Waiver of Telework Waiting Period for Certain Employees

The new NTEU telework article in our collective bargaining agreement reduces the time that new employees must wait to telework from one year (old agreement) to between 3-6 months (Article 54, Section 8), as determined by your manager. A new policy waiver allows managers to forego the waiting period altogether for episodic telework in certain situations.

This policy exception allows supervisors to approve requests by "new employees" who meet the telework eligibility criteria but do not meet the minimum 90-day waiting period after their employment to be allowed to telework "for any emergency or special event that causes a disruption." It stands to reason that this same logic could apply to other employees who want to telework but do not have an approved agreement. But the policy does not specifically address circumstances outside of new employees.

Keep in mind that the policy waiver does not require those new employees or others to telework.  If you do not have an approved telework agreement, you cannot be forced to telework. Telework is voluntary. Despite the voluntary nature of telework, you may be required to telework if you have an approved telework agreement. We covered all of the scenarios regarding who is and is not required to telework in the event of a government closure at this blog post. Please take a look!