/20/2018: Updated link for Alternate Work Location and Equipment Maintenance Agreement form 

05/11/2018: An institutional policy is provided for more consistent management of staff working regularly from off-site locations. 

Personnel: Administrators Categories: 
Workplace Rules & Guidelines
Personnel: Staff Categories: 
Workplace Rules & Guidelines

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