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COVID-19 Interim Telecommuting Exceptions

The University’s Remote Work Policy (University Policy Manual, section 16) outlines eligibility, procedures, and expectations regarding staff members working remotely. Exceptions to this policy have been in effect throughout the outbreak, and as the fall term begins, will be eliminated on July 31, 2021.

Employees who wish to continue remote work should submit a remote work request to their supervisor and Human Resources. Employees may submit a new request each fiscal year, or any time they would like to change the terms of their request.

Understanding that some employees may have ongoing personal situations, and if business needs permit, supervisors may allow some flexibility to employees who may wish to take time from work or work remotely for legitimate reasons (for example, caring for children during school closures, elderly family members, and those at risk with weakened immune systems, among others). Supervisors should regularly communicate with their staff regarding the fluidity of such situations, as well as changing business needs (such as the need to report to campus).

Expectations for All Staff

Supervisors should communicate specific expectations to individual team members based on each person's needs and circumstance. To ensure that the remote work assignment is mutually beneficial to both the University and staff members, planning and communicating expectations in advance of the telecommuting is crucial. Staff members completing remote work are responsible to:

  • Fulfill the expectations agreed upon with their supervisor regarding the scope of their remote work assignment, such as:

    • Duties and responsibilities
    • Hours of work (rest/meal breaks, overtime, and other wage and hour requirements still apply)
    • Hours of availability to communicate regarding University business
    • Communication of work assignments and personal needs, including reporting absences of work due to injury, illness, or caring for a family member
    • The use of University equipment and materials.
  • Appropriately complete their timecard. For instructions on how to complete timecards during a pandemic, please see the Faculty/Staff FAQ webpage.
  • Protect University information by following the University’s policies governing information security, software licensing, and data protection; ensuring that unauthorized individuals do not access Pepperdine data, either in print or electronically; and not accessing restricted-level information in print or electronically unless approved by the supervisor and protected by policy-compliant encryption and/or physical controls.
  • Maintain a safe environment in which to work.

General Agreement

Staff members must comply with University rules, policies, practices, and instructions and understand that violations may result in termination of remote work privileges and/or discipline up to, and including, dismissal from the University. Remote work assignments do not change a staff member's classification, compensation, or benefits. The accrual and charging of leave time is subject to the same policies and procedures applicable to on-ground staff members.

Pepperdine University is an "at-will" employer, meaning that the employment relationship between the University and each of its staff members may be terminated at any time by either the University or the staff member, with or without notice or cause. Remote work assignments are not contracts or promises of employment. Nothing in a remote work assignment guarantees employment for any specific term, nor alters the "at-will" nature of employment.

Advanced Planning and Critical Support Personnel

As a reminder, Critical Support Personnel (CSP) are expected to report to work in the event of University closure or other extraordinary circumstance, if it is safe to do so and even if they are not instructed to do so. In extreme circumstances, CSP may have legitimate reasons for being unable to report to work (such as the examples cited above). Supervisors are encouraged to speak with CSP as early as possible and in advance of extraordinary circumstances for planning purposes and to reassign work as necessary.