CalHR Telework Policy
The telework schedule allows employees and supervisors to mutually agree upon a varied distribution of their normal work hours. It does not change the number of hours worked, but simply allows each individual the flexibility to rearrange their work schedule to better meet their personal needs while considering the needs of the office.
The major benefits of a telework schedule are:
- Improve program effectiveness and employee productivity and morale;
- Facilitate optimum utilization of CalHR office and parking facilities;
- Reduce absenteeism;
- Promote employee health and wellness;
- Improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion;
- Improve employee recruitment and retention;
- Enhance the working life and opportunities of persons with disabilities;
- Effectively continue business as a part of a disaster recovery or emergency plan.
The California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) encourages the use of teleworking and telecommuting where it's a viable option and clearly defines the benefits to the employee and management. The department recognizes the benefits of such work options for employees when both program and employee personal needs can be addressed.
Managers and employees must understand that adherence to the policy and procedures are an essential requirement of the telework program.
Only permanent CalHR employees are eligible for participation in the telework program. This includes probationary employees and/or limited-term (LT) employees who have previously attained permanent status. Employees serving in a training capacity or providing hands-on service will not normally be approved to participate in the telework program on a regular, ongoing basis.
The employee must maintain a minimum balance of 40 hours of excess hours and/or leave credits (excluding sick leave) to qualify and continue to participate in this program.
Responsibilities and Approvals
Managers/supervisors are responsible to ensure that their Divisions and working units have coverage during the core CalHR hours of: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., including the lunch period. Consideration should be given to the employees' workload and the type of work performed. These issues must be considered prior to approving any request for a telework schedule.
Prior to approving the Telework Agreement (CalHR 895), managers/supervisors must consider the impact the proposed work schedule will have on fellow employees, employee morale, as well as the functional needs of the division as a whole. The Division chiefs are responsible to ensure necessary adjustments are implemented and that the telework policy is administered in a manner that will positively impact their Division.
In addition, the employee's attendance record shall be reviewed. Careful consideration must be given before approving a telework schedule for any employee whose leave balances are consistently at or just below the required 40 hour minimum. Exceptions to this policy can be made at the discretion of the Division Chief; however, the reason for approval must be documented.
All telework schedules will be conditionally approved for a 3 to 6 month trial period. The trial period should allow sufficient time to determine what impact the scheduling change may have on meeting workload commitments, assessing impact on attendance, as well as allowing the employee and their supervisor to determine whether the new work schedule will meet the needs of the individual and the division.
Any adjustments to the employee's original request should be discussed with the employee in order to develop a work schedule that is agreeable to both the supervisor and the employee. Adjustments to the original agreement must be documented.
Participation in the telework program is voluntary and subject to the prior written approval by the employee, the employee's immediate supervisor and their division chief. Approval must be completed prior to the start of the employee's telework schedule by execution of a Telework Agreement, Telework Assignment Log, Supervisor's Checklist, and Safety Checklist. Once division approval has been given, the original copy of the Telework Agreement and subsequent adjustments must be kept by the employee's supervisor or manager with a copy placed in the employee's personnel file and a copy given to the employee.
Telework Assignment Log
A Telework Assignment Log (Form CalHR 900) must be completed, reviewed and approved by manager/supervisor prior to any telework day(s). A Telework Assignment Log must be submitted for each day the employee is participating in the Telework program. Following the Telework day, the employee must submit the completed, updated form to include notes regarding the status of all assignments to their supervisor.
The period of time during which all employees are expected to work.
Each division is responsible for establishing their core hours. Managers/supervisors are responsible to ensure that staff is available to cover key unit functions during the normal work hours.
Regular Business Hours
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday with a 1 hour lunch period.
A minimum of 30 minutes must be taken for lunch.
If an employee becomes ill on a scheduled telework day, the employee shall follow their division's established protocol used for reporting absences.
Regular Work Week
Employees working a standard 5 day, 40 hour week schedule have their work begin on Sunday at 12:01 a.m. and end at 12:00 midnight the following Saturday.
An employee who does not come into the office to work everyday, but works from home or another established location for a pre-established number of days. Employee must be available and accessible by phone and email during their agreed upon scheduled core business hours as determined by their approved time base.
Regular Telework Schedule
Regular telework means an established schedule of days per week or month. A regular telework schedule must be established prior to the start of the work arrangement and must be mutually agreed to by the employee and the supervisor. Any change in the agreed upon schedule must be approved by the supervisor, and when permanent, documented and appended to the Telework Agreement. The supervisor and the teleworker must take actions to prevent the teleworker from becoming isolated from office staff. Schedule changes are to be approved by the appropriate Division Chief.
An employee must forgo telework if needed in the office on a regularly scheduled telework day. The employee may be called in to the office when necessary to meet operational needs. The manager or supervisor should provide reasonable notice whenever possible. However, the employee may be required to report to the office without advance notice, as needed.
While working away from the office, employees must be accessible for communication (e.g., telephone, pager, e-mail, etc.). Specific requirements are subject to the needs of the Division as determined by the manager/supervisors and Division chief.
Full-time telework is permissible only when necessary and justified (e.g., to accommodate medical restrictions or disabilities) and depends on the needs of the job and demonstration of a clear benefit to program objectives and operations.
Employees may be allowed to telework on a temporary basis as their duty assignment permits. If the request is of a medical nature, written documentation approving the telework arrangement must be provided by a doctor or other licensed practitioner. Circumstances which may be appropriate for "casual" telework include, but are not limited to:
- Special project work which requires a period of uninterrupted time.
- During convalescence from injury or illness.
- While a family member is recovering and needs in-home assistance.
- During the last few weeks of pregnancy, and/or following the birth of a child.
- While all reasonable commute routes are blocked (i.e., major construction, storm, or disaster).
- Primary work site is inaccessible or uninhabitable.
Expenses Incurred While Working a Telework Schedule
Expenses incurred as a result of working a telework schedule will not be reimbursed by the State including, but not limited to, the following: usage fees for privately owned computers, utility costs associated with the use of telephone, computer or occupation of the home, or travel to the Central office if required to come in on a telework day.
Termination of Telework Participation
The Telework Agreement may be cancelled at any time by either the employee or CalHR by written notification or at the discretion of the supervisor to include, but not limited to, the following: exceptional and verifiable needs of the department; change in the employee's work function, employee non-satisfactory performance, failure to maintain the acceptable leave balances, or abuse of the telework policy.
Procedures and Considerations
In many of CalHR's job assignments, access to the computer network is essential for obtaining work-related information, processing work and communicating. The effectiveness of performing work at a remote location, such as a home office, may be greatly diminished if an employee does not have access to the computer network. However, under specific situations of a temporary duration, such as providing reasonable accommodation for permanently disabled and displaced employees, management may allow an employee to telework periodically when they do not have access to a computer or the computer system.
Participation in the CalHR telework program should be based on the ability of the employee to perform tasks that can be completed from remote locations, such as a home office and the manager's assessment of the employee's ability to complete those tasks satisfactorily. Consideration, on a case-by-case basis, should be given to the following:
Does the employee have the necessary knowledge to perform the required job tasks at home or does the employee need close supervision or input from others that is only available at the office?
Does the employee have a history of reliability and responsibility in reporting to work on time and completing work assignments? Is the employee motivated and self-directed? Does the employee demonstrate an ability to establish priorities and effectively manage his/her time?
Does the individual already work alone handling information tasks such as thinking, planning, coordinating, writing, reading, analysis, teleconferencing, computer programming, word processing or data entry? Can tasks, which can be completed away from the office, be grouped and scheduled for telework days? Can staff meetings and conferences be grouped and scheduled for non-telework days or accommodated through other means (e.g., teleconferencing)?
What portion of the job is devoted to face-to-face contact with other agencies, the public or internal staff? Can this contact be structured to allow for communication via phone or computer, or grouped into non-telework days, or can alternatives be established to provide this contact on telework days?
What portion of the job requires the use of reference materials or resources located in the designated work site? Can these resources be easily taken home for a day or two without interfering with co-workers' job performance? Are these resources available through other means such as a computer accessible library service?
Use of Computers
Will response time on computer equipment used at home be fast enough to allow for required productivity? If network access is needed, does the correct "dial-up" capability exist? If long-distance "dial-up" is necessary, is the cost prohibitive? If connection to a Local Area Network (LAN) at the work place is required, are the necessary hardware components in place? Has the employee completed training for and demonstrated an adequate level of skill in use of the computer and software that will be used for teleworking?
Changes in work schedules or temporary telework assignments may be made at a division chief's discretion to meet management needs or to accommodate an employee's request (e.g., convalescence, parental leave, etc.)
What portion of the job relies upon access to photocopiers, fax capabilities or other specialized equipment? Can access be managed to allow teleworkers needs to be met on non-telework days or can these needs be satisfied at a facility near the employee's telework office?
What portion of the job uses secured or otherwise confidential information and can the integrity of that information be secured in accordance with information security policies if it is taken or accessed from off site?
Does the job involve field work? Can trips begin or end at the employee's off site office rather than at the main office?
Administer the telework program in their respective divisions, including ensuring compliance with all applicable policies and procedures; identifying positions suitable for the telework option, and determining whether the department should provide equipment and software on a case by case basis. Software may in some instances be approved, when the division chief approves the purchase of the necessary licenses.
Unless there are extreme mitigating circumstances, the department will not provide equipment and software when a similarly equipped workstation is maintained at the office for the employee seeking a telework option. Provision of equipment for a teleworker will normally be an exceptional situation in which the division chief determines a clear benefit to the program and the employee has special needs.
Managers and Supervisors
- Determine if proposals for their employees to telework are likely to contribute to CalHR's objectives, while maintaining or improving program objectives, efficiency, productivity, service, benefits, and safety conditions;
- Ensure that employees who remain in the office are not burdened by being required to handle the teleworker's regular assignments (i.e., answering telephone calls, dispensing information, etc.);
- Through the use of Work Assignment Logs or other tracking tools, provide specific, measurable, and attainable performance expectations for the teleworker; define in detail, assignments, corresponding deadlines, and the quality of the work expected;
- Provide for employee training in the use of equipment and software as required for the employee to function effectively and independently;
- Inform employees that failure to comply with the policy and procedures may cause for terminating participation in the program and/or possible adverse action;
- Maintain copies of signed Employee's Safety Checklist, Supervisor's Checklist, Telework Agreement, and Telework Assignment Logs;
- Obtain division chief approval.
- When telework is determined to be a viable work option, employees must work with their supervisor to develop and follow an acceptable Telework Agreement and Telework Assignment Logs;
- Abide by the provisions set forth in this CalHR Telework Program Policy and document;
- Adhere to all applicable laws, rules, regulations, policies, and procedures regarding information security as outlined below in "Information Security";
- Acquire the skills necessary to meet department requirements and operate independently from a telework site;
- Establish and maintain an acceptable and safe home office environment as outlined in "Work Environment Criteria" and "Setting up a Home Office" outlined below. (Employees are required to complete the "Safety Checklist" and certify to its accuracy annually when the Telework Agreement is renewed.);
- Establish, operate and maintain the home office, equipment, devices, and services associated with the telework arrangement;
- Comply with tax laws. (CalHR is not responsible for substantiating a teleworker's claim of tax deductions for operation of a home office used to perform State work. Employees should seek advice from a tax advisor concerning home office deductions.)
- Assist CalHR employees and management in understanding the Telework Policy and Procedures;
- Maintain and update CalHR's Telework Policy and Procedures as needed.
Equipment, Software, Services, Maintenance, Repair, and Replacement
CalHR will not purchase computers, software, software licenses, Internet or phone services or office equipment such as printers, fax machines, calculators, or furniture for in-home telework.
In addition, the selection, installation, maintenance, repair or replacement of employee-owned equipment and software is the responsibility of the employee. Computer equipment should have a configuration that is compatible with CalHR's Information Technology (IT) infrastructure. In the event of equipment malfunction, the teleworker must notify his/her supervisor immediately. If repairs will take some time, the teleworker may be asked to report to the main office until the equipment is usable.
Work Environment Criteria
The opportunity to participate in a home telework program is offered with the understanding that it is the responsibility of the employee to ensure that a proper work environment is maintained as follows:
- Designate an area that allows for working in an office setting. Ensure that the equipment necessary to perform the work is in the designated area;
- Make advance arrangements for dependent care to ensure a productive work environment. (Telework is not intended to be a substitute for day care or other personal obligations.);
- Keep personal disruptions such as non-business telephone calls and visitors to a minimum;
- Obtain pre-approval from the supervisor for use of vacation time or sick leave to attend to family or home matters during home office hours; and
- Ensure that the home office is a safe place to work. See "Setting Up A Home Office" below.
Security of confidential information is of primary concern and importance to CalHR. Teleworkers, like all State employees, are expected to adhere to all applicable laws, rules, regulations, policies, and procedures regarding information security: The following are basic information security guidelines:
- Use CalHR information assets only for authorized purposes, and ensure that confidential information is not disclosed to any unauthorized person;
- Back up critical information on a regular basis to assure the information can be recovered if the primary source is damaged or destroyed;
- Use "logon" passwords on all systems containing confidential information and keep those passwords secure;
- Use the latest virus protection software on telework systems used to prepare information for subsequent use on DPA systems;
- Return material (paper documents, diskettes, etc.) containing all confidential information to CalHR for proper handling or disposal, if necessary; and
- Adhere to copyright law by not copying or sharing any CalHR owned software utilized by teleworkers, and when no longer employed by CalHR, remove all such software from the home computer and return any software media to CalHR.
Health and Safety
Failure to maintain a proper and safe work environment, in accordance with this policy, may be cause for terminating an employee from the telework program.
If an employee incurs a work-related injury while teleworking, worker's compensation laws and rules apply just as they would if such an injury occurred at the main office. Employees must notify their supervisor immediately and complete all necessary documents regarding the injury.
Setting Up a Home Office
It is important for all employees to maintain a healthy, safe and ergonomically sound work environment while working in the office or at a remote location. The major difference between the employer's office and the home office is ownership and control over the workplace.
A "Safety Checklist" must be completed by the potential teleworker prior to the beginning of home teleworking and all items must be reviewed and evaluated as being satisfactory.
Protecting Data and Equipment
The following computer safeguards can prevent costly computer breakdowns and the loss of crucial data:
- Position equipment away from direct sunlight or heat.
- Place equipment on well-ventilated surfaces.
- Dust the office space regularly and use dust covers.
- Do not eat or drink near data or equipment.
- Do not touch or place heavy objects on CD-ROM surfaces.
- Keep CD-ROMs away from heat, dirt, smoke and moisture.
- Keep all magnets, magnetic paper clip holders, fluorescent lamps and electric motors away from computer equipment.
Smoke Detectors - The Health and Safety Code, Sections 13113.7 and 13113.8 require that dwellings be provided with smoke detectors. Employees are responsible for assuring home compliance with these requirements. Smoke detectors placed in the home work area must meet the following criteria:
- The detector must be placed in a location, which monitors the work area, and any electronic equipment used to support teleworking.
- Must be approved by Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) and/or State Fire Marshall, and have a functional test mechanism.
- Detectors should be tested at the time of installation and on a monthly basis. Detectors which are wired into the house electrical system and have a battery backup should be checked with main power both on and off. Battery operated detectors should be cleaned and equipped with fresh batteries as recommended by the manufacturer.
Fire Extinguisher - The designated work area must be equipped with a UL approved fire extinguisher. Employees are responsible for assuring home compliance with this requirement. The fully charged extinguisher should be made easily and readily accessible near the work area (no more than 10 feet from electronic teleworking equipment).
Checklists and Agreement
Before Starting Telework
These procedures are to be followed prior to the start of a telework schedule:
- The employee submits a written request to his/her immediate supervisor, who should discuss the proposal with his/her division chief. If the proposal is viewed as having potential for approval, the following steps should be followed.
- A "Safety Checklist" is completed, signed and dated by the employee and submitted to the supervisor/manager for approval and signature.
- Supervisor completes the Supervisor's Checklist. The employee and supervisor sign and date the bottom of the form. The supervisor retains the signed form.
- Supervisor or the employee completes the Telework Agreement and Telework Assignment Log. The agreements are signed and dated by the teleworker, supervisor and division chief, with the division chief having final decision making responsibility for approval of the Telework agreement. The manager/supervisor retains the original signed form.
Within two weeks of starting the telework schedule:
The Workstation Checklist is submitted by the employee to his/her supervisor or manager for review. The supervisor or manager will then sign and date the checklist below the employee name and sends to the employee's division chief for retention with the teleworker's file.
The following checklist must be completed prior to the beginning of home teleworking.
Fire Protection Household
Smoke Alarm/Detector (UL Approved)
Fire Extinguisher (UL Approved)
Easy access to fire extinguisher
Computer User's Handbook reviewed
Workstation checklist will be completed by (date):
Uncluttered work environment
Home office safety re-certification will be required on an annual basis.
I certify that my home office meets all the above requirements.
Employee Signature and Date:
Denied (Provide reason)
Supervisor Signature and Date:
Name of Employee:
Name of Supervisor:
The following tasks must be completed prior to the start of the telework arrangement.
Employee and Supervisor have read and agree to abide by the provisions of the CalHR Telework Policy and Procedures.
Performance expectations have been discussed and are clearly understood.
Appropriate training has been arranged for, completed, and skill levels evaluated.
The employee is familiar with requirements pertaining to the security and confidentiality of data and information.
Phone contact procedures have been clearly defined.
Citrix Access Request form (CalHR 870) must be completed, signed by employee and division chief and submitted to IMS for approval and authorization.
Other items discussed:
Employee's Signature and Date:
Supervisor's Signature and Date:
Name of Teleworker:
Mobile Phone (if applicable):
The division chief, supervisor and the teleworker have read and understand the CalHR Telework Policy and Procedures. All parties understand that the Telework agreement may be terminated by the division chief or the teleworker as indicated in this policy and associated procedures. The supervisor and the teleworker have read, understand, completed, and signed the "Supervisor's Checklist," prior to participation in the telework program and further agree to the following:
It is understood that telework days must be scheduled in advance and approved by the supervisor. At certain times, it may be necessary for the telework schedule to be revised to ensure critical deadlines are met or to attend meetings. Any change by the teleworker in the agreed upon schedule must be pre-approved, and when permanent, documented and appended to the Telework Agreement.
The following telework schedule is being established:
- Date of first scheduled telework day:
- Telework days and hours will typically be:
- Teleworker will be available for communication on telework days during the hours of:
This arrangement must be reviewed and renewed at least annually to ensure the standards for participation are being followed.
The teleworker will provide necessary security for both electronic and paper information.
Work Effectiveness and Safety
The teleworker agrees to:
- Master computer hardware and software skills necessary to perform the assigned telework duties.
- Learn and apply ergonomic safety practices.
- Establish and maintain a safe home office environment.
- Ensure customer needs take precedence over the home office schedule.
- Proactively stay in touch with customers.
- Ensure the work takes precedence over family and home matters during home office hours.
- Make arrangements for dependent care, if applicable.
- Produce electronic work products that are usable in CalHR's automated system with no additional work.
Telework Assignment Log
Task(s) Assigned Estimated Hours:
Total Estimated Hours:
Task(s) Assigned Actual Hours:
Total Actual Hours:
||Estimated Hours: |
|Total Estimated Hours:
||Actual Hours: |
|Total Actual Hours: