Hybrid/Remote Work Policy for Local 153
1. Policy Statement
Fordham University is a highly collaborative workplace. It provides robust on-campus experiences that are the hallmark of a transformational Jesuit education and a dynamic environment for students, faculty, staff and administrators. While on-campus work is preferred, a hybrid work arrangement and, rarely, a fully remote work arrangement can create advantages for both the University and its employees. Such advantages may include increased productivity and performance, relief of on-campus space constraints, enhanced employee recruitment and retention, cost reduction, environmental sustainability, crisis response, greater work-life balance, and increased job satisfaction.
- 2. Reason for the Policy
- 3. Application of the Policy
- 4. Definitions
- 5. Guiding Principles for Hybrid/Remote Work
- 6. Eligibility
- 7. Approval of Hybrid/Remote Work Arrangement
- 8. Employee Accountability and Responsibility
- 9. Termination of Hybrid/Remote Arrangement
- 10. Risk Management
- 11. Security and Technology
- 12. Change in Offsite-Work Location
- 13. Contact Information
- 14. Exclusions and Special Situations
2. Reason for the Policy
The University offers flexibility to Local 153 Members to work hybrid or, in extremely rare cases, remote schedules if doing so will not compromise work performance, productivity or the collaborative nature of our Jesuit mission. The University acknowledges that this is necessary to stay market competitive, enhance employee recruitment and retention, and increase environmental sustainability.
3. Application of the Policy
This policy applies to Local 153 Members employed in the United States (referred to as “covered employees” in the policy.) Employees who wish to participate in a hybrid/remote work arrangement must be: (i) in good standing; and (ii) in a job whose job duties and responsibilities are suitable for a hybrid or remote work arrangement.
This Policy does not apply to requests for, or management of, leave of absences or workplace accommodation(s) under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), FMLA, NYPFL, NYDBL, Workers’ Compensation, or under any other applicable federal, state, or local law or regulation Employees seeking such a leave or workplace accommodation(s) should contact the Office of Human Resources Management at [email protected].
This Policy supersedes any policies or guidelines issued by any school, department or unit regarding hybrid or remote work arrangement for covered employees.
- Hybrid Work means working from an assigned campus work location for a minimum number of days during a work week and from an off-site location for the remaining workdays of the week on a regular basis. While working from an off-site location, covered employees are expected to work the same general hours that they were originally hired to work, and to perform their responsibilities as they otherwise would at a campus work location.
- Remote Work means working from an off-site location all days of the week on a regular basis. Covered employees are expected to work the same general hours that they were originally hired to work, and to perform their responsibilities as they otherwise would at an on-campus work location. An employee approved for remote work may also be required, at times, to attend meetings or work at a campus work location as directed by a supervisor or as operationally necessary.
Complete the Hybrid/Remote Work Arrangement Form
5. Guiding Principles for Hybrid/Remote Work
A hybrid or remote work arrangement should be guided by the following principles:
- The work arrangement supports the University’s mission and vision, and aligns with the operational and business needs of the department/business unit.
- The work arrangement sustains service levels, quality of work, and productivity.
- The arrangement will not affect the obligations, duties, and work-relationships of the covered employees.
- The work arrangement approvals are made without favoritism or bias.
- The frequency of required on-campus presence for a particular position will be determined by the supervisor, and clear expectations will be agreed upon by the supervisor and employee. The hybrid work arrangement will require at least 3 days of on-campus presence. The specific terms must be approved by the relevant Academic Dean (if applicable) and the Area Vice President or designee.
- Remote work arrangements are the exception and will be granted only under extraordinary circumstances where both the University and the employee share an interest in the arrangement and upon the approval of the relevant Academic Dean (if applicable) and the Area Vice President or designee, the Chief Financial Officer, and the Office of Legal Counsel.
- To participate in a hybrid work arrangement, employees must live in NY, NJ, CT, or PA and within a commutable distance to the campus.
- To participate in a remote work arrangement, employees must reside in the United States. No remote work arrangement will be considered for working from outside the United States.
- The work arrangement is revocable and can be discontinued at any time, when, in the judgment of the supervisor, it is in the best interest of the University to do so.
- The work arrangement does not change an employee’s terms and conditions of employment, including the required compliance with or the application of university policies. Additionally, an employee’s compensation and/or benefits do not change as a result of a hybrid/remote work arrangement.
- The hybrid/remote work arrangement is not intended to permit employees to have time to work at other jobs or attend to other personal business, nor is it intended as a substitute for dependent care.
- The hybrid/remote work arrangement does not convert the off-site work location into a University place of business.
- Members who are approved to work a hybrid work arrangement will receive pay at their regular straight time for regular hours worked off-site. Hours worked in excess of 7 hours a day or 35 hours a calendar week shall be compensated at one and half times the regular pay rates. No overtime shall be performed without written prior approval of the supervisor. Failing to adhere to this rule will be sufficient grounds for Fordham to discipline, up to and including termination, a Local 153 member.
- The University retains the right to evaluate, alter, deny, suspend or revoke a request for hybrid/remote work if a department or area supervisor determines that:
- The member is not suitable for hybrid/remote work because of productivity, performance issues or substandard attendance and punctuality; or
- The position is not suitable for hybrid/remote work because it requires an on-campus presence. If working in a student facing position, members may be eligible for seasonal hybrid work during summer, winter, or extended student breaks; or
- The supervisor determines that the position or the member requires on campus supervision; or
- Based on any other business/operational needs as determined by the supervisor or manager.
- The Union agrees that each department or area supervisor has the sole authority to evaluate, approve or deny, alter, suspend or revoke any hybrid/remote work agreement regarding a Local 153 member. The Union agrees that it is within management’s right to deny or revoke a hybrid/remote work arrangement and the Union or a member will be precluded from filing a grievance regarding any such decision.
a. Position Eligibility
The supervisor is responsible for determining if a position or a class of positions is eligible for a hybrid or remote work arrangement based on the department’s operational and business needs. Typically, if all of the duties of the position can be accomplished at an equal or higher level of performance at the off-site location, the position may be appropriate for either hybrid or remote work. The frequency of required on-campus presence for a particular position will also be determined by the supervisor.
Some positions may be eligible only for “seasonal” hybrid work depending upon the fluctuating nature of the work schedule and the operational needs during a particular time of year (e.g. student facing positions may be eligible for seasonal hybrid work during summer, winter, or extended student breaks.)
When evaluating whether the duties of a particular position may be performed in a hybrid/remote format, the supervisor should consider the following:
- Nature of the work and responsibilities to be performed are conducive to a hybrid/remote work location without causing disruption to performance or service;
- The needs of the department to advance its core mission and the needs of the department to fulfill its role in that mission: including frequency of meetings, department goals and projects, and space constraints;
- Other collaborating departments’ needs and schedules;
- Whether or not daily face-to-face in-person interaction is required of the position including on-campus appointments or meetings with students, constituents, or colleagues. Generally, positions with significant face-to-face in-person interactions or that require regular access to onsite confidential documents may not be suitable for hybrid/remote work;
- An excellent level of service can be maintained without hardship on collaborating departments, students, internal constituents and co-workers;
- Identification of a backup to monitor the hybrid/remote worker in the supervisor’s absence;
b. Employee Eligibility
If a position or a class of positions is determined to be eligible for a hybrid or remote work arrangement, the supervisor should next evaluate if the incumbent is in good standing in that the employee can satisfactorily complete their job functions from an off-site work location as outlined below (supervisor should assess employee work habits, employee attitude, and overall employee performance):
- Employee has a clear understanding of the position and expectations;
- Employee demonstrates ability to work independently and does not require close supervision;
- Employee demonstrates ability to work collaboratively with University stakeholders;
- Employee must have met or exceeded performance expectations in their last performance evaluation;
- Employee should, at minimum, be able to work at the same level as when working on campus;
- Employee demonstrates consistent ability to complete tasks and assignments timely and accurately;
- Employee demonstrates a high degree of workplace responsiveness to all constituents;
- Employee demonstrates good communication skills.
Regardless of a hybrid or remote work arrangement, employees may be required to work from campus at any time at the sole discretion of their supervisor. Supervisors are expected to discuss such instances (e.g., hands-on training, projects, etc.) with the staff member in advance whenever possible. Decisions regarding scheduling and attending meetings in person or virtually should be based on optimizing outcomes and not on personal preferences for hybrid or remote work.
7. Approval of Hybrid/Remote Work Arrangement
- Except for a class of positions which have been deemed eligible for "seasonal" hybrid work, all other employees must apply for approval via the Hybrid/Remote Work Arrangement Form (link form). This form includes a Confidentiality Commitment and Standards of Practice.
- The frequency of required on-campus presence for a particular position will be determined by the supervisor, and clear expectations will be agreed upon by the supervisor and employee. The hybrid work arrangement requires at least 3 days of on-campus presence. The specific terms must be approved by the relevant Academic Dean (if applicable) and the Area Vice President or designee.
- For any fully remote work requests, the supervisor must obtain the concurrence of the relevant Academic Dean (if applicable) and Area Vice President, Office of the Chief Financial Officer, and the Office of Legal Counsel prior to approving the request.
- Approval of a hybrid or remote work arrangement is valid for one year unless it is revoked sooner by the University.
8. Employee Accountability and Responsibility
- The University expects all covered employees to be available during the administrative hours of business for the University, or during the ordinary hours of business for the employee’s specific office/unit. Presence may be maintained by using appropriate technology including but not limited to a phone, computer, email, messaging application, video conferencing, instant messaging, Google apps, and/or text messaging.
- Covered employees must be available for staff meetings and other meetings deemed necessary by management. Covered employees are expected and may be required to be physically present on-campus for staff and other in-person meetings or events even if they occur on a day that they do not normally work on campus. The cost of commuting and parking at Fordham, under this policy, will be at the employee’s sole expense as would be expected of non-hybrid/non-remote employees.
- The University will provide equipment (computer, phone, office supplies, etc.) at its discretion for the employee’s primary work location which in the case of hybrid work arrangement will continue to be the covered employee’s on-campus work location. It will be the covered employee’s responsibility to arrange for any additional equipment or services (computer, printer, phone, phone service, internet service, etc.) necessary to facilitate working from an off-site location. There will be no reimbursement for printing, phone, internet or furniture for the off-site work location and all costs, whether relating to the initial set-up or the maintenance of an off-site work location, will be borne by the employee. An employee with a hybrid work arrangement understands that their campus-based workstation may be used by others on days when the hybrid employee is working off-site.
- It is the responsibility of the covered employee to protect University-issued equipment (like laptops etc.) from theft, damage, and unauthorized use if any University-issued equipment is used by the covered employee at off-site work location.
- If during inclement weather the University announces campus closings, delayed openings, or modification of operations due to inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances, covered employees who have an approved hybrid/remote work arrangement will continue to work from their off-site work location even if the closing does not fall on a day when the employee normally works off-site. Those employees will receive their regular pay at a straight time.
- When the University announces a closing due to inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances, Local 153 members who do not have an approved hybrid/remote work arrangement may be required by their department or area to work remotely. In those instances, the department will provide such members with advanced written notice of the necessity to work remotely whenever practicable. The University will provide the necessary electronic devices and internet access, at no cost to the member, in order for them to perform their duties remotely. Members are expected to return such devices and internet access upon request from their supervisor or an authorized manager at the University. Members without an approved hybrid/remote work arrangement who are asked to work remotely on a day when the University is closed due to inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances will be compensated at a premium rate of time and a half. Members are not allowed to work remotely or receive premium pay without advanced written authorization from their supervisors.
- Covered employees are responsible for any change in their tax obligations pursuant to a hybrid/remote work arrangement and in no event will the University be liable for any state or local income taxation obligations, interest charges, or penalties to which covered employees are subject or for any other associated costs (such as legal or accounting fees).
9. Termination of Hybrid/Remote Arrangement
- Either the employee or the University may end a hybrid/remote work arrangement.
- An employee may terminate a hybrid/remote work arrangement upon reasonable written notice to their supervisor.
- In the event that the University determines that the hybrid/remote work arrangement is not in the best interests of the University for any reason, including but not limited to the employee’s performance and productivity, the University may terminate the arrangement. The University will strive to provide a minimum of two weeks’ written notice of such termination of the arrangement, if feasible, but is not required to do so if the circumstances warrant a shorter notice period
10. Risk Management
Workers’ compensation covers job-related injuries that occur in the course and scope of employment. Covered employees shall report any job-related injuries that occur in the course and scope of employment at the earliest reasonable opportunity.
For further information, contact the Office of Human Resources Management at [email protected].
11. Security and Technology
- Covered employees must adhere to the established standards and protocols relating to information protection, security, and technology. The University’s IT personnel can answer general questions related to Fordham-owned equipment. For further details on technology to support working from a remote location, please see IT Resources for Working Off-Site or contact the IT Service Desk at [email protected] or via phone at 718-817-3999.
- Failure to adhere to the standards and protocol may result in revocation of the hybrid or remote work arrangement and may lead to disciplinary action.
- Covered employees are expected to report to their supervisor any incidents of loss, damage, or unauthorized access at the earliest reasonable opportunity and cooperate with reporting such incidents to law enforcement officials and/or insurance providers, as necessary.
12. Change in Off-Site Work Location
It is the responsibility of the covered employee to inform and seek re-approval in advance prior to any change to the information contained on the Hybrid/Remote Work Arrangement Form.
13. Contact Information
Contact the Office of Human Resources Management:
- Nancy Hark, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources: 718-817-4090
- Gulay Siouzios, Assistant Director of Labor/Employee Relations: 718-817-3897
14. Exclusions and Special Situations
- This Policy only applies to members of OPEIU, Local 153.
- This hybrid/remote work policy and any hybrid/remote work arrangements entered into pursuant to this Policy do not apply to hybrid/remote work arrangements made through the University’s reasonable accommodation policy or process based on an employee’s own disability or other applicable circumstances.