Telecommuting after July 2nd ...
On June 18, GOERS released guidance for all New York State “Agencies and Authorities.” The guidance related to the upcoming July 2 expiration of the current Telecommuting Pilot Program AND (more importantly) granted Agencies and Authorities the power to develop their own, individualized, telecommuting programs. The Agencies and Authorities have been given until July 31, 2021 to submit their own specific telecommuting programs to GOER for review/approval.
The new Agency and Authority-specific telecommuting programs are to address the following situations –
- Requests for reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the New York State Human Rights Laws.
- Temporary COVID19 specific accommodations for employee issues (child and elder care) that are outside the scope of ADA/HRLs … where reasonable and do not adversely impact agency or authority operations.
At the UUP Presidents’ Retreat, held in-person (Albany, NY) on June 24 and 25, we were told that employees/members can apply NOW for access to these telecommuting benefits … even though the agency-specific plans have not yet been created, submitted, or approved. UB Human Resources has updated their website with a form to fill out to request to defer transition back to 'place-based' work.
If you decide to request for a telecommuting extension, based on the criteria listed above, the sooner you do so the better. July 2 is less than a week away!
To be clear, the authority that has been granted to Agencies and Authorities is not likely to be permanent. For example, the GOER guidance issued on June 18 indicates that the COVID 19-telecommuting flexibility related to child and elder care will only continue through September 7, 2021. While that is not permanent, I truly believe our members would appreciate the opportunity to utilize that flexibility over the remainder of the summer.
Please let Nick of I know if you have any follow-up questions or feedback.
Nick Whitman’s contact info:
UUP Labor Relations Specialist
(716) 304-0577 phone
Philip L Glick, MD, MBA, FACS, FRCS (Eng)
President, Buffalo Health Sciences Center (HSC) Chapter