Same Hours of Work
Employees working remotely are expected to work their normal daily and weekly schedule. Employees will be as accessible as they were while working on-campus. Employees understand that working remotely will not prevent them from attending meetings remotely as required or needed.
Terms and Conditions of Employment Remain the Same
An employee’s existing terms and conditions of employment apply regardless of working remotely. This includes, but is not limited to, pay or salary, benefits, leave requests and approvals, attendance requirements, position duties and performance standards, and adherence to University and department policies and procedures and employee contracts/handbook.
Supervisors Determine Employee Work Assignments
Employees working remotely will continue to meet with their supervisor on a regular and on-going basis to receive specific assignments and duties, to identify measurable outcomes and/or results and to review work in progress as well as completed work. The employee will complete all assigned work according to work procedures mutually agreed upon by the employee and the supervisor according to the department’s normal operating practices.
Supervisors Approve All Purchases and Relocation of Items Used for Remote Working
Generally, employees are responsible for providing necessary furniture, equipment (including IT equipment), materials, supplies and services (e.g. phone, electricity, internet, etc.) to effectively perform the essential duties of their position while working remotely.
However, an employee’s supervisor may approve the purchase of furniture, equipment (including IT equipment), materials and supplies for working remotely when requested by the employee. Any items purchased by the university remains the property of the university.
Employees must obtain prior written approval from their supervisor to move on-campus furniture, equipment (including IT equipment), materials and supplies to their remote location.
Such items will be used solely for carrying out the employee’s job duties while working remotely.
Employees Responsible for Utility and Other Residence Costs
Employees are responsible for operating costs, home maintenance, or any other incidental cost (such as utilities, phone, electricity, internet, etc.) associated with the use of the employee’s residence for working remotely.
Employee Responsible for Care of University Property
Employees working remotely are responsible for the furniture, equipment (including IT equipment), materials and supplies provided by the University. Employees agree to return all University property in good condition, aside from normal wear and tear, when requested by the University.
Employees agree not to sell, lease, assign, transfer, or otherwise make available to any third party any university property.
University Not Responsible for Loss or Damage to Employee’s Personal Property
The university does not assume responsibility or liability for loss or damage to employee’s personal property that may occur while working remotely.
University Property Must Not Be Used for Personal Use
Washington State ethics laws apply to employees while they are working remotely. Generally, any conversion to personal use of university property used for working remotely is not allowed. Examples include:
- University electronic devices (such as digital cameras, camcorders, computers, laptops, tablets, or related supplies like thumb drives) may not be used for personal or family purposes.
- University tools or equipment may not be used for house projects.
- University office materials and supplies (such as paper) may not be used for personal or family activities.
- University vehicles may only be used for official university business. No personal use is allowed, such as running personal errands.
An exception is permissible de minimis personal use of electronic devices (such as laptops, tablets, etc.) for such things as checking personal email or briefly browsing the Internet, as allowed under the state ethics laws. The university’s interim ethics officer is available to assist employees with specific ethics questions. See Western’s Ethics Guide.
University Records on Personal or University Devices Are Subject to Public Records Disclosures and Records Retention
University records held on personal or university electronic devices, or otherwise, are subject to the State of Washington Public Records Act and may be disclosed under a public records request (RCW 42.56).
Employees who are working remotely are responsible for making sure that university records are properly archived and retained as required by Washington State law, whether stored on personal or university electronic devices, or otherwise. University Archives and Records Management is available to assist supervisors with specific retention questions.
Employees Responsible for a Healthy Remote Work Environment
Employees working remotely will maintain the same healthy and safe work conditions as their on-campus work area to the extent possible. Employees are encouraged to visit EHS’s Teleworking Safety Webpage.
Employees Have Worker’s Compensation Coverage
Employees working remotely remain covered under the Worker’s Compensation Law for injuries arising out of and in the course of performing official duties at the remote location during the normal work hours. Employees must immediately inform their supervisor and the workers compensation claims manager of any work-related accidents or incidents.
Confidentiality, Privacy and IT Security
Confidentiality and privacy laws related to student records, personal health information and employee information are still applicable to employees who are remote working. See coronavirus FAQ Confidentiality and Employee Privacy Rights. Employees should also be familiar with Information Security Basics, and how to encrypt email when needed.