Academics
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Effective Date: September 8, 2022

Refer Questions to: Executive Director, Human Resources

Scope

This policy applies to staff who are not classified as remote employees in all offices and divisions of Gallaudet University and Clerc Center unless specifically covered by collective bargaining agreements made between Gallaudet University and certified bargaining agents.

Pursuant to Policy 4.07 on Remote Employees in the Administration and Operations Manual, staff are classified as remote employees only when formally designated by the administrative officer in collaboration with Human Resources. 

Purpose

Gallaudet University believes that its students’ capacity for learning and thriving at the University is maximized when on campus, and that everyone benefits when they experience the full impact of American Sign Language (ASL) vibrancy that occurs organically during in person interaction. Therefore, to augment opportunities to engage in bilingual communication and strengthen connections to one another to foster a sense of belonging, all staff are expected to maintain a regular presence on campus during normal working hours. 

However, the University recognizes that there are times when it may be appropriate to consider flexible work arrangements as a recruitment and retention tool for high potential employees.

Policy

This policy may be revised or terminated by the University at its sole discretion at any time.

Flexible work arrangements are not an entitlement, nor are they classified as a University benefit. Flexible work arrangements may be considered only when it is reasonable and practical to do so, when the University’s operational needs will not be adversely affected, and if it is in the best interests of the University and/or its students. 

There may be times when staff, despite having been approved for flexible work arrangements, may be recalled to campus or may need to change their schedules to support operational and departmental needs. To minimize any disruption, as much advance notice when possible will be provided before changes are made. However, absent good reason, staff may not refuse a recall or modification in schedule and such refusal may result in disciplinary measures including revocation of flexible work arrangement privileges and up to termination of employment with the University.

Staff who require modifications to their schedule or work environment as an accommodation for a disability should refer to Policy 1.10.


Flexible Work Arrangement Options

The following flexible work arrangement options are available; however, not all options may be appropriate based on the requesting staff’s individual job duties. Eligible staff may make a request for one option and, if approved, may not exercise one option concurrently with another option. Staff, once approved for a flexible work arrangement option, may change to a different option only upon written approval from their supervisor.

  1. Flextime
  • Non-traditional start and end times based on the University’s normal working hours and time zone of 8:00 AM eastern to 5:00 PM eastern Mondays through Fridays.
    • Example: 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM (which includes a 30-minute unpaid meal break).
  • Extended meal times offset by additional hours worked at the beginning or end of the shift.
    • Example: 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
  • Start and end times individualized by day.
    • Example: Working 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM on Mondays through Wednesdays and 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM on Thursdays through Fridays.
  1. Compressed Schedule
  • Regularly scheduled hours are spread out over fewer than five days in a workweek. 
    • Example: Working four 10-hour days in a work week.
  • Only available for exempt employees – compressed 9/80 schedule when staff work 80 hours over 9 days within a pay period.
    • Example: During the first week of the pay period, working 9 hours from Monday through Thursday, and 8 hours on Friday. During the second week of the pay period, working 9 hours from Monday through Thursday, with Friday off.
  1. Occasional Work From Anywhere (WFA) 
  • “Work From Anywhere” (WFA) as used in this policy is a term of art and should not be construed to mean that work may be done from literally anywhere. Please consult with Human Resources if there are questions about acceptable locations to work.
  • Work may be performed from a reasonably appropriate location off site, which includes access to the Internet to support video conversations.
  • May be requested on an occasional, one time or irregular basis and is typically situation-driven.
    • Example: A staff member needs full concentration to complete a project and will work from their hometown’s public library or other quiet space off campus that is free from distraction.
    • Example: Staff has a personal appointment close to staff’s home in Maryland during the middle of the workday. When appropriate, it may be more efficient and practical for staff to work from home immediately before or after the personal appointment rather than go to the campus in DC to work, go to the personal appointment in Maryland, return to the campus, and then go home.
  1. Hybrid In Person and Work From Anywhere (WFA) Schedule
  • Subject to the needs of the University and department, eligible staff in student-facing positions or other positions that require extensive in-person interaction for any reason may WFA up to one day per week.
  • Subject to the needs of the University and department, eligible staff in non-student-facing positions or other positions that do not require frequent in-person interaction may WFA up to two days a week.
  • Only as determined as appropriate by the administrative officer and with the approval of Human Resources, an alternative hybrid in person and WFA schedule may be approved so long as it includes a minimum of twelve working days in person each month.
  1. Unique Circumstances
  • The University recognizes that there may be times when further modifications to any of the flexible work arrangement options may be appropriate due to the nature of the work being performed by the employee or the demands on the employee in order to work (such as being required to travel frequently as part of their job). In those circumstances, the manager, with approval from the administrative officer, will work with the employee to take into account any unique factors and develop a schedule which includes written justification how the changes meet the employee’s work needs and the needs of the University. Approval from Human Resources is only required if the duration of the modified flexible work arrangement is expected to be in effect longer than thirty consecutive days.

Eligibility


Current regular-status and extended temporary staff who are not classified as remote employees are eligible for flexible work arrangements; provided, however, that staff: 1) is not on a performance plan or other disciplinary action; 2) is in good financial standing with the University or is current on a payment plan; and 3) if a Hybrid In Person and Work From Anywhere Schedule option has been approved, enters into a written agreement with the University regarding expectations of performance and conduct. 

Initiating a Request

To initiate a request for flexible work arrangements, eligible staff must submit a written request to their immediate supervisor with a reasonably detailed explanation of why a flexible work arrangement would be appropriate. 

Criteria Considered

All requests for flexible work arrangements will be considered according to the criteria set out below. 

  • Staff must be meeting or exceeding performance standards.
  • Staff should demonstrate work habits suited to flexible working arrangements.
  • Staff undergoing performance counseling or on a performance improvement plan are not eligible for flexible work arrangements.
  • Staff must have an absence of written disciplinary actions for at least one year.
  • Staff should be in good financial standing with the University and/or are current on a payment plan.
  • Staff should have a satisfactory attendance record (any absences taken under leave protected by law, e.g., FMLA and paid sick leave, will not be factored into this decision).
  • The request for flexible work arrangements must meet the needs, requirements and constraints of both the department and the employee.
  • Departments should be consistent in the decision-making process regarding flexible work arrangement requests for similarly situated employees.
  • All flexible working arrangements must comply with applicable federal and state employment laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, which regulates the payment of overtime for non-exempt employees.
    • Non-exempt teleworkers are required to accurately record the hours they work to ensure that they are paid for all hours worked and to verify the actual hours worked against their scheduled and approved hours. All overtime must be pre approved in advance.
  • Staff should demonstrate work habits and performance suited to successful WFA.
  • Staff must demonstrate the ability to successfully meet or exceed their core job expectations with minimal supervision.
  • Staff are computer literate and must have access to a space that is appropriate for working with a reliable internet connection.


Job Criteria

Job-related criteria that must be considered when considering a request for flexible work arrangements:

  • For Hybrid In Person and Work From Anywhere, the position should require minimal supervision and little face-to-face interaction with customers (for example, students, employees, vendors, etc.). For the occasional WFA, the time WFA must not interfere with staff’s ability to perform their duties.
  • All work objectives and tasks must be clearly defined with measurable results.
  • The position should have tasks which are portable and can be performed away from the main worksite.
  • An excellent level of service can be maintained without hardship on customers and co-workers.

Within any of the flexible work arrangements, non-exempt staff are still subject to all requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as defined in Policy 4.05 Hours of Work. Staff who are exempt under the FLSA are expected to work the number of hours required to fulfill their responsibilities.


Salary, benefits, and job responsibilities will not change solely due to the fact that a staff member is participating in a flexible work arrangement. All University policies and procedures will continue to apply, including but not limited to those relating to leave and working overtime. While WFA, staff are expected to be available and responsive during their work hours.

It is important to recognize that not all positions are suitable for flexible work arrangements. Flexible work arrangements are intended to benefit the employee and the department but without putting undue burden on the supervisor or the rest of the team. Work Area (WFA)
Staff approved to WFA must establish an appropriate and safe work environment. When appropriate, staff are expected to ensure that the expectations for information security are met and that University property is reasonably secured. All expenses and costs related to staff’s ability to WFA, including internet, heating, electricity, water, security, insurance, and space usage, is the sole responsibility of staff. Supervisor Responsibility

The supervisor is ultimately responsible for timely reviewing and responding to any requests for flexible work arrangements that they receive from their staff member. If the flexible work arrangement requested is more than sporadic or occasional, the supervisor must discuss the request with and achieve consensus with the unit administrator, senior administrator and Human Resources to approve any decision regarding flexible work arrangements.


Supervisors are responsible for managing employees who have flexible work arrangements. The supervisor must ensure the effectiveness of flexible work arrangements on their employees’ productivity. Supervisors have a responsibility in ensuring that all work is performed satisfactorily, maintaining regular communication with the employee, and including the employee in meetings and other interactions as appropriate. Supervisors shall maintain regular and necessary communications with the employee and include the employee as appropriate in meetings and other interactions. Use of Paid Leave in a Flexible Work Arrangement
The amount of annual or sick leave charged will be equivalent to the hours the employee was scheduled to work. For example, if the employee works four 10-hour work days from Mondays through Thursdays and requests Monday off, ten hours of leave would be charged that day.If the holiday falls on the employee’s regularly scheduled work day, the employee will be credited with eight (8) hours of holiday pay for that day. If the regularly scheduled work day is greater than eight (8) hours, the employee may elect to use annual leave to make up for the time in excess of the eight (8) hours that the employee was scheduled to work; or if the supervisor approves, the employee may work additional hours during the same workweek as the holiday, in lieu of using accrued leave. If the regularly scheduled work day is less than eight (8) hours, the employee will be credited the difference to be used within the same or the following pay period.

NOTE: Human Resources will work with administrators to ensure decisions are in compliance with the University policies.

Contact Us

Human Resources

College Hall 106

(202) 250-2284

(202) 651-5352

(202) 651-5344

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