Remote Work Policy for Classified Employees
Memorandum No. 266 Community College of Philadelphia Remote Work Policy for Classified Employees
Approved: July 7, 2022
Approved By: President
Policy Owner: Associate Vice President, Human Resources
Revised: June 5, 2023
This Remote Work Policy will be in effect from June 5, 2023 through December 31, 2023. The College will periodically review this policy during the Fall 2023 semester to determine if it should be amended or discontinued after December 31, 2023.
Purpose of Policy
All employment policies including this Remote Work Policy should serve the College’s Mission and Core Values and be in the best interests of the overall College Community. The College must ensure we are able to provide an optimal learning and service environment at all times. Providing the flexibility for partial remote work serves the College’s interests by allowing the College to attract and retain the best employees to serve the College’s students and the greater Philadelphia Community.
This policy sets forth the terms governing when and how Classified Employees at Community College of Philadelphia (“College”) may conduct their work remotely. Remote work allows employees to perform their job responsibilities remotely as opposed to on campus. Remote work is a privilege of employment, not a right or entitlement.
At all times, service to the College’s students and the College community will remain paramount, and any request for remote work made pursuant to this policy must be evaluated to ensure that it will not negatively impact the College’s students, operations of the College or the greater Philadelphia community. Remote work arrangements must at all times be consistent with institutional, divisional, and departmental needs.
Eligibility for Remote Work
In order to be eligible for remote work, a Classified Employee must be a remote eligible person in a remote eligible position. Not all Classified Employees will be eligible for remote work.
Some positions are not eligible for remote work (“Classified Remote Ineligible Positions” or "Classified Fully On-campus Positions"), including:
- Classified Employees in the Facilities Department;
- Classified Employees in the Business Services Department;
- Classified Employees working in Help Desk positions in the Information Technology Department;
- Classified Employees working in the Library and the Office Administrative Associate B position in the Learning Lab;
- Classified Employees working in the Bookstore;
- Classified Employees working in the Multimedia Department; and
- Part-time Classified Employees.
Very Limited Remote Work:
- Some Classified Employees working in office administration front desk positions in certain departments (as set forth in a Side Agreement between the College and the Faculty & Staff Federation of Community College of Philadelphia) are generally not eligible for remote work except for three (3) days during the Fall semester which must be approved by their supervisor.
Other Classified Employees may not be eligible for remote work (“Classified Remote Ineligible Persons”) because they do not meet Remote Work Eligibility Criteria:
- they have had disciplinary action in the last six (6) months;
- they are currently on a Performance Improvement Plan;
- they have failed to demonstrate the ability to use technology sufficiently to work remotely (i.e., failed to demonstrate computer literacy; failed to demonstrate the ability to effectively utilize technology resources required for remote work; etc.);
- they do not have the technological resources including sufficient network, internet, and phone connectivity resources to enable remote work; or
- they do not have sufficient workspace in a confidential, safe environment.
If a Classified Employee is not in a Classified Remote Ineligible Position/Classified Fully On-campus Position and they are not a Classified Remote Ineligible Person, they meet the Remote Work Eligibility Factors.
The College will provide training during regular work hours of up to four (4) hours to assist an employee in improving their ability to work remotely. However, if in the judgment of their supervisor, the employee cannot work remotely after up to four (4) hours of training, then the employee will remain ineligible for remote work. If the employee is later able to demonstrate that they have become technologically proficient, they may be able to requalify for remote work. If the employee does not have the technology (network, internet, phone connectivity) or a confidential, safe space, they must demonstrate that they have obtained sufficient technology and/or a confidential, safe space to be eligible for remote work. If an employee has a disciplinary action, more than six months must pass before they can be reconsidered for remote work. If an employee is on a performance improvement plan, they must successfully complete it before they can be eligible for remote work.
Types of Remote Work Arrangements
Remote work arrangements may consist of the following:
Partial Remote Work Arrangement. In a partial remote work arrangement, eligible full-time Classified Employees approved for remote work may be granted the equivalent of up to one (1) or two (2) remote day(s) per work week. The Cabinet member responsible for each Division will have sole discretion to determine the allocation, approval and scheduling of remote work days for employees in that Division (i.e., some Divisions may schedule employees to have their remote work day(s) on a particular day of the week to ensure adequate coverage for each day of the week; other Divisions may set an “allotment” of remote days equivalent to one (1) or two (2) day(s) per week (i.e., 46 days or 92 days per year not to be carried over) and provide rules regarding the scheduling of remote work days such as no more than a certain amount per month. Supervisors or Cabinet members may also schedule periods when remote work will be unavailable according to College, divisional or departmental needs. The details of each partial remote work arrangement, including any periods during which remote work will not be permitted, must be captured in a Remote Work Agreement as set forth in Exhibit B. For certain office administration/front desk positions where employees cannot regularly have remote days, the Cabinet member may approve up to three (3) remote days during the Fall semester to be approved by their supervisor.
Temporary Occasional Remote Work. Eligible employees may also seek to work remotely occasionally when extenuating or unforeseen circumstances might prevent them from coming to campus including in accordance with the College's COVID-19 policies. Occasional remote work requires the approval of the employee’s supervisor and if longer than one (1) day will also require the approval of the Vice President. Occasional remote work should occur only sporadically and for a short period. Occasional remote work may not be used in place of an ADA accommodation, paid time off, or when the circumstances preventing an employee from coming to campus were foreseeable. Employees who abuse occasional remote work requests will become ineligible for occasional remote work. Employees seeking to work remotely occasionally will be governed by this policy even if they do not have a Remote Work Agreement on file.
ADA Accommodations. Partial remote work may be a reasonable accommodation for some employees whose essential functions do not require them to be on campus. Requests for accommodations should be made in accordance with the College’s ADA Accommodations Policy.
Process for Requesting and Approving a Remote Work Arrangement
Employees may request a remote work arrangement by submitting the request in writing to their supervisor. Considerations for remote work will be based on the Remote Work Eligibility Factors identified above. In determining the scheduling of remote work days, supervisors must ensure that there is adequate on-campus presence for their department/office during the College’s hours of operation to continue to meet the on-campus needs of employees, students, visitors and other civic partners. Factors that should be considered in determining the approval of remote work are listed in the Remote Work Assessment Form attached hereto as Exhibit A. A Remote Work Assessment does not need to be completed more than once unless the remote work arrangement needs to change.
Once a request is made, the supervisor and the employee should meet to discuss the remote work arrangement, including the remote work allotment, schedule, applicable procedures, and other expectations of the remote work arrangement in accordance with this policy. The supervisor should complete the Remote Work Assessment Form and indicate whether remote work is appropriate. If the Assessment reveals that remote work is not appropriate, then the supervisor must complete the denial section of the Remote Work Assessment Form and submit the form to the employee, the Cabinet member, and Human Resources. If the supervisor approves the remote work arrangement, the details of the arrangement should be set forth in a Remote Work Agreement (see Exhibit B hereto) which the employee and supervisor must sign and submit to Human Resources and the applicable Cabinet member for final approval and then signatures. Approved remote work agreements will be kept on file with Human Resources.
Reviewing, Modifying, or Ending the Remote Work Arrangements
All remote work arrangements must be reviewed within ninety (90) days of when the arrangement takes effect. Thereafter, supervisors must review remote work arrangements with their direct reports at least annually (typically in conjunction with the employee’s performance review) to determine if the arrangement should continue or if any modifications are warranted. A supervisor may modify or end a remote work arrangement if the employee no longer meets the Remote Work Eligibility Criteria including: (1) the employee has a disciplinary action; (2) the employee is placed on a performance improvement plan or otherwise has performance issues working remotely; or (3) the employee does not have sufficient technology or a confidential, safe space to work remotely. The Remote Work Arrangement may also be ended if the needs of the department require greater presence on campus.
In the case of the needs of the department requiring a greater presence on campus, the employee(s) should be provided at least one week’s notice that the remote work arrangement will end. If the arrangement is modified or ended, such modifications must be captured in an amended Remote Work Agreement which must be provided to and approved by Human Resources and the applicable Cabinet member. Unless remote work is required by the College, an employee may also terminate the remote work arrangement at any time.
Terms and Conditions of Remote Work
- An employee’s compensation, benefits, work status and work responsibilities will not change due to working remotely. The amount of time an employee is expected to work per day or pay period will not change as a result of working remotely. If an employee is unsure of what hours they are expected to work while working remotely, they should consult with their supervisor.
- Remote work should be conducted at the home address listed on file for the employee with Human Resources (the Remote Work Location). If an employee needs to work in a location other than their home address, the employee must advise their supervisor in writing in advance. No employee may work outside of the Tri-State Area (Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware). The Remote Work Location must at all times meet the terms of Section 3 below. Employees may not work in any location with restrictions that would preclude the employee from completing their job duties, including but not limited to any zoning, lease, or community ordinance. It is the employee’s responsibility to understand and comply with any such restrictions.
- The employee must maintain a safe, ergonomic, quiet, secure and confidential work environment in the Remote Work Location that is free of hazards and suitable for performing their job duties.
- The employee must comply with all College policies and procedures while working remotely, including but not limited to all policies governing the use of College technology or equipment, including but not limited to the Policy for Responsible Computing, Acceptable Use Policy for Interactive Systems, the Policy Governing the Use and Duplication of Software, the Personal Information Privacy and Protection Policy, and comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”).
- The employee must be actively working and be accessible via phone and email during the College’s core business hours and/or during their scheduled shift as agreed to with their supervisor. The employee must communicate their schedule and how they may be contacted to other employees, students, or others doing business with the College through appropriate communication methods (e.g., voicemail, automatic email replies, email signatures, etc.).
- The employee must check in regularly with their supervisor, at intervals determined by their supervisor, while working remotely. A supervisor may also require an employee to maintain active status via various software/technology tools to ensure productivity and responsiveness (e.g. Microsoft Teams).
- The employee may not use remote work in place of other leave. Employees unable to work due to illness or personal obligations should use their allotted time off as appropriate. Remote work may not serve as a replacement for dependent care or any other obligations that may negatively affect the employee’s ability to perform work remotely. The employee must obtain care for any dependents during their remote work hours in the same manner as during their on-campus hours.
- An employee’s supervisor, a Cabinet member, or the College may designate certain times of the year when remote work is unavailable for various reasons. During these times and as otherwise requested by the employee’s supervisor, the employee must come to campus even if during their scheduled remote work hours. Supervisors are not required to offer a “make-up” remote workday for any employee required to come to campus on a remote workday. The Cabinet member will announce any “Black Out Periods” when remote work is not available at least two weeks in advance. However, supervisors may also call an employee into campus for special circumstances when needed provided that they provide the employee at least two (2) business days’ notice (i.e., informed on a Monday if you need to work in person on a Wednesday).
- Travel between the Remote Work Location and the College that would otherwise be considered normal commuting will not count as hours worked or otherwise be reimbursable as travel expenses.
- Classified employees are required to work during their regularly scheduled hours and accurately record all hours worked and time off in the KRONOS time and attendance system.
- Classified employees working remotely must receive prior written approval from their supervisor prior to working any overtime or non-scheduled hours. Classified employees must also take their designated breaks at their designated times or at a time mutually agreed-upon in writing in advance of the break between the supervisor and the Classified Employee.
- An employee working remotely will continue to have Philadelphia City Wage Tax deducted from their paycheck as working remotely is optional and not required. The employee will be responsible for determining any income tax implications related to working remotely. The College cannot provide tax advice and will not assume any additional tax liabilities. Employees should seek professional tax advice if they have questions regarding any tax deductions or other tax implications of working from the Remote Work Location.
- The employee may not conduct in-person meetings at the Remote Work Location.
- The employee may not use a personal vehicle for College business unless specifically authorized in advance in writing by their supervisor.
- The College is not liable for any injuries to family members, visitors, or other third parties at the Remote Work Location, nor does the College accept responsibility for the safety, security or suitability of any Remote Work Location. The College accepts no responsibility or liability for damages to the employee’s personal or real property at the Remote Work Location.
- The College’s worker’s compensation policy and procedures may apply to work-related injuries sustained by the employee at the Remote Work Location. The employee must report work-related injuries occurring at the Remote Work Location to their supervisor and Human Resources as soon as possible. The College’s worker’s compensation policy does not apply to injuries to third parties or family members of the employee at the Remote Work Location, or to injuries to the employee that do not arise out of and in the course of employment. To assess whether an injury arose out of and in the course of employment, the employee agrees to allow the College and/or its representative(s) to access the Remote Work Location to investigate any injury that occurs while an employee is working at the Remote Work Location.
- The employee will be solely responsible for paying for and providing the internet service, phone service, and utilities required for remote work.
- All work should be conducted using GoToMyPC or any other remote work platform specifically authorized by the College. If employees wish to use their own personal equipment for work, they must be authorized to do so by their supervisor. The College will not be responsible for repairing any personal device. The employee may not store or save work materials on a personal device. The employee agrees to permit the College to access any personal device upon which the employee conducts work to the extent legally required or necessary to fulfill College’s obligations.
- The employee may request a College laptop or other College computer equipment required to conduct work at the Remote Work Location. The College will be responsible for repairing College equipment that is provided to the employee. The employee will be required to bring any equipment in need of repair back to campus for such repairs. The employee will be responsible for any intentional damage to any College equipment. All College equipment provided to the employee will remain the property of the College and must be returned to the College when the remote work arrangement or the employee’s relationship with the College ends.
- The College will supply office supplies required to work at the Remote Work Location. The employee should submit office supply requests to their supervisor, or, if authorized by their supervisor, order office supplies required for remote work via the College’s remote office supply service. Employees may be reimbursed for the purchase of office supplies only if such purchase was pre-approved in writing by their supervisor.
- The employee must maintain all work materials, technology or documents confidentiality and securely, and shall take appropriate actions to prevent the unauthorized or accidental disclosure of such materials, technology, or documents to third parties. If a breach of work materials, technology, or documents is suspected or occurs, the employee must immediately notify their supervisor.
- The College reserves the right to require remote employees to undergo relevant training from time to time (e.g., training in workplace safety, technology resources, etc.). The employee must participate in any required training. Classified Employees will go through any such training during regular work hours.
- All performance evaluations, performance improvement plans, and/or disciplinary action arising out of this policy shall be done in accordance with the Classified Bargaining Unit Collective Bargaining Agreement.