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Library: Policy

OKDHS:2-1-301. Telework

Revised 7-12-22

(a) General provisions.  This Section discusses Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) rules governing teleworking by its employees.  Within state government agencies, teleworking is permitted by, and managed, per Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) Human Capital Management (HCM), Oklahoma Administrative Code, and Section 840-4.19 of Title 74 of the Oklahoma Statutes (74 O.S. § 840-4.19).  OKDHS complies with all elements of that directive by encouraging its employees to telework whenever possible.  OKDHS employees who are able to telework are expected to do so.  They may work in the office no more than two days per week without special permission.  Division directors may approve others to work in an office more or less than two days per week when circumstances may dictate.

(b) Definitions.  The following words and terms when used in this Section have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) "Official duty station" means the official designated workspace or OKDHS office where an employee is assigned to perform the duties and responsibilities of the position for which he or she is hired.

(2) "Telework" means work performed outside of the employee's assigned duty station.  When teleworking, an employee's job duties, obligations, and responsibilities are the same as those for employees assigned to official duty stations.

(3) "Telework duty station" means the workspace, other than the official duty station, where an employee performs the duties and responsibilities of the position for which he or she is hired.

(c) Telework criteria.  An employee and his or her direct supervisor shall agree upon an employee’s telework duty station and the conditions under which the employee will perform his or her duties while teleworking.  If the employee is teleworking out of state for any length of time, Division director approval is required.  Such agreement also includes expectations when and under what circumstances an employee is expected to appear in person at his or her official duty station.

(d) Compensation and benefits.  Compensation and benefits accrue at the same rate whether an employee is teleworking or in an office.

(e) Appearance during business meetings.  When teleworking, employees must ensure their dress, appearance, and behavior are appropriate for the circumstances.  For example, business casual dress is expected when engaged in remote meetings or encounters with parties not associated with OKDHS.

(f) Information security and confidentiality.  When an employee is obligated to conduct business in a public location, the employee must take steps to mitigate the risks of inadvertently disclosing confidential information to third parties.  Such steps include restricting any other person's ability to view the employee's electronic devices or documents and not discussing confidential case specific information, including over any phone or other electronic device when individuals are capable of listening or intercepting the employee's communications.  Any employee who anticipates conducting business in a public location must receive training that addresses information security and confidentiality.  All internet-based use of an employee's work computer in a public location must be conducted utilizing the employee's VPN login credentials for heightened security purposes and not solely utilizing a public Wi-Fi network.

(g) Job-related illness or injuries while teleworking.  Teleworking employees must immediately report any illness or injury to supervisors, just as they would when working at an official duty station.

(e) Compensation and benefits. An employee's compensation and benefits do not change as a result of teleworking.Teleworkers accrue leave benefits at the same rate as they did, prior to teleworking.

(f) Teleworking hours.The total number of hours that an employee is expected to work does not change, regardless of work location.Every employee is required to work 40 hours per week.Regulations governing the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) remain in effect under the telework program.Teleworking is not:

(h) Equipment.  OKDHS provides each employee with a laptop computer and a cellular telephone, both of which support teleworking.

(1) Employees may use OKDHS-owned equipment only for legitimate OKDHS business-related purposes.

(2) The employee is responsible for using due diligence to protect OKDHS-owned equipment from theft, damage, or unauthorized use.

(i) Employee travel.  When teleworking the employee's official OKDHS duty station is the location of origin in calculating mileage unless the telework duty station is more cost-effective in terms of either time or distance.

(j) Telework reporting.  The Human Resource Management director has executive oversight of the OKDHS telework program.

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