Telecommuting Guidelines
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Sam Wilkins, Director
South Carolina Office
of Human Resources
8301 Parklane Road
Suite A220
Columbia, SC 29223
Phone: (803) 896-5300

INSPECTOR GENERAL'S
FRAUD HOTLINE

(State Agency fraud only)

1-855-SCFRAUD
or
1-855-723-7283

Telecommuting is a work arrangement where selected State employees are allowed to perform the normal duties and responsibilities of their positions, through the use of computers or other telecommunication equipment, at home or at an alternate work location apart from the employee's usual location of work. Telecommuting may be a part-time or a full-time arrangement. The employee may be expected to report to the official work location on a scheduled or an as-needed basis.

General Statements:

1. Telecommuting is a management option and not a universal employee benefit. It is the Agency's option to allow an employee to telecommute through the Agency's telecommuting policy.

2. An employee's participation in the Agency's telecommuting program is voluntary.

3. The agency head should identify a member of his staff to be the Telecommuting Coordinator.

Eligibility Requirements for Telecommuting:

1. The Agency should identify the job classes or positions with duties or portions considered appropriate for telecommuting.
2. To be eligible to apply for telecommuting, an employee should have completed six months of satisfactory employment with the Agency. This six month requirement may be waived at the discretion of the Agency Head or his designee. The Agency may identify a list of skills and characteristics deemed necessary for the employee to be a successful telecommuter. Employees in a warning period of substandard performance are not eligible for telecommuting.

Application for Telecommuting:

1. An eligible employee shall complete an Application for Telecommuting and submit the request to his supervisor for review and final approval by the agency head or his designee. The Application for Telecommuting shall include the minimum requirements in the State Employee Telecommuting Guidelines.

2. Requests for telecommuting will be considered on an individual basis to determine if the employee has the necessary skills and abilities to be a telecommuter and if the duties, or a portion of the duties, of the employee's position can be adequately performed by telecommuting. Telecommuting is not considered a substitute for child or elder care.

3. The Agency must approve the request prior to the employee beginning to telecommute. Upon approval, the employee agrees to follow all requirements of the Agency's Telecommuting Policy and any additional requirements agreed upon by the Agency and employee.

Conditions of Telecommuting:

1. The employee's duties, responsibilities, and conditions of employment remain the same as if the employee were working at the Agency's official work location. The employee will continue to comply with Federal and State laws and regulations, as well as Agency policies and procedures, while working at the remote location.

2. Telecommuting will not adversely affect an employee's eligibility for advancement or any other employee right or benefit. An employee will be compensated for all pay, leave, overtime, and travel entitlement as if all duties were being performed at the employee's usual work location.

3. Work hours, overtime compensation (for non-exempt employees), compensatory time, and leave benefits will not change as a result of telecommuting. Requests to work overtime or use sick, annual, or other leave must be approved by the Agency in the same manner as when the employee was working at the employee's usual work location. An employee shall not work overtime unless authorized in advance by the Agency or as otherwise authorized by the Agency's overtime policy.

4. The employee agrees to designate a separate work space in the remote site for the purposes of telecommuting and will maintain this area in a safe condition, free from hazards and other dangers to the employee and the Agency's equipment. To ensure the safety of the work space, the employee agrees to complete and return to the Agency a Telecommuting Work Space Checklist which will certify the employee's alternate work space complies with health and safety requirements. The employee must submit this checklist to the Agency before he may begin to telecommute. The employee agrees that the Agency shall have reasonable access to the work space for the purposes of inspection of the site and retrieval of Agency-owned property.

5. The alternate work location is considered an extension of the employee's
usual work location; therefore, workers' compensation will continue to exist
for the employee when performing official work duties in the defined work space
during approved telecommuting hours. Any work related injuries must be reported
to the employee's supervisor immediately.

6. The Agency may provide all or part of the equipment necessary for
accomplishing work assignments.

7. The Agency will cover the cost of installation, repair, or maintenance of
State-owned equipment at the alternate work location; however, the Agency
typically should not cover the cost of repair or maintenance of the employee's
personal equipment.

8. The Agency's security controls and conditions for use of the state-owned
equipment for the official work location will also apply to alternate work
locations. All official Agency records, files, and documents must be protected
from unauthorized disclosure or damage and returned safely to the official work
location. The employee will return all Agency equipment, files, and documents
to the Agency immediately upon termination of telecommuting or of the
employee's employment.

9. No employee engaged in telecommuting will be allowed to conduct
face-to-face, agency-related business at his home office. An employee
understands that he will be liable for injuries or damages to the person or
property of third parties or any members of the employee's family in the
alternate work location.

Termination of Telecommuting:

1. The Agency may terminate the telecommuting arrangement at any time with or
without cause, and this determination is final in terms of administrative
review.

Reporting Requirements:

1. The Agency will provide an annual report to the Office of Human Resources on
the Agency's utilization of telecommuting.