As of today, CEMA has concurred with the County’s new telework policy. This policy, as has been discussed at recent site meetings, differs from CEMA’s previous telework language in several ways. The most notable are the following two:
- The new policy pushes the decision on telework approval and implementation to the department level. Previously, ESA was required to approve all CEMA telework requests. This often resulted in backlogged requests and was a serious concern during CEMA’s last negotiations. This is an improvement on function and efficiency over the old language.
- The new policy makes applying and reviewing applications somewhat more time consuming as there are now 5 forms to be completed and reviewed by the manager/director.
CEMA members who are interested in teleworking and have not yet done so should complete the attached telework application and forms. Individual departments have the discretion to approve or not approve telework applications. We have also attached an FAQ for the frequent questions we’re received on telework and the new policy.
As of right now, departments may require employees on current telework approvals to resubmit their requests using the new forms and process, but ESA has not directed that employees must do so.
This policy and associated documents have already been distributed in the last week (plus) to a number of departments along with the message that CEMA had concurred with the new policy. This unfortunately caused confusion as CEMA’s message up until yesterday was that CEMA had not concurred and our previous telework language was still in effect. However, CEMA has now concurred and the new policy is in effect.
Telework Frequently Asked Questions
- Does the Telework Policy guarantee any number of days of telework?
No, departments are not required to approve telework for employees. Telework applications are reviewed on an individual basis. Departments will evaluate whether the telework request can be accommodated without negative impact to the department’s performance and productivity.
- Does the Telework Policy limit how many days of telework can be approved? Is 4 days a week the maximum allowed?
No, the Telework Policy does not limit how much telework can be approved. Full time telework schedules are allowed under the Telework Policy at the department’s discretion.
- Does the policy allow full time telework on a temporary basis for a specific need (EX: telework until the school year restarts).
The purpose of telework is not for childcare provision. However, the policy does allow for full time telework for a set period of time.
- Does the policy require me to be in the office at least one day a week?
No, the policy does not set a minimum amount of time employees must be present on site.
- Are my approved telework days flexible? For example, my normal telework schedule is Tuesday/Wednesday, but next week Wednesday/Thursday would be preferable.
This is up to your manager/supervisor. Any flexibility of an approved telework schedule should be approved by your manager/supervisor. The policy gives departments the discretion and authority to approve these changes.
- If I already had a telework approval before pre-Covid, is it still applicable?
Departments are allowed to continue a prior telework approval if they so choose without a new application. At their discretion, they can also ask employees to submit new applications with the up to date forms.