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Alternative Work Arrangements

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2015


Vanderbilt supports alternative work arrangements as viable options for employees in some situations based upon the needs of the job, work group or organization. This policy establishes the guidelines for alternative work arrangements.


Either the employee or the supervisor may request consideration for an alternative work arrangement. These work arrangements include flexible work schedules, job sharing, and telecommuting agreements. The alternative work arrangement will continually be assessed to determine that the needs of the department and the organization are being met.


Employees who may be eligible for an alternative work arrangement should follow the guidelines set forth below:

1. Flexible Work Schedule: Unit work schedules are determined by the business needs of the work group and are managed accordingly. Once schedules are defined and communicated to employees, an employee who requests a deviation in that schedule must do so in writing to the supervisor for approval. Examples of flexible work schedules include variable arrivals i.e. 7:00 a.m. through 10:00 a.m., four 10-hour shifts, three 12-hour shifts and the like.

2. Job Sharing: Job sharing involves two or more employees working a portion of a 1.0 full-time equivalent position. The employees agree to combine their efforts to cover the work load for that full time position. Employees must have their work schedule approved by their manager prior to beginning the job share arrangement. This option must be approved by the administrator for the area and reviewed by the department Human Resources Consultant. Characteristics of an employee well-suited for job sharing typically include the ability to work with minimal supervision, excellent communication skills and the ability to follow through with work activities. Benefit eligibility will be based on the percentage of an employee's full-time status according to the PTO policy. 1   If one job share member terminates the arrangement, the supervisor will evaluate the arrangement.

3. Telecommuting: Telecommuting is a regular, routine work arrangement that allows the employee to fulfill his/her primary job responsibility at a location other than his/her Vanderbilt work site, such as at home. The needs of the department and the institution will be taken into account when this work arrangement is approved. This option must be approved by the administrator for the area and reviewed by the Human Resource Consultant for that department. Employees members suited for telecommuting are self disciplined, self motivated and comfortable working alone. Job characteristics of a position suited for telecommuting typically require minimum supervision and minimum face-to-face contact. Telecommuting may include work activities with clearly defined measurable deliverables such as word processing, editing, data entry, coding and other tasks of this nature.

A. Telecommuters who work from home are responsible for having a designated work area. Telecommuters who require home adjustments are responsible for any costs related to remodeling and the initial setup of designated workspace. Tax implications related to the off-site work area are the responsibility of the employee, who is advised to consult a tax professional 2 .

B. Any work-related accident, injury, or illness which occurs while telecommuting should be reported immediately to the employee's supervisor so that a first report of injury can be completed. Reference should be made to the Work Related Accident and Return to Work policy.

C. Equipment needs for telecommuting are determined on a case by case basis between the supervisor and employee. Vanderbilt will not provide telecommuting equipment unless it is justified based on the needs of the department and the nature of the work assignment. The decision as to type, nature, function and/or quality of electronic hardware, modems, systems access, data and phone lines rests entirely with the supervisor in coordination with the appropriate central computing support department. If equipment is provided by Vanderbilt, the telecommuter agrees that the use of the equipment, software, data and supplies provided by their department is limited to authorized persons and for Vanderbilt related purposes only. Employees using their personal equipment are responsible for any loss, damage or wear to their personal equipment. Employees agree to abide by software licensing agreements.


Ongoing interaction between the employees and the department should be maintained daily by telephone and/or emails. Whenever possible, weekly face-to-face check-ins should be arranged to discuss work progress. Periodic evaluations of ongoing performance will be in accordance with the department's performance appraisal system.


1. Vanderbilt policies and procedures apply to all alternative work arrangements. The supervisor and employee should agree upon and document a schedule of regular work hours. Any changes of work hours or work location should be reviewed and approved by the supervisor in advance 3 .

2. Telecommuters generally spend the entire telecommuting day at the same remote work location. Business travel should be specifically authorized by the supervisor. Establishing a remote work location in a telecommuter's home does not make the telecommuter's regular commute to the primary work location a business trip.

3. Nonexempt employees may be required to work beyond the customary 40-hour workweek to ensure successful completion of job responsibilities. However, any overtime work must be pre-authorized by the supervisor and reported as hours worked.

NOTE: These arrangements do not change the basic terms and conditions of the employee's employment with Vanderbilt, nor are they guaranteed to any employees for any specific time. If at any time alternative work arrangements do not meet the needs of the institution they can be discontinued at the discretion of the department.


This policy is intended as a guideline to assist in the consistent application of University policies and programs for employees. The policy does not create a contract implied or expressed, with any Vanderbilt emplolyees, who are employees at will. Vanderbilt reserves the right to modify this policy in whole or in part, at any time, at the discretion of the University.

Approved by Eric Kopstain, Vice Chancellor for Administration

1 For benefit eligibility please contact the Human Resources.

2 A copy of the IRS publication #587, Business Use of Your Home, can be obtained by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.

3 Nonexempt employees are required to record their work hours in accordance with timesheet processing guidelines for the nonexempt payroll process.