07-06.40 – Interim Policy on Teleworking

  1. Purpose:

    Towson University (the “University”) has established this interim policy for authorized work from an offsite location, typically the employee’s home. This Policy and the Procedures, Guidelines, and Standards for Telework will be more fully developed in Fall 2021, following the full return to in-person learning.  This Interim Policy is effective from July 6, 2021 until such time that a final Telework Policy is approved and in place.

  2. Definitions: 

    1. Eligible Employee: An employee in a job/position identified by the University as being suitable for telework.

    2. Alternate Workplace: A work site other than the University’s campus or the employee's usual and customary worksite.

    3. Overtime: Any hours actually worked over 40 in a standard workweek and subject to the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). May also refer to hours worked over eight (8) in a workday, provided that those hours result in a total of more than 40 hours for the workweek.  

    4. Teleworker: An employee who is regularly scheduled to telework in accordance with an approved telework arrangement. 

    5. Telework: Working at an Alternate Workplace.

    6. Telework Request Form: A document used to initiate a telework request for review and approval by the employee’s department/supervisor, and review and support of OHR.

    7. Telework Agreement: A document to be signed by the employee outlining the teleworking relationship between the employee and the University to include, but not be limited to, pertinent policies, expectations, terms, and conditions required of the employee for the employee to be permitted to telework.

    8. Teleworker Work Plan: A document setting forth the details of work assignments, expectations, and duties to be completed by an employee while teleworking.
  3. Responsible Executive and Office:

    Responsible Executive: Associate Vice President of Human Resources

    Responsible Office: Office of Human Resources  

  4. Policy: 

    1. The University recognizes telework as an alternate work place arrangement for University employees in appropriate circumstances and in accordance with the practices listed in this document.

      1. Teleworking enables employees in telework eligible positions to perform their essential and regular job duties at an alternate work site.

      2. Teleworking refers to the location of and conditions relating to an alternate work place arrangement and not to a separate category of employment at the University.

    2. All policies governing the employee’s employment category (Non-exempt, Exempt, Contingent, etc.) shall continue to apply throughout the teleworking arrangement. 

    3. The teleworker must comply with all University and USM policies that apply at the Alternate Workplace as if the teleworker were on campus or at the usual and customary work site.

    4. Although it is anticipated that a Teleworking arrangement will benefit the teleworking employee, the arrangement and the continuation of an arrangement is at the discretion of the University and will be reviewed, at a minimum, on an annual basis.

    5. Teleworking is voluntary and may be terminated by the employee or the University at any time.

  5. Employee Participation:

    1. Telework Requests

      1. The University will determine which positions are suitable for teleworking.  The Office of Human Resources (OHR) shall be responsible for maintaining an up-to-date list of positions that are eligible to request permission to telework as not all positions are suitable for telework.

      2. At the discretion of the University, employees in positions suitable for telework may be permitted to telework on certain established and agreed upon days, provided the requested arrangement is conducive to operations of the requestor’s department and the request is supported by OHR.

      3. Before an employee may be permitted to telework, the employee must submit a Telework Request Form to their supervisor for review and preliminary approval, and consult with the supervisor on the Telework Work Plan. The supervisor shall then submit the Telework Request Form and Telework Work Plan to the OHR/HR Partner for review.  Upon completion of its review, OHR will either support/not support the request and provide written confirmation of its decision.  If a request is not supported by OHR, OHR reserves final discretion to adjust requests and/or prospective arrangements in conjunction with the department in the event that modifications will result in OHR support of the request.

      4. If a telework request and telework work plan are supported by OHR, the department and the employee shall complete a Telework Agreement and assemble all elements necessary to support the telework arrangement for final submission to OHR.

      5. The following documents must be completed and returned to OHR in order to render a telework request and arrangement effective:

        1. Telework Request Form

        2. Teleworking Agreement

        3. Alternate Workplace Self-Certification Checklist

        4. Telework Work Plan

        OHR will record and retain the telework documentation, at which time the department and employee are authorized to commence approved telework arrangements.
    2. Employment 

      1. The teleworker’s duties, obligations, responsibilities, and conditions of employment with the University will be unaffected by teleworking.

      2. The teleworker’s pay, retirement benefits, and State of Maryland sponsored insurance coverage will remain unchanged by the teleworking arrangement.

      3. All work hours, overtime compensation, and leave usage must conform to all USM and University policies, the provisions of the Teleworker’s Agreement and Work Plan, and to terms otherwise agreed upon by the employee and the supervisor.

      4. Overtime hours are not permitted while teleworking unless pre-approved by the appropriate supervisor. Approval of overtime must be in writing with a copy to OHR for timekeeping and payroll purposes.

      5. Holding work-related meetings virtually while at home may be permitted in accordance with an individual Teleworker Work Plan.

      6. Telework outside of the State of Maryland may be prohibited by the University.

    3. Work Space

      1. The teleworker must have an area designated as a workspace at the Alternate Workplace.

      2. The workspace should be maintained in a safe condition, free of hazards that might endanger the employee or university equipment.

      3. The supervisor shall require that the teleworker complete and return the Alternate Workplace Self Certification Checklist.

      4. The teleworker and the supervisor, in consultation with the University’s Office of Technology Services, shall take appropriate safeguards to secure confidential data and information.

    4. Equipment and Supplies

      1. Teleworkers must have a phone and a designated workspace with appropriate equipment and supplies to the assigned work at the Alternate Workplace.

      2. Teleworkers must provide for their own Internet and/or phone service if such service is necessary to complete the job duties outlined in the Teleworker Work Plan.

      3. The University may provide the teleworker with other equipment and services as needed for work at the Alternate Workplace.

        1. Equipment provided to the teleworker by the University shall remain the property of the University and shall be returned upon termination of employment, termination of the employee’s participation in the telework program, or at such time deemed appropriate by the supervisor.

        2. The use of equipment, software, data, supplies, and furniture, if provided by the University, is limited to use by authorized persons and for purposes related to University business only.

        3. The teleworker will be responsible for the security of all items furnished by the University

    5. Regular Work Hours

      1. The teleworker and their direct supervisor will determine the teleworker’s regular work hours and accessibility to other University employees.

        1. Teleworking is not a substitute for availability during regular University hours or interaction among University colleagues.

        2. Work hour and accessibility requirements will be addressed in the Teleworking Agreement and Work Plan.

      2. The teleworker must complete their timesheet within the established guidelines set for all employees by the University.

    6. Expenses
      1. A teleworking arrangement does not, in itself, assure reimbursements by the University for any cost incurred by the teleworker.
      2. The teleworker is responsible for the cost of maintenance, repair, and operation of personal equipment not provided by the University.

    7. Liability

      1. The teleworker is covered under the State’s Workers’ Compensation Law for injuries occurring in the course of the actual performance of official duties at the teleworking site.

        1. The teleworker or someone acting on the teleworker’s behalf shall immediately notify the teleworker’s supervisor of any accident or injury that occurs at the teleworking site.

        2. The University and the supervisor should follow the University’s policies regarding the reporting of injuries for employees injured while at work.

        3. The University is not liable for damages to the teleworker’s personal or real property while the teleworker is working at the teleworking site, except to the extent adjudicated to be liable under Maryland law.

      2. The teleworker is liable for property damages and injuries to third persons at the teleworking site.

      3. By accepting a teleworking arrangement, the teleworker agrees to indemnify and hold the University and all or any of its representatives harmless from and against any and all claims, demands, judgments, liabilities, expenses, losses or costs (including as examples, cost of suit and attorneys’ fees) resulting or arising from or in connection with any injury and damage (including death) to any person or property, caused directly or indirectly by the teleworker’s willful misconduct, negligent actions or performance of the teleworker’s duties and obligations, except where liability arises solely from negligence and misconduct of the University.

    8. Child/Dependent Care

      1. Teleworking is not a substitute for child or dependent care.

      2. The teleworker must continue to make arrangements for child or dependent care to the same extent as if the teleworker were working on campus or at the employee’s usual and customary worksite.

Related Policies:

TU Policy 10-01.02 – Acceptable Use Policy
TU Policy 10-5.00 – Data Governance Policy
TU Policy 10-01.01 – Information Technology Security Policy
TU Policy 07-01.00, et seq. – Human Resources Policies
Guidelines for Responsible Computing
Data Governance Roles and Responsibilities Guidelines

Approval Date:

Effective Date: 10/15/04

Amended Date:  7/27/2021

How to Request the Policy PDF

This online version of the policy may include updated links and names of departments. To request a PDF of the original, signed version of this policy, email the Office of the General Counsel, .