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EIU Human Resources

EIU Temporary Remote Work Policy

This policy has been created as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and relates solely to those employees who receive an approved accommodation from the Office of Human Resources or, with appropriate documentation, is in required isolation or quarantine for COVID-19 exposure or positive COVID-19 test and the employee is asymptomatic. The policy is effective immediately and will continue until modified or rescinded by the administration.

Objective

Telecommuting allows employees, whose position allows for remote work, to work at home or in a satellite location for all or part of their workweek as approved by the Office of Human Resources and related to a COVID-19 accommodation. Telecommuting is not a University-wide benefit, and it in no way changes the terms and conditions of employment with EIU.

Procedures

Any telecommuting arrangement made will be monitored for accountability by the employee’s supervisor. The arrangement may be discontinued at will and at any time at the request of either the telecommuter or the university. Every effort will be made to provide 30 days' notice of such change to accommodate issues that may arise from the termination of a telecommuting arrangement. There may be instances, however, when no notice is possible.

Eligibility

Individuals requesting a telecommuting accommodation related to COVID-19 must file an application with the Office of Human Resources. There are individual applications for faculty and non-faculty employees. In general, accommodations will be approved for individuals who are considered most vulnerable to the deleterious effects that can be caused by the COVID-19 virus. These include one or more of the following conditions:

  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Immunocompromised state
  • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher)
  • Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary heart disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Other unique and extraordinary medical/physical conditions and situations may also be considered for a telecommuting accommodation. In addition, employees who are in required isolation or quarantine due to testing positive for COVID-19 or exposure to someone with COVID-19 and are asymptomatic may, with appropriate documentation, receive a remote work accommodation for the time during isolation or quarantine.

For Non-Faculty Employees:

After receiving a COVID-19 telecommuting accommodation, the employee and supervisor will collaboratively outline the job responsibilities and accountability measures. A draft telecommuting agreement will be prepared and signed by both parties.

Evaluation of telecommuter performance will include regular interaction by phone and e-mail between the employee and the supervisor. Evaluation of telecommuter performance will be consistent with that received by employees working at the office in both content, frequency and expected outcomes.

All non-faculty employees with telecommunicating accommodations for COVID-19 must be available every day during normal work hours, unless using approved vacation leave or sick leave, to assist with issues that may arise in their work unit.

Equipment

On a case-by-case basis, EIU will determine, with information supplied by the employee and the supervisor, the appropriate equipment needs (including hardware, software, and other office equipment) for each telecommuting arrangement. Equipment supplied by the university will be maintained by the university. Equipment supplied by the employee will be maintained by the employee. EIU accepts no responsibility for damage or repairs to employee-owned equipment. EIU reserves the right to make determinations as to appropriate equipment, subject to change at any time. Equipment supplied by the university is to be used for business purposes only. The telecommuter must complete a Temporary Removal of Property Request form to receive EIU equipment and agree to take appropriate action to protect the items from damage or theft. Upon conclusion of the temporary work period or termination of employment, all EIU property will be returned to EIU.

The employee will establish an appropriate work environment within his or her home for work purposes. EIU will not be responsible for costs associated with the setup of the employee's home office, such as set up of internet service and monthly subscription costs, remodeling, furniture or lighting, nor for repairs or modifications to the home office space.

Security

Consistent with the university's expectations of information security for employees working at the office, telecommuting employees will be expected to ensure the protection of proprietary EIU student and operations information accessible from their home office. Steps include the use of locked file cabinets and desks, regular password maintenance, and any other measures appropriate for the job and the environment.

Time Worked

Telecommuting employees will be required to accurately record all hours worked using EIU’s time-keeping system Those employees who are not exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act must receive advanced approval from their supervisor for working any excess hours. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the immediate termination of the telecommuting accommodation.

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