Telework Policy :: Northern Virginia Community College

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Telework Policy

Policy Number: 402

Categorized: Human Resources

Responsible Office: AVP for Human Resources

Subject: Policy and procedures governing teleworking by employees

Related Policies:

Forms: Telework Memorandum of Agreement , Inventory: Property Loan Request

Additional Information:

Effective Date: 09/10/2019

Last Reviewed Date: 08/01/2019

1. Scope

The policy and procedures apply to all administrative and professional faculty, classified staff, and non-student wage employees of Northern Virginia Community College at all College locations.

2. Policy Statement

It is the policy of Northern Virginia Community College to allow or require employees, in appropriate situations, to telework. Telework can improve work performance, increase employee retention, reduce commuting costs, reduce departmental costs, allow temporary or permanent job modifications for Return-to-Work and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, and improve employee’s quality of work life.

Telework agreements must comply with all applicable federal, state and College regulations and laws. Telework may not be suitable for all employees or positions. Telework is not an employee benefit; no College employee is entitled to or guaranteed the opportunity to telework. Telework must not interfere with the functioning of business operations or customer service.

For continuity of operations during emergency or inclement weather closings, the employee who enters into a telework agreement may be expected to telework for the duration of the closing. If the employee is unable to telework during an emergency or inclement weather closing due to illness or dependent care responsibilities, the employee may be asked to take appropriate leave.

When circumstances, (e.g., power failure) prevent the employee from teleworking at the alternate work locations designated on the Telework Memorandum of Agreement, the employee may be asked and expected to report to a central workplace, other alternative locations, or be granted emergency closing authorization, on a case-by-case basis.

3. Definitions

Alternative Work Site: An acceptable non-College-controlled location for performing job duties and responsibilities.

Telework Memorandum of Agreement: Document signed by the supervisor, participating employee, appropriate Administrative Council member, and Human Resources stating the conditions and description of responsibilities and duties under the telework arrangement.

Telework: A work option where an employee of Northern Virginia Community College works at an approved alternative work site for an agreed period of time with any remainder of work time spent at the College work site.

4. Procedures

4.1 Approval

A telework eligible position should require minimal supervision and minimum in-person contact with other college employees and customers. Telework must not alter the essential job responsibilities nor compromise the level of service provided to the customer, either by the employee or the department. The employee should demonstrate work habits and performance suited to successful teleworking. Unless specifically included as part of the job responsibilities upon hire, employees in a probationary status may not telework.

If a position is conducive for teleworking, the supervisor and employee must develop a Telework Memorandum of Agreement (Form 105-109). The Telework Memorandum of Agreement must provide specific details of the telework work option. If intermittent telework is allowed, the circumstances for telework must be described on the Telework Memorandum of Agreement. The alternative work site provided in the agreement will be the only location a telework employee may telework.

The employee, supervisor, appropriate dean/director or AVP level supervisor, and relevant Administrative Council member must sign the agreement and, if applicable, an Inventory: Property Loan Request (Form 105-005) and submit the agreement to Human Resources for approval.

The supervisor maintains discretion over changes to and the continuation of a telework agreement. If the supervisor wishes to terminate the telework agreement, the supervisor will give the employee at least one week’s notice. Any changes or discontinuation of a telework agreement must be submitted to Human Resources for approval.

An employee seeking telework as a reasonable accommodation for a disability must first consult with the Office of Fair Practices. Supervisors should not approve telework as an accommodation for disability without consulting with the Office of Fair Practices. The Office of Fair Practices will review the request in accord with the Accommodation of Employees with Disabilities policy and respond to both the employee and supervisor.

4.2 Requirements for Teleworking

  1. All work objectives and tasks must be clearly defined with measurable results for the teleworking position.
  2. The required number of work hours will not change due to teleworking. Employees who telework are responsible for reporting time worked, leave used, and for adhering to College and state attendance policies. Compensatory leave or overtime must be approved in advance by the supervisor.
  3. Employees will not provide dependent care during telework hours.
  4. Telework cannot be used to substitute for sick leave.
  5. Employees who telework must adhere to all College, VCCS, and Department of Human Resource Management Polices, as well as state and federal laws.
  6. Employees who telework must maintain annual performance evaluations at the level of "Contributor" or higher.
  7. Employees who telework must maintain an alternative work site that is free from potential hazards. In the event of a job-related injury, the employee must report the event to his/her supervisor and Human Resources. The College is not liable for any injuries sustained by visitors to his/her alternative worksite.
  8. Supervisors may require employees to report to a central workplace as needed for work-related meetings or other events.

4.3 Responsibilities

  1. Human Resources will:
    • audit and maintain records on telework agreements for administrative faculty, full and part-time classified, and wage personnel to ensure compliance with all applicable state and College regulations, as well as state and federal laws.
    • provide training and guidance on the application of the telework policy and procedures.
  2. Supervisors are responsible for:
    • assuring telework requests they approve are within the scope of this policy.
    • ensuring the Telework Memorandum of Agreement provides clear expectations.
    • determining what products, documents, records, and equipment can be taken to or maintained at the alternative work site.
    • submitting the telework agreement to Human Resources for review and maintenance.
    • ensuring the telework arrangements are reviewed annually during the evaluation period and if the telework arrangement continues, a new agreement is completed, signed by appropriate parties, and submitted to Human Resources for approval.
    • ensuring the employee who teleworks completes work assignments and work hours.
    • reviewing the telework agreement after three (3) months to ensure the needs of the department and customer service requirements are being met.
  3. Employees who telework are responsible for:
    • maintaining compliance with Telework Memorandum of Agreement.
    • maintaining a performance evaluation rating of “Contributor” or higher.
    • reporting job-related injuries to the supervisor or Human Resources. In the event of a life-threatening emergency, the employee should first seek immediate medical attention and then notify Human Resources and the supervisor as soon as possible.
    • ensuring all products, documents, records, and equipment are maintained in compliance with NOVA and State/Federal guidelines and kept secure.
    • obtaining information about how eligibility for Commuter Choice benefits.

4.4 Work Schedule and Accessibility

  1. The supervisor and employee must establish a formal weekly schedule.
    • The schedule must state the number of telework hours per week, and the specific days of the week or hours approved for telework.
    • Telework agreements must state the number of hours spent on site. Onsite hours will include: time for direct interaction between the supervisor and the employee who is teleworking, time for direct interaction between the employee who is teleworking, departmental coworkers and other essential team members, and time spent in job related meetings and training sessions.
    • If intermittent telework is approved, the specific circumstances for teleworking must be listed on the Telework Memorandum of Agreement.
  2. The supervisor and employee must agree on the manner and timing of communication between the approved alternative work site and the central work site.
    • The employee must be reachable via telephone or e-mail during agreed upon hours of accessibility.
    • The employee and supervisor will agree on how to handle telephone messages, and will designate which persons will be given the employee's alternate work site phone number.

4.5 Supplies, Equipment and Furniture

  1. NOVA will provide a college laptop to employees who telework. The employee will be responsible for providing all other furniture and equipment at the approved alternative work site, unless otherwise specified in the Telework Agreement. NOVA is not responsible for loss, damage, or wear of the employee's own personal furniture and equipment. Repair and replacement costs and liability for personally owned equipment and furniture used during teleworking is the responsibility of the employee who is teleworking.
  2. The department may provide standard office supplies.
  3. College loaned equipment must be noted on the NOVA Form 105-005 Inventory: Property Loan Request. The employee who teleworks will be responsible for loss or damage of the NOVA-owned equipment. All College equipment must be returned to NOVA for servicing and inventory. Repair and/or replacement costs and liability for normal use and wear of NOVA property are the responsibility of NOVA. NOVA may pursue recovery from the employee who teleworks for College property that is damaged or destroyed while in the employee's care.
  4. Any purchase or installation of college owned equipment, furniture, or supplies must be approved by the supervisor in advance. All purchasing will follow NOVA’s purchasing guidelines.

The employee's telework computer shall be in compliance with all NOVA guidelines for use of hardware and software, including virus protection software, licensing provisions, system security and passwords.

4.6 Records

All College records and files temporarily stored at the employee's approved alternative work site shall remain the property of the College. Supervisors must determine what products, documents, and records may be taken to or maintained at an approved alternative work site. Products, documents, and records that are used, developed, or revised while teleworking must be returned to the College when requested, at the end of the telework agreement and at termination of employment. Procedures for storage and transfers of College records will be based on the department's needs and equipment availability.

The employee will protect all confidential College information from unauthorized access.

4.7 Compliance

Telework agreements must be reviewed before the expiration date listed on the telework agreement and during the performance evaluation process to ensure the needs of the department and customer service requirements are being met.

All NOVA policies, rules and practices apply at the approved alternate work site.

The following actions may result in termination of the arrangement and disciplinary action, up to and including termination:

  • Failure to maintain a performance evaluation rating of at least “Contributor” or “Meets Expectations”
  • Failure to abide by the agreed upon work schedule and circumstances, and maintain accessibility
  • Failure to accurately submit time
  • Other violations of NOVA policies

5. Authority

DHRM Policy 1.25 – Hours of Work

DHRM Policy 1.61 Telework

DHRM 1.60 Standards of Conduct

DHRM 1.75 Use of Electronic Communications & Social Media

VITA SEC 511–00 IT Standard Use of Non-Commonwealth Computing Devices to Telework

NOVA IT Security Policies and Agreements