Can I nonetheless telecommute? | Union of Rutgers Directors

In short, yes.

Relaxation of teleworking policy by December 31, 2021

Our union has been pushing for this expansion of policy since the pandemic began last year. However, we have recently received concerns from union members about unreasonable supervisors ignoring the policy. Some supervisors are sensible but pressure from above to limit your teleworking or make inappropriate changes. Here is our recommendation for using the policy:

  1. Quoting from Vivian Fernandez’s memo: Teleworking “offers the flexibility necessary to … reconcile operational and service needs … with the well-being of employees”.
  2. Make a written request. Request the continuation of your current arrangement or suggest a new arrangement. Make sure you say, “I need to telework to keep my wellbeing.” Your wellbeing can be affected by how you organize childcare, school closings and quarantine for yourself and household members. Do not hesitate to apply for teleworking if there is any suspicion of possible exposure to COVID.
    Note: You are not applying for medical accommodation under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), a separate procedure that can be reserved for later.
  1. Has your request been ignored, delayed, or denied? Ask difficult questions in writing. “What is the operational and service reason for your refusal?” “Please explain how you have balanced operational needs against my personal well-being, as the policy requires.” important to my wellbeing? ”“ When will you give me a written answer? ”If a manager says,“ We ​​only need you on campus ”or“ Because I said so, ”he continues to ask the difficult questions. Don’t give in.
  1. Are the operational needs legitimate? If your manager can provide a reasonable explanation as to why you cannot telework, consider: (1) requesting medical accommodation; (2) requesting teleworking in the normal way – exempt employees could always under Article 59 of our union agreement Request teleworking or (3) use your own sick leave to stay at home.
  1. Join colleagues to create collective pressure. The teleworking guidelines currently apply to everyone. Everyone can and should make a request at the same time, ask the same questions and request updates together.
  1. If all else fails, union representatives may be able to file a formal complaint on your behalf. Send information to [email protected]. Use Sick, AL, or PH days when your situation at home is really urgent.

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