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Alternate Work Location

Policy Title: Alternate Work Location
Type of Policy: Human Resources
Last Revised: January 9, 2020

  1. Purpose
    This policy establishes standards for alternate work locations for employees of the University of Florida.
  2. Scope
    This policy applies to all faculty and staff of the University of Florida.
  3. Policy Statement
    The practice of working at an approved alternate location instead of physically traveling to a central workplace is a work alternative that University of Florida supervisors may offer to employees when such requests meets the eligibility criteria established by the University of Florida’s Alternative Work Location Policy and when such working arrangements would benefit both the organization and employees, resources can accommodate the requests, and supervisory discretion allows for the employees to work at alternate locations.University of Florida supervisors are not obligated to provide this arrangement, and the University of Florida has the right to refuse to make working at an alternate location available to any employee and/or to terminate the arrangement at any time—regardless of whether the request meets the established criteria. Assignment of an alternate work location is not a benefit, term, or condition of employment.Conversely, an employee has the right to refuse an offer to work at an alternate location if the option is made available. An employee who chooses to work at an approved alternate location has the right to return to his or her former in-office work patterns at any time upon providing 14 calendar days’ notice or to exercise his or her rights under applicable Family and Medical Leave Act or University of Florida leave policies.The Alternate Work Location Agreement must be completed in its entirety, including all appropriate required approval signatures, prior to an employee beginning work at an alternate location.

    See the Resources section for the Alternate Work Location Agreement.

  4. Procedures
    When considering whether it is appropriate for an employee to work at an alternate location, it is important to consider the following questions. In order for an employee to be eligible to work at an alternate location, you must be able to answer “yes” to the following questions:

    • If the employee is an Academic Personnel member or TEAMS/USPS employee, he or she must have completed at least six months of satisfactory service working for his or her current supervisor at the University of Florida. (OPS employees, given the temporary nature of their jobs, are eligible immediately upon hire.)
    • Will the working arrangement mutually benefit both the department or division and the employee?
      • Eligibility is contingent upon the employee’s current position description and classification. Working at an approved alternate location cannot be permitted if the employee cannot perform all essential functions of his or her assigned duties, including his or her contact with customers, coworkers, or students, as determined by the employee’s supervisor in conjunction with the appropriate University of Florida Dean or Director—with final approval by the appropriate Vice President.
    • From a supervisory perspective, is the employee a good choice for working at an alternate location given his or her ability to work autonomously, need for face-to-face communication, ability to control and schedule workflow, reliability concerning work hours, self-discipline regarding work, etc.?
      • University of Florida supervisors are not obligated to provide this arrangement, and the University of Florida has the right to refuse to assign an alternate location to any employee and/or to terminate the arrangement at any time—regardless of whether the request meets the criteria established by the Alternate Work Location Policy.
      • Conversely, employees have the right to refuse to work at an alternate location if the option is made available to them. However, employees are not relieved of their responsibility to perform all essential functions of their position with or without reasonable accommodation. Employees who choose to work at an approved alternate location have the right to return to their former in-office work patterns at any time upon providing 14 calendar days’ notice, and they may exercise their rights under applicable Family and Medical Leave Act or University of Florida leave policies.

    If the request to work at home is being made by a qualified individual with a disability:

    • Has the employee submitted a completed “request for accommodation” form to the UF ADA Office at least 30 calendar days in advance?
    • Is he or she unable to travel to and from work with or without reasonable accommodation but able to perform all assigned essential functions of the job from the alternate work location?

    If you answered “yes” to the applicable questions above and have decided to allow an employee to work at an alternate location:

    • Have you agreed upon a work schedule—either full- or part-time—which will be followed by the employee?
      • Any changes to the employee’s work schedule must be reviewed and approved by his or her supervisor in advance. If nonexempt, the employee also must understand that he or she is NOT allowed to work overtime without prior management approval in writing.
    • Does the employee have adequate dedicated space at the alternate work location to allow and support work-related activities?
    • Has he or she agreed to practice the same safety habits in the designated alternate work location as he or she would in his or her office on University of Florida premises and to report any changes that would affect his or her general health and safety?
    • As applicable, has the employee agreed not to provide personal care for a child or dependent adult during scheduled work hours, and has he or she made arrangements to ensure care is provided as needed? In the case of medical hardship due to the employee’s spouse, parent, or child having a serious health condition, is management satisfied that the employee’s productivity will be maintained based on any needed arrangements?
    • Have you told the employee that the university has the right to inspect the alternate work location during normal working hours, with 24-hour prior notice, to ensure that the equipment and alternate work location are being properly maintained?
    • Have you discussed and decided whether the employee or the university will supply all necessary computer equipment, including software?
    • Have you discussed and negotiated arrangements for work-required telephone and/or Internet access and associated costs?
    • Does a request to work at home as a result of a medical hardship fulfill the following requirements?
      • Working at an approved alternate location as a result of a medical hardship may be available to an employee with a disability or when the employee’s spouse, parent, or child has a serious health condition and the employee’s presence is required to provide basic medical assistance, transportation, basic personal assistance, psychological comfort, and/or safety—as reflected on appropriate medical certification completed by a health care provider.
      • In the case of an employee’s medical hardship, the employee’s health care provider must specify that working at an approved alternate location is acceptable given the employee’s health condition and that the employee is able to perform all assigned essential functions of his or her position.
    • Have you and the employee completed an “Alternate Work Location Agreement”?
    • Has approval then been received in writing from the appropriate Dean or Director?
    • Have you received final approval in writing from the appropriate Vice President?
  5. Reporting Questions or Violations
    The following is the department responsible for overseeing implementation of and assuring compliance with this policy. This is whom to contact with questions about the policy or to report suspected violations:Classification & Compensation
    University of Florida Human Resources
    PO Box 115009
    Gainesville, FL 32611
    (352) 392-2477
    compensation@ufl.edu
  6. Enforcement
    Failure to comply with this policy could result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Resources

Alternate Work Location Agreement Form

Policy History

Revision Date Author Description
08-2001 Human Resources Policy Adopted
06-2016 Human Resources Revision to Policy Procedures
01-2020 Human Resources Revision to Policy Format