DEC GUIDELINES FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE
NOTE - This has yet to be implemented!
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A successful telecommuting program will ensure that the
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) does its part in contributing to
reduced levels of both air pollution and highway congestion. Since these are
objectives that the Department promotes with the general public, it is important
that the Department strongly support these initiatives internally as well.
The Department is establishing a telecommuting program, based,
in part, on the successful pilot program that has been in place since 1998.
These guidelines set forth the minimal elements of the program, as approved by
the Department. The Office of Employee Relations and the Albany Pollution and
Energy Reduction Committee (PERC)* will periodically conduct information
sessions on the telecommuting program to inform interested employees of the
requirements for participation in the program. Employees can apply for the
program at any time. However, participation in the telecommuting program may
begin only after attending the mandatory training sessions offered on a monthly
basis. Duties which may be suitable for telecommuting include, but are not
limited to: reviewing documents and reports; writing reports and memoranda;
spreadsheet analysis and other computer related work.
Criteria for Participation
Participation in the telecommuting program is voluntary. It is
open to all PS&T and MC Central Office employees of the Department of
Environmental Conservation who meet all of the following criteria:
The employee’s time and attendance history is
satisfactory and reliable;
The employee’s work performance is satisfactory;
The employee may at times be relied upon to perform
his/her duties without direct supervision;
The employee does not participate in the Albany
Compressed Pay Period pilot program.
Training for the telecommuter and the supervisor will
Telecommuting will be limited to a maximum of four
days in any two week pay period.
Telecommuting will be allowed for whole days only.
To the extent practical, telecommuting days should be
established on a routine schedule. It is recognized, however, that the
work of certain employees may not follow a routine schedule thus
flexibility in selecting telecommuting days may be needed. Also,
meetings, or other scheduled events may
necessitate flexibility in telecommuting days. Supervisors
reserve the right to require an employee to come into the office on what
would otherwise be a telecommuting day, if the employee’s physical
presence is required to properly address an assignment.
Consistent with Department work rules, overtime or
compensatory time will be allowed only with the prior approval of the
The telecommuter must properly account for all leave
the same as for non-telecommuting days.
Workers Compensation benefits will apply to injuries
which arise out of and in the course of employment in the telecommuting
The assignment of employees to a telecommuting
schedule will be made on the basis of seniority, all other
considerations being equal.
The approval of a telecommuting schedule will not
alter the existing shift assignments, or the Voluntary Reduction in Work
Schedule (VRWS) schedules of other employees within a bureau or work
unit, except by the mutual agreement of the affected employees and their
1. An interested employee will submit an application,
identifying why his/her assigned work is appropriate for telecommuting,
to his or her immediate supervisor, who will approve, or disapprove the
application. The employee may modify the application in response to
review at the supervisor, bureau or division level.
2. A supervisor’s approval or disapproval of the
application will be based on the criteria for participation as outlined
in these guidelines, and the supervisor’s analysis of the impact of the
proposed work schedule on the operational needs of the work unit. The
application then goes to the Bureau Director.
3. The Bureau Director’s approval or disapproval of
the application will be based on the criteria for participation as
outlined in these guidelines, and the Bureau Director’s analysis of the
impact of the proposed work schedule on the operational needs of the
Bureau. The application then goes to the Division Director.
4. The Division Director’s approval or disapproval of
the application will be based upon the criteria for participation as
outlined in these guidelines, as well as concern for the potential
impact on the overall operations and mission of the Division. The
Division Director’s approval or disapproval regarding an employee’s
participation in the program is considered to be final.
5. The Division Director’s office must submit
all approved applications to the Personnel Office two (2) weeks before
the telecommuting is scheduled to begin. The division will send a copy
of both approved and disapproved applications to the PERC along with any
suggestions for improving the telecommuting program, application
procedure and guidelines.
6. Participants must attend a mandatory training
session prior to joining the telecommuting program.
Opting Out Procedures
1. An employee and supervisor may, by mutual
agreement, terminate the employee’s participation at any time.
Upon two (2) weeks prior notification, an employee may
withdraw from the program.
Upon two (2) weeks notification, a supervisor may
withdraw an employee’s approval to continue participation in the
Duties and Obligations
The telecommuter and supervisor will establish a
mechanism for assigning tasks to be performed on telecommuting days. For
some job descriptions and employees this may include specific agreements
as to the work to be performed on a given day. For others more general
assignments may be appropriate. Telecommuting will place additional
burdens on the supervisor to monitor the performance of the
telecommuter. The arrangement established for one employee may not be
needed or appropriate for another.
Work hours should be the same as the hours worked in
the office. Upon occasion these hours may be adjusted with prior
approval of the supervisor.
Scheduled telecommuting work hours will only be
utilized to perform official DEC business related activities.
The telecommuter must be reachable at their work area
(residence) on telecommuting days unless prior arrangements are made. If
during the day the telecommuter must be away from the work area, he/she
must inform the supervisor.
Co-workers should be aware of the telecommuter’s
schedule so that communication problems can be minimized and calls for
the telecommuter can be appropriately forwarded.
In instances where the telecommuter has been provided
Department equipment, Departmental property management procedures will
be followed to ensure proper transfer of DEC property to the employee’s
In instances where the telecommuter is using a DEC
computer, DEC’s guidelines for computer use apply.
Work Space, Equipment and Supplies
The telecommuter must provide a safe work space within
his/her residence which can be dedicated to the performance of assigned
tasks without interruption. For example, telecommuting is not a
substitute for child care. With 48 hours notice telecommuting work space
may be inspected for safety and appropriateness.
Supplies, such as paper, pencils, etc., will be
obtained from the Department. The telecommuter will not otherwise be
reimbursed for the purchase of supplies.
The telecommuter must have a telephone conveniently
located to the work space.
If the telecommuter’s work space is located such that
phone calls to the office are long distance, or if the telecommuter’s
tasks include placing calls to locations other than the office, the
Department will provide the telecommuter with a calling card.
For some telecommuters the telephone may be the only
equipment needed. For others, the proper performance of the
telecommuter’s tasks may require a computer. Whether other equipment is
needed should be determined between the telecommuter and program
management. The availability of equipment will be contingent upon the
ability of the telecommuter’s Division to purchase it or DEC to provide
it from departmental surplus supplies.
Computer equipment requirements:
a.) DEC Computer Network Access: If the
telecommuter needs a personal computer (PC) that must be connected
to the DEC network (including via GroupWise Remote), a DEC PC will
be provided. It will be a reasonably current model as approved by
the Division of Information Services (DIS).
b.) Stand Alone Computer Applications: If
the telecommuter needs a PC for software applications (e.g.,
WordPerfect, spreadsheets, or databases) but does not have to be
connected to the DEC network, it is preferable but not necessary
that a DEC PC be provided.
c.) Groupwise Access Only: If the
telecommuter needs a PC to only access e-mail, use of the
telecommuter’s personal PC to connect to GroupWise Web over the
internet will suffice.
7. When a DEC PC is provided:
a.) The telecommuter will take precautions to
prevent the use of the DEC PC by unauthorized persons. These
precautions will include maintaining a secret boot-up password and
screen saver password.
b.) The Division of Information Services (DIS)
will furnish and maintain the PC operating system, data
communications software, virus protection, word processing and
browser. DIS will assist the telecommuter with installation and
maintenance of other software provided by the telecommuter’s
c.) The telecommuter will transport the DEC PC to
and from the office if it becomes necessary for DIS to have hands-on
access to the DEC PC.
d.) If the telecommuter has cable access to the
internet (e.g. Roadrunner), a cable router must be used to act as a
hardware firewall . In addition, there should be a firewall software
package on the PC itself to prevent intrusion if the router is
When the telecommuter’s personal PC is used:
a.) The telecommuter will use the virus protection
software provided on his/her normal office PC to ensure that files
loaded onto the office PC from the personal PC are not infected
(i.e., all files are scanned by the office computer for viruses).
b.) The telecommuter may copy software form
his/her office PC to the personal PC to the extent allowed by each
c.) Maintenance of the telecommuter’s personal
equipment is the responsibility of the telecommuter.
It is recommended that telecommuters use ergonomically
designed furniture in
the home office. If a laptop computer is used, it is
recommended that a full size monitor and keyboard be used.
Department Oversight of the Telecommuting Program and Periodic
Review of Guidelines
The Albany PERC committee will continue to meet quarterly to
discuss implementation of the telecommuting program and to make recommendations
to address employee or supervisor concerns with the program. On at least an
annual basis, the Guidelines for Telecommuting will be reviewed by the Albany
PERC committee, and revised as necessary. Suggestions for improving the
telecommuting program, application procedure and guidelines, or explanations for
withdrawals from the program, may be sent to PERC by any DEC employee.
*The Albany Pollution and Energy Reduction Committee is a
Labor/Management committee comprised of representatives from the Public
Employees Federation, the Civil Service Employees Association, the Employees
Relations Office, Personnel Office and interested Central Office Divisions.
PERC (July 23, 2002)
Return to PERC Page
Last Updated on
December 29, 2005