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Relaxation of Telecommuting Policies FAQs

Employees

Am I able to telecommute?

The university has temporarily relaxed the existing policies on remote work and telecommuting in order to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The university has encouraged managers and supervisors to implement telecommuting arrangements, whenever feasible. Feasibility is determined by the department based on several factors, including an employee’s job responsibilities, work schedule, and departmental needs. Telecommuting plans are decided by an employee’s supervisor and may be changed based on the operational needs of the department.

Please be advised if you are patient facing, patient care, or have otherwise been deemed essential in accordance with University Policy 60.1.29 by your department, you may not be eligible to telecommute.

I have previously completed and received approval for a COVID-19 Telecommuting Plan and Acknowledgement Form. I would like to make changes/updates. How do I change my telecommuting plan?

You must speak with your supervisor who can work with you to determine if a change to your previously submitted/approved telecommuting plan is feasible. If your supervisor is in agreement with the proposed changes, you can submit a new COVID-19 Telecommuting and Acknowledgement Form: https://uhr.rutgers.edu/docs/covid-19-telecommuting-plan-acknowledgment

I am currently telecommuting under an approved Telecommuting Plan and Acknowledgement Form, however my supervisor has asked me to physically return to work to perform some or all of my job duties. What do I do if I have concerns about returning to work?

Your supervisor is tasked with ensuring continued operations of your department, and that may mean that previous telecommuting plans must be modified to ensure that departments can continue to provide necessary services.  If you have concerns regarding returning, you should discuss them with your supervisor who can update you on community safety measures that your department has taken and discuss possible alternatives.

I am currently telecommuting under an approved Telecommuting Plan and Acknowledgement Form, however my supervisor has asked me to physically return to work to perform some or all of my job duties. What do I do if I want to explore a potential leave of absence?

Navigate to https://uhr.rutgers.edu/onesource/home and submit a Leave Request case through OneSource for review by our Leave Administration Team. Once reviewed additional steps will be communicated to you via OneSource.

I am currently telecommuting under an approved Telecommuting Plan and Acknowledgement Form, however my supervisor has asked me to physically return to work to perform some or all of my job duties. What do I do if I have a medical condition and want to explore submitting an accommodation request?

Navigate to https://uhr.rutgers.edu/onesource/home and submit an Accommodation Request through OneSource for review by the Office of Employment Equity. Once reviewed additional steps will be communicated to you.

Managers

Must an employee be allowed to telecommute?

The university has temporarily relaxed formal policies on remote work and telecommuting in order to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. This relaxation of policy has allowed for a large percentage of Rutgers University staff to work from home for some or all of their regular work schedule.  The university has encouraged managers and supervisors to implement telecommuting arrangements whenever feasible. Feasibility is determined by an employee’s job responsibilities, work schedule, and other factors. Telecommuting plans are decided by an employee’s manager and may be changed based on business needs.

Please be advised if an employee is patient facing, provides patient care or has otherwise been deemed essential in accordance with University Policy 60.1.29 by your department an employee may not be eligible to telecommute.

The operational need of my department has changed; as a result, I need to make changes to my employee’s previously established telecommuting plan. What do I need to do as a manager?

After communicating expectations to your employee, you should guide your employee to initiate a new COVID-19 Telecommuting Plan and Acknowledgement form on the University Human Resources website: https://uhr.rutgers.edu/docs/covid-19-telecommuting-plan-acknowledgment.

Where do I access the COVID-19 Telecommuting Plan and Acknowledgement form?

The COVID-19 Telecommuting Plan and Acknowledgement Form is accessible from the University Human Resources website: https://uhr.rutgers.edu/docs/covid-19-telecommuting-plan-acknowledgment.

Must an employee be allowed to telecommute 100% of the time?

Due to business needs, it may not be possible to support an arrangement in which the employee works remotely 100% of the time.  When possible, you may work to create schedules that allow employees to have a consistent of a combination of telework and onsite work.

I’ve asked my employee to report to their work location to complete job functions, but the employee does not want to report due to safety concerns.

Ensure that you have consulted the Returning to Rutgers – Institutional Plan for Restart and the University-wide COVID-19 Information pages and are compliant with all safety measures in the work location and have communicate these measures with the employee.

After you have shared the safety measures that have been implemented in the employee’s work location, you may continue to work with the employee to determine additional solutions that will help ensure their safety and security, including creative solutions regarding work space, departmental visitor policies, or work schedules. 

It may not be possible to continue to support an arrangement in which the employee works remotely 100%, after consideration of alternative solutions.

If the employee expresses that their concern is related to their own  medical condition the employee should be directed to Navigate to https://uhr.rutgers.edu/onesource/home and submit an Accommodation Request through OneSource for review by the Office of Employment Equity.

Can employees who are telecommuting be called into work for short periods due to special projects or deadlines?

Yes. As noted on the COVID-19 Telecommuting Plan and Acknowledgement Form, management retains the right to modify telecommuting plans for any reason at any time.

Can an employee telecommute while on an approved leave?

If an employee is on an approved continuous leave of absence, no work can be performed. If the approved leave is intermittent, the employee may telecommute on the days they are not taking leave.