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Telework Procedure - 63.06.10

College Policy Number/Title:

Telework is defined as a mutually agreed-upon arrangement between Howard Community College (HCC) and an employee wherein the employee is permitted to work at specified times at a location other than the employee’s normal campus worksite, such as a home office. Professionalism in terms of job responsibilities and work output while teleworking follows the high standards set for all employees at HCC. To that end, all college policies continue to apply when the employee is working at the alternate location.

Although telework is an option for some positions, it is not a right for all employees and is not possible for all positions. Telework requests impacting college operations may not be approved. Only employees living in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia are eligible for telework. To be eligible for a telework arrangement, an employee must be assigned duties that are suitable for off-site completion and have a satisfactory record of work performance. In cases where the employee has not had sufficient time on the job to establish a record of satisfactory performance, the request for telework is handled on a case-by-case basis.

Before teleworking in any capacity, an employee must receive written approval from the supervisor and area vice president or president on a telework application form available on the office of human resources portal page. The telework application form outlines eligibility requirements, general guidelines, and requirements for telework arrangements, and processes regarding computers, software, supplies, and support. The arrangement may be approved on an open-ended basis or on a limited-term basis, such as for a specific project. Telework requests impacting college operations may not be approved. Medical conditions do not guarantee approval to telework. Employees requesting a special exception to telework due to a medical condition may be granted the ability to telework on a temporary basis. If telework is not available or possible, the employee may request to use annual leave or leave without pay; there is no guarantee that this request will be granted.

Once approved, the telework arrangement may be ended at any time by either party. Management decisions regarding approval, denial, and revocation of telework arrangements are expected to be made fairly, equitably, and based only on work-related factors. Employees who can telework may be allowed to telework for up to three days per week. Exceptions to the three-day limit, may be approved by the president or area vice president on a case-by-case basis. Even if an exception is granted, employees are expected to come into the office periodically and to have a physical presence when required by the college. The college is not required to offer meetings in a hybrid modality to accommodate telework schedules. Further, telework agreements do not guarantee that college meetings will be offered in a hybrid fashion; employees are expected to come to campus to participate in in-person meetings on their telework or non-telework day.

An employee who is out of the campus-assigned office on telework must be reachable by phone or electronically, and if necessary, the employee may be required by the supervisor to return to the office with reasonable notice. Employees are expected to provide supervisors with planned work assignments while teleworking and to summarize accomplishments after returning to the campus worksite.

A teleworking employee's salary, job responsibilities, number of hours worked, and benefits remain unchanged while away from the campus-assigned office. Because worker's compensation benefits still apply, the employee's alternate worksite must be safe and free from distractions.

Telework is not a substitution for dependent care. Dependents present at the alternate worksite must be supervised by an individual other than the employee during working hours. In completing the telework application, the employee is asked to complete a checklist certifying that the alternate worksite is a safe and suitable environment. In addition, authorized human resources staff, or designee, retain the right to conduct safety inspections of the alternate worksite for cause, at a reasonable time and with proper notice.

Nothing in the telework policy, procedure, or agreement is intended to alter the nature of employment with HCC.

Effective Date: 02/11/22

President's Office Use:  VPAF

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