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Flexible Work Options Policy

    Title:

    Flexible Work Options Policy

    Publication date:

    4/25/2017

    Effective date:

    4/26/2017

    BRIEF

    Policy Summary

    Flexible work options are tools that Berkeley Lab managers and supervisors can use to help meet the work-life balance needs of their employees while simultaneously ensuring that the work unit's operational needs are met. While the Laboratory supports the use of flexible work options whenever possible, the use of these options does not change the basic terms and conditions of Laboratory employment.

    Who Should Read This Policy

    All employees at Berkeley Lab

    To Read the Full Policy, Go To:

    The POLICY tab on this wiki page

    Contact Information

    For more information, contact your division's Human Resources field team.

    Feedback on HR policies or procedures is welcomed. Send comments to hrpolicies@lbl.gov.

    Title:

    Flexible Work Options Policy

    Publication date:

    4/25/2017

    Effective date:

    4/26/2017

    POLICY

    A. Purpose

    This policy describes the flexible work options that Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) managers and supervisors can use to help meet the work-life balance needs of their employees.

    B. Persons Affected

    • All employees at Berkeley Lab.
    • Represented employees are covered through their respective collective bargaining agreement.
    • Users of Berkeley Lab facilities, designated job classifications, and affiliates are excluded from this policy.

    C. Exceptions

    Requests that exceed what is allowed under this policy or that are not expressly addressed are considered exceptions to policy. A request for an exception to policy requires, at minimum, approval by the Chief Human Resources and Diversity Officer or designee.

    D. Policy Statement

    Flexible work options are tools managers and supervisors can use to help meet the work-life balance needs of their employees while simultaneously ensuring that the work unit's business and operational needs are met. While the Laboratory supports the use of flexible work options whenever possible, these options do not change the basic terms and conditions of Laboratory employment and are not entitlements. Granting or denying approval of a request for a flexible work option is at the sole discretion of management. The denial of a request for a flexible work option or rescission of an approved flexible work option is not subject to the Employee Complaint Resolution policy.

    Flexible Work Options:

    1. General. The Laboratory currently has two flexible work options: flextime and telecommuting. Approval of both options must be within the provisions of the Hours of Work policy.
    2. Flextime
      1. Flextime allows an employee to choose, within limits, the hours for starting and leaving work each day. A flextime schedule is approved by the supervisor and must be within the provisions of the Hours of Work policy. This option allows employees some flexibility regarding their daily work schedule, provided it is compatible with their effective job scope and work unit's operational needs.
      2. Division/department management may determine that there are specific scientific and/or operational reasons why a regular, ongoing flextime schedule cannot be implemented. If scientific or operational requirements make regular, formal flextime practices unfeasible, arrangements can be made between the supervisor and employee on an occasional basis.
    3. Telecommuting
      1. General
        1. Telecommuting is a work option in which employees fulfill job responsibilities at an approved off-site location. The arrangement may cover all or part of an employee's scheduled hours and may be on an occasional or regular basis, or a telecommuter may be designated as a remote worker.
        2. Telecommuting is based on a mutual agreement between the employee and the employee's management, and is not an entitlement.
        3. Approval of an employee's request to telecommute is based on the business and operational needs of the work unit.
        4. Managers will provide an explanation for denial or revocation of telecommuting requests.
        5. An employee's performance while telecommuting is measured using the same standards that apply when the work is performed at the Laboratory and will be documented in the annual performance review.
        6. Telecommuting arrangements do not replace the formal medical accommodation process (see the Reasonable Accommodation Policy); however, a Telecommuting Agreement may be part of a reasonable accommodation for employees who are permanently or temporarily disabled. Contact your Division's HR representative for guidance.
        7. Telecommuting is not a substitute for regular dependent (child/elder) care.
        8. Berkeley Lab will be responsible for any work-related injuries under state worker's compensation laws. This liability is limited to injuries resulting directly from work and only if the injury occurs in the employee's designated work area while the employee is actually working in the course and scope of their employment. Any claims will be handled according to the normal procedure for worker's compensation claims.
      2. Telecommuting Arrangements There are three types of telecommuting arrangements: Occasional, Regular, and Remote Worker.
        1. Occasional Telecommuting: As a general rule, this unplanned type of telecommuting would occur no more than 12 times a year, for example, to stay home for a delivery, a technician visit, or a personal appointment located close to home. Supervisors approve occasional requests at their discretion.
        2. Regular Telecommuting:
          1. This planned type of telecommuting occurs with a frequency of more than 12 times a year up to full time.
          2. Per the eligibility requirements for a regular Telecommuting Agreement, employees must:
            1. Be in a job classification that is suitable for telecommuting, i.e., computer-based work.
            2. Complete and comply with recommendations from the home ergonomic evaluation.
            3. Meet communication expectations set by the supervisor.
            4. Demonstrate competence using remote collaboration tools as required.
            5. Meet all property management requirements for Berkeley Lab property.
            6. Have an ergonomically safe and comfortable work area that is free from distractions.
            7. Be accessible during regular work hours and participate in meetings when appropriate.
            8. Be in good standing at the time of the telecommuting request. Employees in good standing are meeting performance expectations and are not currently receiving disciplinary action.
          3. A regular telecommuting arrangement requires an agreement between the supervisor and employee. This agreement, not to exceed 12 months, requires approval by the division director or designee.
          4. Agreements expire automatically on the stated end date unless reviewed and renewed prior to that date. Renewal is subject to the work unit's operational needs and the supervisor's assessment of the employee's performance.
          5. The supervisor may require the employee to be in the office and adjust or cancel the telecommuting schedule accordingly.
          6. Renewal of Telecommuting Agreements within the 12-month period is required if there is a change of supervisor.
          7. Non-exempt staff who telecommute (whether on an occasional or a regular basis) must gain approval from their manager prior to working overtime. Non-exempt staff are not eligible for full-time regular telecommuting.
          8. Regular telecommuting arrangements may be terminated at any time by the employee, supervisor, division, or Laboratory management.
        3. Remote Worker
          1. A remote worker works exclusively off site as part of the terms and conditions of appointment and does not maintain an office on site at Berkeley Lab.
          2. For eligibility, see Regular Telecommuting, sections D.3.b.ii.2.aD.3.b.ii.2.g, above.
          3. A remote worker is not required to complete a Telecommuting Agreement.
          4. Non-exempt staff are not eligible for remote worker designation.
      3. Information Technology (IT)
        1. It is expected that employees will use Laboratory-issued computer hardware and/or software for telecommuting when possible.
        2. Divisions will not purchase a duplicate computer solely for the purpose of telecommuting.
        3. Berkeley Lab will not provide support for non-Laboratory-owned computer hardware and/or software or home internet service.
        4. IT policy covers acceptable use and security for information technology.
        5. Report all lost or stolen IT assets.
      4. Property
        1. Berkeley Lab does not provide furniture to telecommuters.
        2. Divisions may provide printers or computer monitors only for remote workers.
        3. Divisions must provide computer accessories (keyboard, mouse, laptop riser, seat cushion) as recommended by the ergonomist/ergonomic advocate.
        4. Any equipment Berkeley Lab provides the employee to telecommute shall remain Berkeley Lab's property and must be returned to Berkeley Lab upon request or upon termination/departure from the Laboratory. Shipping costs will be assumed by the division. No one other than the employee, including other household members, may use such equipment. Employees will exercise care in protecting and maintaining such equipment and will promptly notify their supervisor of any Berkeley Lab equipment-related problems or malfunctions that may arise.
      5. Distant Location Arrangements
        1. Refers to a telecommuting arrangement where home or another approved work location is outside of local commute distance from the worksite.
        2. For employees living and working outside of California but within the United States, the Laboratory must adhere to all applicable requirements of that state. The division must notify HR in advance of the out-of-state residence.
        3. Telecommuting outside of the United States for personal reasons, when the arrangement exceeds 30 workdays in a 12-month period, is prohibited. Exceptions are subject to Laboratory Director or designee approval.
        4. Work outside the United States is subject to Berkeley Lab export control requirements and employee safety considerations.
        5. Temporary mission-related assignments (1–3 years) to a distant location are covered under the Temporary Change-of-Station Policy.

    E. Roles and Responsibilities

    Role

    Responsibility

    Division directors, or designee

    • Implement this policy.
    • Determine whether flexible work options are appropriate within the division.
    • Approve employees' Telecommuting Agreements.

    Employees

    • Request an agreement.
    • Accurately report time worked.
    • Communicate changes of personal or job schedule to those whom the changes may affect.
    • Maintain an ergonomically safe work environment.

    Supervisors/ managers

    • Ensure that employees in their work units understand and meet work unit operating guidelines and that the work unit operates effectively:
      • Include identification of essential tasks, operations, and functions that must be accomplished at certain times during the workday and the development of coverage requirements.
      • Approval authority of schedules worked by staff.
      • Consult matrix manager where appropriate.
      • Approve occasional telecommuting requests.
      • Support the safety of employees by completing thorough work planning and control for telecommuters.

    F. Definitions/Acronyms

    Term

    Definition

    Flextime

    Flextime allows an employee to choose, within limits, the hours for starting and leaving work each day.

    Full time

    Full-time status is fixed time at 40 hours per workweek.

    Part time

    Part-time status is fixed time up to 39 hours per workweek.

    Telecommuting

    Telecommuting is a work option in which employees fulfill their job responsibilities at an approved off-site location. The telecommuting arrangement may be on an occasional, regular, or remote worker basis.

    Distant telecommuter

    Employee who lives/works outside a local commute distance (>150 miles) from the Berkeley Lab worksite, and is not on a Temporary Change-of-Station agreement.

    Distant location

    A location outside a local commute distance (>150 miles) from the Berkeley Lab work site, including out-of-state U.S. locations.

    Remote worker

    An employee who works exclusively off site as part of the terms and conditions of their appointment and does not maintain an office on site at Berkeley Lab.

    G. Recordkeeping Requirements

    None

    H. Implementing Documents

    Document number

    Title

    Type

     N/A

    University of California Office of the President Personnel Policies for Staff Members

    Policy Manual

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I. Contact Information

    For more information, contact your division's Human Resources field team.

    Feedback on HR policies or procedures is welcomed. Send comments to hrpolicies@lbl.gov.

    J. Revision History

    Date

    Revision

    By whom

    Revision Description

    Section(s) affected

    Change Type

    1/2/2012

    0

    M. Bello

    Rewrite for wiki (brief)

    All

    Minor

    10/2/2014

    1

    L. Westphal

    Rewrite for wiki (policy)

    All

    Minor

    4/25/2017

    2

    K. Ramorino

    Clarify types of options

    All

    Major

    DOCUMENT INFORMATION

    Title:

    Flexible Work Options Policy

    Document number

    02.06.006.000

    Revision number

    2

    Publication date:

    4/25/2017

    Effective date:

    4/26/2017

    Next review date:

    4/1/2020

    Policy Area:

    Compensation & Work Hours

    RPM Section (home)

    Human Resources

     

     

    Functional Division

    Human Resources

    Prior reference information (optional)

     

    Source Requirements Documents

    • Berkeley Lab Senior Management requirement

    Implementing Documents

    Document number

    Title

    Type

     N/A

    University of California Office of the President Personnel Policies for Staff Members

    Policy manual

     

     

     

     

     

     

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