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Interim Telework Policy and Procedures, Effective for the 21/22 Academic Year

Objective

During the COVID Pandemic Pratt will be allowing staff to telework.  Telework allows staff to work at a remote location, for all or part of their work week. Pratt Institute considers telework to be a viable, flexible work option during the pandemic-affected period of operation when both the staff member and the job are suited to such an arrangement. Telework may be appropriate for some staff and jobs but not for others who might be physically required to be on campus all of the work week. Telework is not an entitlement, it is not an institute wide benefit, and it in no way changes the terms and conditions of employment with Pratt Institute. 

Procedures

Managers and supervisors will identify staff who are able to telework either part or all of the time from home. Any telework arrangement made through the end of the 2021/22 academic year may be discontinued at will and at any time at the request of either the teleworker or the Institute. Every effort will be made to provide notice of such change to accommodate commuting, child care and other issues that may arise from the termination of a telework arrangement. There may be instances (e.g. a change in job responsibilities), however, when no notice is possible.

Eligibility

Before entering into any telework agreement, the staff member and manager, with the assistance of the human resource department, will evaluate the suitability of such an arrangement, reviewing the following areas:

  • Staff member suitability – The staff member and manager will assess the needs and work habits of the staff member, compared to traits customarily recognized as appropriate for successful teleworkers.
  • Job responsibilities – The staff member and manager will discuss the job responsibilities and determine if the job is appropriate for a telework arrangement and if in fact the position will require them to work partly on campus and telework.
  • Equipment needs, workspace design considerations and scheduling issues – The staff member and manager will review the physical workspace needs and the appropriate location for the telework. 

If the staff member and manager agree, and the human resource department concurs, a telework agreement will be prepared and signed by all parties.

Evaluation of telework performance during the telework period will include regular interaction by phone, video chat and/or e-mail between the staff member and the manager, and weekly face-to-face video meetings (Google Hangouts or Zoom) to discuss work progress and address problems or challenges. At the end of the designated telework period, the staff member and manager will re-evaluate the need to continue the telework arrangement.

Equipment  

On a case-by-case basis, Pratt Institute will determine, with information supplied by the staff member and the supervisor, the appropriate equipment needs (including hardware, software, equipment) for each telework arrangement. The human resource and information system departments will serve as resources in this matter. Equipment supplied by the organization will be maintained by the organization. Equipment supplied by the staff member, if deemed appropriate by the organization, will be maintained by the staff member. Pratt Institute accepts no responsibility for damage or repairs to staff member-owned equipment. Pratt Institute reserves the right to make determinations as to appropriate equipment, subject to change at any time. Equipment supplied by the organization is to be used for business purposes only. The teleworker must sign an inventory of all Pratt Institute property received and agree to take appropriate action to protect the items from damage or theft. Upon termination of employment, all of the Institute’s property must be returned to the Institute.

Pratt Institute will supply the staff member with appropriate office supplies (pens, paper, etc.) as deemed necessary. Pratt Institute will also reimburse the staff member for business-related expenses, where the staff member could not use the Institutes’ resources with manager approval to carry out the staff member’s job.

The staff member will establish an appropriate work environment within his or her home for work purposes. Pratt Institute will not be responsible for costs associated with the setup of the staff member’s home office, such as remodeling, furniture or lighting, nor for repairs or modifications to the home office space. 

Security

Consistent with Pratt’s expectations of information security for staff working at the office, telework staff are expected to ensure the protection of proprietary institute and student, faculty and/or staff 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.  Remote location should be secure to conduct Pratt business. 

Safety

Staff are expected to maintain their home workspace in a safe manner, free from safety hazards. Pratt Institute will provide each teleworker with a safety checklist that must be reviewed at least once per year. Injuries sustained by the staff member in a home office location and in conjunction with his or her regular work duties are normally covered by the institute’s workers’ compensation policy. Telework staff are responsible for notifying the Institute of such injuries as soon as practicable. The staff member is liable for any injuries sustained by visitors to his or her home worksite.

Telework is not designed to be a replacement for appropriate dependent care. Although an individual staff member’s schedule may be modified to accommodate dependent care needs, the focus of the arrangement must remain on job performance and meeting business demands. 

Time Worked

Telework staff who are not exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act are required to accurately record all hours worked using Pratt Institute’s Kronos time-keeping system. Hours worked in excess of those scheduled per day, and per workweek require the advance approval of the teleworker’s supervisor. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the immediate termination of the telework agreement.


Please contact HR for complete Policies and Procedures. Additional and updated policies and procedures will be made available to the Pratt community as they are approved.