Policy VII-6.13-GC

UMGC Policy on Remote Work for Exempt and Nonexempt Staff and Faculty Employees

(Approved by UMGC President on April 1, 2019)

  1. Purpose and Applicability

    The University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) recognizes the value in providing opportunities for work-life balance for employees while supporting the operational needs of each department. UMGC also understands the strategic benefit of having remote workers who can help facilitate the national expansion of the university and support business continuity. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance for remote work at UMGC.

    This policy applies to stateside regular and contingent, exempt and nonexempt staff and collegiate faculty employees. Nonexempt employees who are represented within the collective bargaining unit are subject to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and applicable UMGC HR Policies; where there is a conflict between the two, the MOU shall prevail.

  2. Definitions

    1. Eligible Employee – An employee who holds, or is being hired for, a position that includes duties determined by the employee's dean or department vice president to be suitable for the employee to work remotely through a remote worker arrangement or as a condition of employment through appointment or contract.

    2. Remote Location – A work location other than a UMGC workplace from which the remote worker is expected to perform the duties contained in the eligible employee's job description.

    3. Remote Worker – An eligible employee who works from a remote location on specified days and at specified times for three (3) or more work days per week. Employees performing work from a remote location for less than three (3) work days per week are governed by VII-6.11-GC – UMGC Policy on Telework for Exempt and Nonexempt Staff and Faculty Employees.

    4. Remote Worker Arrangement – A voluntary work arrangement established by an eligible employee hired to work from a UMGC workplace, his/her direct supervisor, and his/her dean or department vice president that grants the eligible employee the ability to work remotely and defines the parameters of the eligible employee's remote work.

  3. Administration

    1. The Office of Human Resources will maintain records of eligible employees who work remotely through a remote worker arrangement, appointment, or contract to ensure compliance with all university policies as well as state and federal laws.

    2. Deans or department vice presidents are responsible for ensuring approved remote work is within the scope of this policy and for establishing the following terms and conditions:

      1. The ability to work remotely is contingent upon the ability to achieve organizational effectiveness and accomplish the work of the department; therefore, all tasks will be clearly defined with measurable results for the remote worker's position.

      2. Remote work is not suitable for all roles within UMGC. Deans or department vice presidents will determine the frequency of working remotely and any restrictions based on the department's operational needs.

    3. Remote work requires the remote worker to perform and sustain all duties within the scope of the remote worker's position and to meet all performance expectations and measurements. Essential job duties shall not be altered for the eligible employee to work remotely through a remote worker arrangement, appointment, or contract.

    4. USM, State of Maryland, and UMGC policies, procedures, rules, and practices shall apply to the remote worker and the remote location. Failure to follow policies, rules, practices, and/or procedures may result in termination of the remote worker arrangement and/or disciplinary action up to, and including, termination of employment.

    5. Remote workers shall not act as primary caregivers for dependents during the agreed upon work hours.

    6. Work-related meetings are not permitted to be held in-person at the remote worker’s home.

    7. Wages, merit increases, benefits, and time off accrual shall be the same for a remote worker as they are for equivalent non-remote employees.

  4. Working Remotely Through Appointment or Contract

    1. When an eligible employee is hired as a remote worker, working remotely is a condition of employment.

    2. The appointment agreement or contract for an eligible employee hired as a remote worker shall contain information regarding the eligible employee's assigned remote location.

    3. Dean or department vice president approval is not required prior to hiring collegiate faculty who do not have significant administrative duties as remote workers. It is not required for these eligible employees to obtain supervisor approval at the time of contract or appointment renewal to maintain a remote worker status.

    4. Hiring managers for exempt and nonexempt, regular or contingent positions or collegiate faculty positions with significant administrative duties shall obtain approval of the applicable dean or department vice president prior to hiring an eligible employee as a remote worker. The applicable dean or department vice president must also approve to each contract or appointment renewal, when applicable.

  5. Working Remotely Through Remote Worker Arrangement

    1. When an eligible employee is hired to work from a UMGC workplace and becomes a remote worker through a remote worker arrangement, working remotely is not a condition of employment; therefore, doing so is voluntary and the arrangement may be terminated by the remote worker, the supervisor, or the dean or department vice president at any time.

    2. Eligible employees who wish to become remote workers shall submit a request to their direct supervisor. Supervisors will review the details of all requested remote worker arrangements, including the number of requested day(s) and explanation of how performance will be measured, and make a determination whether to approve or deny the request.

    3. Eligible employees will receive approval or denial of their requested remote worker arrangement from their supervisor and the dean or department vice president. The remote worker arrangement shall not commence until the eligible employee receives the dean or department vice president's approval.

    4. At a minimum, direct supervisors shall review all remote worker arrangements on an annual basis to determine whether the arrangement should continue.

  6. Schedule and Availability

    1. Remote workers and their supervisors shall agree to regularly scheduled work hours for the remote worker in accordance with the remote worker's full-time equivalency (FTE).

    2. Remote workers and their supervisors shall agree on expected response time, deadlines for work, and preferred communication methods.

  7. Office Space, Supplies, and Equipment

    1. If a claim is filed by a remote worker in case of an injury, theft, loss, or tort liability related to a remote work arrangement, appointment, or contract, the remote worker must allow agents of UMGC to investigate and/or inspect the site as part of the claim processing.

    2. Remote workers shall not have assigned workspace at a UMGC Workplace for the duration of the remote worker arrangement, appointment, or contract, and shall use shared workspace when reporting to a UMGC Workplace.

    3. Remote workers shall provide, at their own expense, home office furniture; home office equipment such as printers, faxes, telephones; and other necessary equipment.

    4. Eligible employees who work remotely three (3) to four (4) work days per week will not be reimbursed for consumable office supplies ordinarily available in the UMGC Workplace. Eligible employees who work remotely five (5) work days per week may be reimbursed for such expenses in accordance with the applicable policies and procedures.

    5. UMGC equipment shall remain the property of UMGC and shall be returned to UMGC upon the termination of a remote worker's employment, remote work arrangement, appointment, or contract, unless UMGC determines that the employee continues to have a need for the UMGC equipment upon return to the UMGC workplace when applicable.

    6. Remote workers are responsible for the following:

      1. Reimbursing UMGC for any intentional damage or damage resulting from gross negligence to UMGC laptop or other UMGC equipment by the remote worker or any member or guest of the remote worker's household;

      2. Reporting any malware discovered on a UMGC-issued laptop or other UMGC equipment as a virus or spyware to UMGC IT Risk at it-risk@umgc.edu; and

      3. Using a secure wireless connection at the remote worker's remote location when conducting UMGC business or using UMGC-issued devices.

    7. In the event that the UMGC-issued laptop or other equipment fails or malfunctions, the remote worker shall immediately notify the University's IT Help Desk in order to initiate immediate repair or replacement.

    8. In the event of delay in repair or replacement of the remote worker's UMGC-issued laptop, or due to circumstances that make it impractical to work remotely for a period of time, the remote worker understands that UMGC, in its sole discretion, may assign the remote worker to other work or require the remote worker to report to a UMGC workplace on the regular telework day(s) for the duration of the repair/replacement. Workers may be required to take leave, if other duties cannot be assigned.

  8. Confidentiality and Institutional Data

    1. Products, documents, and records developed during the course of remote work are property of UMGC in accordance with UMGC Policy 190 Intellectual Property.

    2. Remote workers shall not take or electronically access restricted or confidential material from the UMGC workplace unless approved in advance by the supervisor.

  9. Travel Expenses
    UMGC shall not pay or reimburse the cost of travel between the remote location and the UMGC workplace or the associated travel-related expenses for employees who work remotely three (3) to four (4) work days per week. Such expenses may be paid or reimbursed for eligible employees who work remotely for five (5) work days per week. Any payment or reimbursement shall be in accordance with UMGC Policy 380.10 – University Travel.

  10. Inclement Weather and Emergency Conditions

    1. Remote workers are required to work remotely with no additional pay when any UMGC workplace is under an adjusted operating status due to inclement weather or emergency conditions, except when circumstances diminish the remote worker's ability to perform duties remotely.

    2. Remote workers who are not able to work when a UMGC workplace is under an adjusted operating status due to diminishing circumstances shall notify their supervisor as soon as possible but no later than the start of the remote worker's shift. The remote worker shall utilize the appropriate accrued time off in accordance with the applicable time off policies and procedures.

  11. Commencement

    Remote workers may be required to work Commencement if they live within 50 miles of UMGC's Adelphi or Largo location.

Implementation Procedures

The UMGC President has designated the Vice President of Human Resources to administer this policy; to develop procedures as necessary to implement this policy; to communicate this policy to the UMGC community; and to post the policy and any applicable procedures on the UMGC website.