Telework, Flextime and Compressed Workweek

Section: IV. ADSV-320P
Approved By: Dr. Ivan L. Harrell, 08/10/21
Last Review: 12/13/21
Last Revision: 01/20/21
Prior Revisions: 07/11/11
Initial Adoption: 06/2002

Policy

Working from an approved alternate work site away from campus, (Telework) and flexible work hours (Flextime or Compressed Workweek) may be authorized for any position when reviewed, determined appropriate and approved by the supervisor and the area vice president. Alternate schedules may include more than one alternative. Approval of any request for Telework, Flextime or Compressed Workweek is at the sole discretion of the College and will be considered on a case-by-case basis based on College business needs and priorities.

An authorized request for Telework, Flextime, or Compressed Workweek schedule may be suspended or terminated with five (5) days’ prior notice by the supervisor or manager, unless otherwise required by an applicable collective bargaining agreement. Requests shall only be authorized for up to twelve (12) months duration. The renewal of an expired request after 12 months, or following any suspension or termination of the authorization, requires re- application and updated written authorization.

Telework

Telework, Flextime and Compressed Workweek schedules must not result in a reduction of service to customers including students, clients, and co-workers, or cause reduced productivity for any employee. Telework approval is at the sole discretion of the College and will be approved and reviewed on a case-by-case basis based on College business needs. All approved Telework, Flextime and Compressed Workweek schedules are subject to ongoing review that may be informed by all available information, including data from College computer systems and external sources such as social media when that information is voluntarily provided or identified through a personnel investigation.

NOTE: Telework performed from any location outside the State of Washington may incur personal tax liability for the employee according to the laws of their work location. College employees are solely responsible for their individual personal tax obligations, and any additional cost to the College due to taxation or others costs at a work location outside the State of Washington is grounds for immediate termination of an agreement to Telework or denial of a request to Telework from that location.

Flexible Work Schedule (Flextime)

A flexible work schedule (Flextime) may be established to allow an employee an adjusted schedule that is different from the standard work schedule for the employee’s position.

Flextime schedules should not reduce the total number of hours worked in a day or the total number of days worked in a week for an employee’s position. Flextime allows an employee to adjust their starting and ending time outside of primary (core) business hours established by the College Administration. Flextime approval is at the sole discretion of the College and shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis based on College business needs.

Compressed Workweek

A Compressed Workweek schedule may be established to allow an employee to work a schedule that reduces the number of days worked in a week by increasing the number of hours worked each day in that week. A Compressed Workweek schedule should not reduce the total number of hours worked in any workweek. Compressed Workweek approval is at the sole discretion of the College and shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis based on College business needs.

The College may implement a Compressed Workweek for all employees, such as a schedule of four 9-hours days and one 4-hour day each week during the summer, with prior notice that complies with applicable rule and collective bargaining agreement requirements. During any College designated compressed workweeks all other approved individual compressed workweek schedules may be suspended after five (5) calendar days’ notice to employees with those alternate schedules.

Purpose

This policy is established to provide guidance for employees and supervisors for requesting, approval and implementation of a telework, flextime and compressed workweek schedule. In addition to fulfilling state priorities to reduce the environmental impacts of single-occupancy automobile commuting, telework, flextime and compressed workweek are available to serve the business needs and priorities of the College and provide employees with optimal flexibility in the performance of our work. Other benefits may include increased productivity or service coverage for our students and other customers, as well as personal benefits to employees to improve balance of work and life needs, desires, and obligations. 

To Whom Does This Policy Apply

This policy applies only to classified and administrative exempt College employees and does not apply to faculty and continuing education instructor positions. Specific provisions for meal and rest breaks, and requests for overtime and leave are required for represented and non- represented classified and non-permanent employees and may also be considered as guidelines for other employees.

References

Definitions

Approved Alternate Work Site – A work location outside of a TCC campus building, including but not limited to an employee’s private residence that has received required approval for the temporary or ongoing regular performance of assigned College work.

Core Hours - The core hours for Tacoma Community College day shift are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Full-time employees and their supervisors may establish a start time between 6:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., and an end time between 3:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Daytime schedules must occur during core hours and include a minimum mandatory 30- minute meal break after 5-hours worked. Schedule exceptions may be authorized to provide services to clients and customers outside of the standard workday and in accordance with College policy and practice. Employee requested exceptions to these requirements must be approved in writing by the supervisor and area Vice President.

Compressed Workweek - a fixed work schedule that regularly allows a full-time employee to eliminate at least one workday every two weeks by working longer hours during the remaining days, resulting in fewer commute trips by the employee. This definition includes weekly or bi-weekly arrangements in a schedule. Any change in workweek designation must be approved and documented to Human Resources by the supervisor.

Example 1 - Although other arrangements may qualify, the most common compressed schedules are either four 10-hour days occurring sometime between the first and last day of the workweek.

Example 2 - A 9/80 schedule where an employee would work eight 9-hour days and one 8-hour day in the middle of a two-week period for a total of 80 hours for the two weeks. Under a 9/80 schedule the definition of the workweek begin and end days would be changed to account for a total of 40 hours in each designated work week, which practically speaking still allows for the employee to have a day off from work every other calendar week.

Example 3 – A schedule that works 9 hours Monday through Thursday and 8 hours on Friday the first week and 9 hours Monday through Thursday with Friday off the second week, would have an official workweek designation of 12:01 p.m. Friday through 12:00 noon the follow Friday.

Flextime - a work schedule in which an employee is permitted flexibility outside the College’s Core Hours, unless otherwise required by the position.

Flexible Work Hours - Includes both flextime and compressed Work Week definitions. Evening and weekend schedules outside of core hours may be assigned by the supervisor or manager based on College business needs.

Standard Work Week - the standard workweek is defined as 12:01 a.m. Monday through 12:00 midnight Sunday. Any different definition of work week must be documented in the employee’s Position Description and recorded in their Personnel file that is secured in Human Resources.

Telework or Telecommute – a work schedule that allows an employee to work from the employee’s home or other approved alternate work site, instead of working at their primary College (campus) work location.

Procedural Guidelines

Requirements for Approved Telework, Flextime, and Compressed Workweek

Requests for Telework, Flextime, and Compressed Workweek must be made for each fiscal year, beginning July 1 and ending June 30, and within two (2) years of the request date.

Job expectations including job responsibilities, number of work hours, and performance standards must not be reduced or impaired because of a Telework, Flextime and Compressed Workweek schedule. Further, Telework, Flextime and Compressed Workweek schedules shall not change any terms and conditions of the employee’s employment relationship with the College, including but not limited to salary and benefits.

Telework, Flextime, and Compressed Workweek authorization may be suspended, changed, and cancelled at any time at the sole discretion of the College. If the College cancels or suspends a Telework, Flextime and Compressed Workweek arrangement, the employee will receive at least five (5) days’ prior notice. In the event the authorization is suspended, changed, or cancelled, the supervisor will meet with the employee promptly to review the reason(s) for the change in status.

  • If the employee believes the change is unfair, the employee may appeal to Human Resources in writing for independent review of the decision, in addition to any grievance rights available under an applicable collective bargaining
  • An employee who chooses to change or terminate their own Telework, Flextime and Compressed Workweek schedule before it terminates at twelve months, must submit a written request and obtain approval from their supervisor with five (5) days’ notice prior to the effective date of the requested change. Management will determine and confirm the campus worksite availability prior to the employee’s
  • Any changes to an employee’s work schedule or assigned work site, including implementation of a Telework, Flextime and Compressed Workweek schedule shall be documented and signed by both the supervisor and employee or exchanged and confirmed by email. The signed document or printed email shall be maintained by the supervisor in a desk file and a copy sent by email to the employee and Human Resources.

Employees who are working with an approved Telework, Flextime, and Compressed Workweek schedule shall not conduct personal activities, such as caring for dependents, performing household chores, or conducting any form of private business or nonprofit activities during scheduled work hours.

The additional; criteria are required for approval of Telework, Flextime and Compressed Workweek schedules, and may be subject to exceptions approved on a case-by-case basis by the area vice president:

  • A classified employee has successfully completed their probationary or trial service period and achieved permanent status in their current position.
  • An exempt employee has successfully worked at TCC for at least six (6) months.
  • Any employee must be able to return to work from their remote worksite location to the primary designated work site on campus determined necessary by the supervisor and area vice president. Written notice of required return to work on campus shall be given to the employee at least five (5) calendar days prior to the effective date.

Positions Eligible for Telework, Flextime, and Compressed Workweek

  • Essential and primary job functions for the position do not require regular face-to-face supervision or interactions with customers, clients, students, members of the public, or co-workers.
    • Reception, front counter, and laboratory supervision positions are generally unacceptable for telework, flextime and compressed workweek.
  • The position and employee can meet students, public, and other internal and external client and co-workers' needs productively when working from a remote worksite
    • Positions that primarily enter data into a shared system for access by others may not be a suitable position for telework, flextime and compressed workweek, unless such work can efficiently and securely be accomplished from the remote worksite
  • The position has written and objective measures for productivity, such as specific and time-sensitive tasks, quantity of work, and due dates that must be completed accurately in a timely

Employee Eligibility for Telework, Flextime, and Compressed Workweek

  • Demonstrated abilities to work independently and productively, be self-directed, self- motivated, focused, organized, dependable, and develop collaborative working relationships with supervisors and co-workers.
  • Employee performance evaluations reflect acceptable
  • Demonstrated proficiency with job related computer software and
  • The employee’s remote work environment is safe for the work required, is accessible for Emergency Services if needed, and without recurring
  • The employee can return within five (5) calendar days from their remote work location to the primary (campus) work site when requested or necessary.

Designated Remote Work Location

  • The employee’s regular on-campus work location will remain the employee’s official designated work site. The employee is personally responsible for ensuring the remote work environment provides necessary safety, confidentiality, and privacy for College work at all times. The remote work location must be a safe and appropriate environment that does not contain known or visible hazards, persistent distractions from productive work, and pose potential for injury of any person(s),
  • Workers Compensation through the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I):
    • Employees with a remote work site located within Washington State are covered by workers’ compensation through L&I for job-related injuries that occur in the course and scope of
    • Employees with a remote work site located out-of-state may not be covered by L&I workers compensation industrial insurance. A determination of an employee’s eligibility for workers compensation insurance shall be made by the College before any request for remote work is
    • Remote employees must report any work-related illness or injury to their supervisor and Human Resources immediately. The claim filing process will be specific to the state in which the injury occurred. For information on how to file a claim in another state, contact Human
  • Paid Family & Medical Leave (PFML)
    • Employees with a remote work site located outside Washington State are not covered by the Washington State Paid Family & Medical Leave program. The College does not deduct PFML deductions or report hours and wages for employees whose work location is out-of-state. Employees who work in another state may be covered by a similar program in that

Work Schedule and Overtime

The employee’s official work schedule will be mutually agreed upon by the supervisor and the employee and documented in the Telework, Flextime and Compressed Workweek Request form. The Telework, Flextime and Compressed Workweek Request must conform to the employee’s regular work schedule and meet the core hour’s requirement established by this policy. Employees in positions that are designated as eligible for overtime must have advance approval from the supervisor to conduct overtime work.

Technology, Equipment, and Work Supplies

The College will provide necessary office work supplies, equipment, and technology sufficient to perform assigned work for an employee authorized to use Telework, Flextime and Compressed Workweek schedules. The employee is responsible for the ethical and responsible use and stewardship of College equipment and supplies at all times, consistent with applicable policies and law.

Reporting Telework, Flextime, and Compressed Workweek Work Hours Arrangements under the Commute Trip Reduction Program (CTR)

In most cases, Telework, Flextime and Compressed Workweek schedules will qualify to be reported under the College’s Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) program. All employees participating in qualifying CTR programs should comply with the College’s CTR policy for reporting CTR activities. For complete policy and procedure information employees and supervisors should contact the College CTR Coordinator in the Campus Public Safety office.

Combined Telework, Flextime, and Compressed Workweek Work Hours Program

An employee may apply for a work schedule that combines aspects of Telework, Flextime and Compressed Workweek schedules. The same criteria, guidelines, and procedures are required for each request.

Process Steps

The process  for requesting and confirming an approved Telework, Flextime, and Compressed Workweek schedule are:

  • Employees are encouraged to discuss their interest in a Telework, Flextime, and Compressed Workweek schedule or notify the supervisor of that interest first. To formally initiate a request, the Employee completes and signs a Telework, Flextime, and Compressed Workweek Request form and forwards the completed form to their supervisor for consideration.
  • Within ten (10) days after the written request is received, the supervisor reviews the request and determines the required equipment, work arrangement, expected productivity outcomes, and method for monitoring the success of the proposed arrangement. The supervisor must meet with the employee to discuss the Request and confirm all necessary details before it is approved or denied within the ten (10) days.
  • The supervisor must first respond to the employee and Human Resources by email to either approve or deny the Request in a timely manner within 10 business days of receipt.
  • If approved by the supervisor, the Request form should be signed and forwarded to the area vice president (VP) for executive authorization, which shall be confirmed or denied within 10 business days of receipt by email from the VP to the supervisor. After executive authorization or denial is confirmed within 10 days  by the VP to the supervisor, the supervisor will forward the approved request to the employee and Human Resources, or notify the employee and Human Resources by email that the request was denied. All email notifications to Human Resources shall be sent to humanresources@tacomacc.edu.
  • If the Request is denied, by the supervisor or vice president, or is cancelled, or requires revision before further consideration, the supervisor will meet with the employee promptly within ten (10) days after receiving the request to review the reason for denial, cancellation, or revision and determine if there are available options or requirements for approval.
    • If the employee believes the Request was unfairly denied, the employee may appeal to Human Resources in writing for independent review of the decision, in addition to any grievance rights available under an applicable collective bargaining agreement.
    • After the approved request form is received by  Human Resources with all necessary signatures, it will be placed  in the employee’s Personnel file. This signed document confirms implementation of the authorization for telework, flextime, and compressed workweek schedule for the employee.
  • Human Resources will work directly with employees who are working at an approved remote location out-of-state to determine effects on their payroll tax deductions, Workers Compensation, and other entitlements.