813  Alternate Work Arrangements 

Approved by President
Effective Date: June 5, 2017
Responsible Division: Business and Finance
Responsible Office:  Human Resource Services
Responsible Officer:  Assistant Vice President, Human Resource Services

I.  Purpose

This policy sets the standards for a consistent process and treatment of employees regarding alternate work arrangements at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University). Availability of an alternate work arrangement is at the discretion of MTSU and each individual department and is subject to change with or without notice.

II.  Applicability

This policy applies only to non-faculty employees. Employees in departments that operate twenty-four (24) hours a day are also excluded from this policy.

IIIDefinitions

A.  Telecommuting. A work arrangement in which supervisors authorize employees to perform their usual job duties away from their central workplace in accordance with work agreements.

B.  Flex Time. Adjusted work schedule where daily working hours may fall outside the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

C.  Compressed Work Week. Adjusted schedule where the employee works a 37.5-hour week in less than five (5) days.

D.  Central Workplace. The employer’s place of work where employees normally are located.

E.  Employee. A person employed by the University pursuant to the MTSU policies.

F.  Alternate Work Arrangement Agreement (Work Agreement). Written agreement between the employee and MTSU that outlines the terms and conditions of an employee's work schedule. Work agreements are required for any alternate work arrangement. 

G.  Work Schedule. The employee’s hours of work in the central workplace and/or in the alternate work location. 

IV.  Procedures

Requests for alternate work arrangements should be made by completing the Alternate Work Arrangement Agreement form and include the business justification for the alternate work arrangement. 

Requests for alternate work arrangements must be approved by the employee’s Department Head, Dean, and Division Vice President or Provost and filed with the Office of Human Resource Services.

No arrangement is confirmed until all approvals have been made and the Alternate Work Arrangement Agreement with original signatures is filed with the Office of Human Resource Services.

V.  Other Provisions

A.  Alternate work arrangements are not to be considered a universal employee benefit or right. No employee is entitled to, or guaranteed, the opportunity to an alternate work arrangement. Management is responsible for the continued successful operations of MTSU and thus management has the sole discretion to designate positions and/or individuals for an alternate work arrangement.

B.  Alternate work arrangements do not change the conditions of employment or required compliance with laws and policies. Employees working on an alternate work arrangement are subject to the same policies, statutes, and procedures applicable to all employees including, but not limited to, time and attendance and leave policies. Supervisors may require employees to report to a central workplace or video conference, as needed, for work related meetings or other events or may meet with employees in the alternative work location as needed to discuss work progress or other work related issues. Supervisors will monitor the employee’s productivity and hours worked to ensure compliance with all applicable Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations. If a holiday falls on an employee’s scheduled day off as a result of an alternate work arrangement, the employee’s supervisor will make appropriate schedule adjustments to accommodate the holiday.

C.  If approved for an alternate work arrangement, the employee is expected to maintain appropriate levels of productivity and quality of work. If working from a home-based location, the employee will be expected to make arrangements which allow the work site to be a productive work environment during the agreed-upon work hours. The supervisor will use the MTSU performance management system to clearly define the performance expectations and to evaluate the employee’s performance. If a decline in performance is noted, the arrangement will be cancelled.

D.  Employees working from a location within their home are responsible for maintaining their work environment as a safe and productive work space. Work related injuries occurring at the employee’s home-based work location are subject to Tennessee Worker’s Compensation laws. Alternate work locations are considered extensions of the employee’s central work location during the time period outlined in the Alternate Work Arrangement Agreement.

E.  When considering an alternate work arrangement, the employee’s supervisor is responsible for determining what material or equipment needs are required for the work arrangement. No more equipment, supplies or expenses should be incurred as a result of the alternate work arrangement than what would be needed if the employee remained in his/her original work location.discretion, MTSU may appropriate funds to be used for the following:

1.  A network connection between the home based work location and the University with sufficient capacity to accommodate the employee’s work related voice and data needs;

2.  Network communication equipment supporting voice services at the home based work location;

3.  Cell phone allowances to employees for business use; or if cell phone allowances are not provided, MTSU may reimburse employees for business-related long distance calls made from the employee’s personal telephone upon submission of the appropriate documentation.

F.  Employees must follow MTSU approved data security policies and procedures for protecting confidential information. The employee will be responsible for any materials and documents transported from MTSU.

G.  MTSU will not be responsible for any additional costs associated with alternate work locations such as utilities, home maintenance, etc. The employee will be responsible for any tax implications of a home based work location.  For a home based work location, the employee will be responsible for providing insurance coverage for equipment, supplies, etc. provided by the employee. The employee will be responsible for compliance with any local zoning ordinances or other restrictions related to maintaining a home-based work site. MTSU will not be liable for any fines, penalties, taxes, or other expenses that may accrue as a result of any violation of applicable restrictions.

Forms: 

Alternate Work Arrangement Agreement form

Revisions: none.

References: none.