An Alternate Work Location Arrangement (AWLA) is a flexible worksite arrangement on a temporary or fixed basis that serves both the employee and the University's needs. The University recognizes that under limited circumstances working from an alternate location can improve productivity and job performance. An AWLA can also promote administrative efficiencies (e.g., reducing office and parking space), reduce traffic congestion and transportation costs, support continuity of operations plans, and sustain the recruitment and retention of a highly skilled workforce by enhancing work/life balance.
The Pilot Program is effective August 1, 2021.
Definitions & Applicability
- Official Worksite: The primary location(s) of the employee’s assigned department(s) on the FSU campus, including satellite locations.
- Alternate Work Location: An approved location, other than the employee’s official worksite, where the employee’s duties are performed.
- Telework: A temporary, work arrangement under which an employee, on an intermittent or full-time basis, performs their work duties at an alternate work location other than the official worksite through telecommunications. The request for a telework arrangement is voluntary, initiated by the employee, and must go through an approval process.
- Remote Position: A position that has been approved to function 100% off-campus, in an alternate work location on a fixed basis. This designation is notated on the position description, job advertisement, and/or personnel action form. The need for a remote position is based on the position/job functions, and the request for a fixed remote position is initiated by management.
- Dean/Director: In academic units, Dean level approval will be required for all types of telework and remote arrangements. In non-academic units, Director (job codes 9249, 9250, and 9242) level approval will be required for all telework and remote arrangements. Absent a Director level position in the department, approval should be obtained from the next highest-level authority.
- This program applies to A&P, USPS, OPS, and AEX employees. An AWLA is not applicable for one-time pays, courtesy appointments, online classes, most faculty, work performed by an FLSA exempt employee beyond their scheduled 40 hours, or single isolated situations.
- Faculty employees that request their regularly assigned on-campus duties to be performed remotely must have written approval from their Department Head and Dean/Director. If such a request results in the faculty member’s primary work location being outside of the State of Florida, the faculty member must have an approved AWLA on file. Faculty members with a disability-related need under the Americans With Disabilities Act must go through the Reasonable Accommodation process.
- Certain OPS Exempt positions whose primary duties are instruction, research, mentoring, and teaching assistants may not be required to enter into an AWLA if the duties do not normally require an on-campus presence.
- Occasional telework arrangements are approved on a case-by-case basis, are infrequent, and not regularly scheduled. Occasional telework can allow employees to attend to sporadic household appointment needs, continue to perform work during workplace disruptions, including suspended operations, or provide uninterrupted time for project work. Occasional telework does not require a Telework agreement; however, prior supervisory approval must be documented, which can be done by email.
- H-1B employees may not be eligible for an AWLA specifying a location outside of the metropolitan statistical area (MSA) for Tallahassee.
Employees remain responsible for all job duties, and allocation of their weekly work hours based on FTE must be appropriately accounted for through on-site work, a Telework agreement, or approved leave. The University worksite remains the official worksite as the primary location for the performance of the employee’s job duties.
- An employee with supervisory responsibility may not conduct telework in a full-time capacity. Exceptions will require the endorsement of the division Vice President and approval of the Chief Human Resources Officer prior to the execution of an AWLA agreement.
- Telework eligibility will be limited in situations where the job duties require the employee’s physical presence or require access to information or materials only available at the official worksite.
- Broad categories of positions that are not eligible for telework may include but are not limited to on-campus direct service and place-specific positions such as police officers, facilities support staff, parking support staff, student health staff, residence life staff, athletic support and operations positions, receptionist/front desk positions, library direct support staff positions, and IT direct desktop support positions. The Office of Human Resources reserves the right to identify other positions that are not eligible for telework.
- The Dean/Director will determine if the AWLA would result in an increased workload for other employees, reduce the service quality, or negatively impact the University operations. If this is determined, then the operational needs of the department/college are not met, and the request should not be approved.
- Supervisors/Deans/Directors may require employees to report to the official worksite (on-campus) as needed to attend work-related meetings or other events. The employee should be provided reasonable notice, typically at least one calendar day.
An employee’s performance can be measured by quantitative and/or qualitative results-orientated standards.
Unless an exceptional circumstance is present, employees will not be approved for telework until they have completed at least their probationary period, or six months of service for employees that do not serve a probationary period. Additionally, the employee must demonstrate sustained high performance, the ability to organize and manage their time successfully, and is capable of working independently and productively with minimal supervision, as determined by the supervisor and the Dean/Director.
- Employees with disciplinary action within the last year from the date of request, or that are actively under investigation for performance or misconduct are not eligible for telework. Any exceptions must be approved by the Chief Human Resources Officer.
Telework agreements are not guaranteed and may be terminated at any time by the department or Human Resources. Advanced written notice to the employee is recommended, typically at least one calendar day, where possible.
Any request to work at an alternate work location for an amount of time that is no more than two (2) days of the employee’s work week, should be reviewed and approved by the employee’s supervisor, Department Head and the Dean/Director. Vice Presidents can impose additional approval requirements within their areas.
Request and Approval Process:
1. Requests may be approved for a fixed day or flexible day telework schedule, dependent upon the employee’s, department’s, and college’s business needs. Employees should maintain their regularly scheduled work hours and may be approved for up to two days per week taken in full-day increments, prorated by FTE.
2. The department should document the telework request and review it with their respective Dean/Director for final approval. Approved requests should detail the proposed schedule, length of the request, and the alternate work location. All documentation is maintained at the department and college level. Human Resources approval is not required, but consultation is recommended for unique circumstances.
Any telework request that exceeds two (2) days of an employee’s work week should only be considered in exceptional circumstances and requires a higher review and approval level. This would include any temporary telework beyond a local commuting radius or outside of the United States.
Request and Approval Process:
1. The employee or department should initiate a request by completing an Extended Telework Agreement sixty (60) days prior to the requested start date.
2. Required approval levels include Supervisor, Department Head, Dean/Director, Division VP or designee, and the Chief Human Resources Officer.
3. All forms, regardless of the approval/denial at a lower level, must be submitted to the Office of Human Resources. The Office of Human Resources will make all final determinations and notifications.
Designation of Remote Position
FSU is a vibrant residential campus, and as such, the majority of employees must be on-site to support the University environment. The designation of Remote Position, is position-based not person-based, and requires the approval of the Chief Human Resources Officer. This designation is not to be used in lieu of full-time telework. A Remote Position will only be approved based on the location of the job duties or for highly-skilled positions that are difficult to fill as determined by the Office of Human Resources.
Remote based on Job Duties’ Location: The job duties of a position are required, on an ongoing basis, to be performed in a geographic area or alternate work location other than an FSU official worksite.
Example: A research position where the primary job duties are performed within schools/homes in the Miami area.
The advertisement and recruitment location will be targeted to the specific geographic area.
Remote based on Highly Skilled Recruitment Need: When a department would like to advertise a position as eligible for work to be conducted at an alternate work location in an effort to increase the pool of qualified applicants for highly skilled, hard-to-fill positions.
All job duties must be suitable, on an ongoing basis, to be performed remotely.
Positions with supervisory duties are not eligible. Exceptions will require the approval of the Chief Human Resources Officer.
Positions classified as USPS (non-exempt) and AEX are not eligible.
Request and Approval Process for Remote Positions
1. Departments requesting that a position be designated as remote must consult with their Classification Specialist in Human Resources prior to initiating the recruitment process. Required levels of approvals include Department Head, Dean/Director, Division VP or designee, and the Chief Human Resources Officer.
2. Once approved, departments must update the position description to notate the Remote Position designation by submitting an ePAF. Once the ePAF is approved to update the position, the department can recruit for the position in accordance with University policies.
3. If a position is Remote based on Highly Skilled Recruitment Need, ongoing approval is required. When a position previously approved for remote work becomes vacant, the position must be reviewed and receive approval for continued remote designation from the Office of Human Resources before advertising.
4. Approval for positions designated as Remote can revoked at any time, for any reason, subject to respective collective bargaining agreements.
5. Documentation: The Remote Position designation must be notated on the position description, where possible, and must be included in the job advertisement.
In exceptional circumstances, based on the singular nature of the situation, the Associate Vice President for Human Resources may designate a situation to be appropriate for telework or for a position to be appropriate for Remote. All routine requests for telework by departments or employees must be processed through the above-outlined telework request process.
- An employee on an AWLA may be required, as needed, to work a regular schedule at the official worksite or participate in training sessions outside of the alternate work location. The employee should be provided reasonable notice, typically at least one calendar day.
- Employees are not permitted to work at other jobs, operate their own business, or be solely responsible for providing child/dependent/elder care during their scheduled work hours regardless of the specific work location.
- Employees must maintain an appropriate professional demeanor and compliance with University guidelines and expectations regardless of the alternate work location. The employee shall not conduct in-person University business at the alternate work location.
- All changes to the AWLA must be communicated in writing to the supervisor and reviewed by the Dean/Director for ongoing agreement eligibility. This specifically includes changing the designated alternate work location.
- The supervisor and Dean/Director are responsible for ensuring that official AWLA paperwork has been submitted and applicable approval received from the Office of Human Resources prior to any work being conducted at an alternate work location.
- The supervisor must actively monitor and ensure that the employee is productive, adhering to the AWLA, and following all University rules, policies, and procedures.
- The supervisor must provide the employee reasonable notice, typically at least one calendar day, when their physical presence is required at the official worksite outside of the alternate work location when warranted by business needs.
- If the supervisor, Department Head, and Dean/Director determine that the employee is not fulfilling the AWLA as agreed or business needs change, the Office of Human Resources will review and approve the justification for termination of the AWLA and determine the reasonable notice period.
- Employees will be compensated for work performed and paid leave taken in a manner consistent with all University employees. Under no circumstances does telework or a Remote Position substitute for the use of leave (paid or unpaid).
- AWLA’s do not change the terms or conditions of employment. Employees are expected to observe all University rules, policies, and procedures, especially those related to leave requests, overtime approval, and maintaining accurate time records. Absent exceptional circumstances identified by the Office of Human Resources, all employees under an AWLA must perform the same job duties that they would at the official worksite.
- It is the employee’s and supervisor’s responsibility to ensure compliance with all Fair Labor Standards Act requirements, any additional requirements designated by the state/city/county of the alternate work location, and Visa implications for an alternate work location outside of the current MSA or the United States.
- Official University Travel as it Relates to AWLAs:
- An employee approved for telework is not eligible for travel reimbursement for their regular commute to or from the designated official worksite.
- An employee working in a Remote Work position may be eligible for reimbursement for travel from the alternate work location to the Official Campus Location. (Note: all University travel policies and procedures are applicable.)
- Employees working remotely as part of official University travel are not required to request a Telework agreement. However, if the travel is extended beyond the official period and there is a need to work remotely during the extended time, a Telework agreement may be required.
- Florida State University assumes no liability for injuries occurring in the employee’s home (or other alternate work location) outside of approved work hours. Workers’ Compensation coverage is limited to injuries arising out of and in the course of an employee’s FSU employment in designated work areas during work hours. In the event of a work-related injury, AWLA employees are responsible for notifying their supervisor, the University’s Worker’s Compensation Administrator (AmeriSys), and working with the supervisor to complete an Accident Investigation Report per the Florida State University Workers’ Compensation guidelines.
- The University will not authorize payment for operating costs, home maintenance expenses, or other costs incurred by employees using their homes as alternate work locations. This includes, but is not limited to, providing office furniture, computer equipment (such as desktops, laptops, multiple monitors, and docking stations), and/or telephone/internet access. Employees should assume responsibility for all costs before entering into an AWLA.
- Medically Related Telework: An employee on approved leave is not eligible for telework until after being released from the hospital (or other treatment centers) and receiving medical clearance from their physician.
- Family Medical Leave (FMLA) applies to employees with a Telework agreement in a manner consistent with all University employees. Specifically, for an FMLA related continuous absence of five or more calendar days, a Return to Work/Fitness for Duty Statement is necessary before any work can be performed at the alternate work location.
- Pregnancy Accommodation/Parental Leave: Telework may be applicable for an expectant parent or beneficial for new parents during the first six months after birth/adoption. Telework requests are processed in conjunction with FMLA/Parental Leave requests. Employee Eligibility/Criteria and Employee/Supervisor responsibilities outlined in the previous section will be followed.
- Disability-related Reasonable Accommodation: In the event that a Telework request is related to an ongoing disability-related need, the University’s ADA Reasonable Accommodation process will take precedent. A Reasonable Accommodation Request Form should be submitted before an AWLA.
- Failure to adhere to the requirements outlined in this program may result in the termination of the AWLA and/or disciplinary action.