Section G: Personnel

Regulation Title: Remote Work Assignments
Policy Code: GCAB-R

Print Version (in PDF)

Remote Work
Generally, the Tucson Unified School District believes that its goals and objectives are best served when employees work in-person on District premises. However, the District recognizes remote work assignments to be a viable, flexible work option when both the employee and the job function are suited to such an assignment. It may also be necessary in the event of an extraordinary circumstance such as widespread illness, natural disaster, or other emergency situation. When making decisions about remote work assignments, the District will take into consideration any applicable laws, regulations, collective bargaining agreements, or existing policies and procedures. This policy will be superseded by any conflicting law, regulation, or collective bargaining agreement.
A temporary remote work assignment may be appropriate for some employees and some positions but may not be for others.  Working remotely is not an entitlement, it is not a District-wide benefit, and it in no way changes the terms and conditions of employment with the Tucson Unified School District. 

The ability to work remotely is completely and solely at the discretion of the District.  Except where specifically provided by an applicable collective bargaining agreement, employees will not be permitted to file a grievance as a result of a denial of their request to work remotely.  Employees working remotely are subject to all TUSD policies and regulations.

Continuity of Work
Unless specifically agreed upon, working remotely will not alter an employee's work schedule, job duties, compensation, benefits, or any other term and condition of employment. Further, while working remotely, employees will be required to remain available during their normal working hours via email, phone, or other means.  Failure to respond in a reasonable time frame may result in discipline and/or termination of the remote work assignment.

Remote work can be informal, such as working from home for a short-term project, or a formal set schedule working away from the employee’s worksite for a predetermined period of time with predetermined work hours.  Either an employee or a supervisor can suggest working remotely as a possible work assignment.  An employee’s performance when working remotely will be monitored in the same manner as all employees at their assigned school or office.

Any remote work assignment will initially be considered temporary and on a trial basis and may be discontinued at any time at the request of either the remote worker or the supervisor. Temporary remote work assignments may be approved for circumstances such as inclement weather, special projects, or other unusual or personal circumstances.  These aforementioned assignments are approved on an as-needed basis only, with no expectation of ongoing continuance. If your remote work plan is part of a formal, set schedule, it may be adjusted by your supervisor at any time to ensure coverage or to meet other, yet to be determined, business needs.  Authorization to work remotely will be determined by and is at the sole discretion of the Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee.

Before entering into any remote work agreement, the employee and supervisor, with the assistance of the Human Resources Department as needed, will evaluate the suitability of such an assignment. Final approval of the assignment will be made by the Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee.

Supervisors, in consultation with the Office of Human Resources, will analyze the nature of a position and how the work is performed, and determine which positions are appropriate to designate or approve for remote work. Several factors should be considered in determining the feasibility of a remote work assignment, including the District’s ability to supervise the employee adequately and whether any duties require use of certain equipment or tools that cannot be replicated at home. Other critical considerations should include whether:
  1. There is a need for face-to-face interaction and coordination of work with other employees;
  2. In-person interaction with outside colleagues, clients, students, or customers is necessary;
  3. The position in question requires the employee to have immediate, or easy access to documents not otherwise accessible remotely, or other information located only in the workplace;
  4. The alternate work location is not local to the Tucson Arizona/Pima County area;
  5. The remote work assignment will impact service quality or District operations, or increase workload for other employees;
  6. The position can be structured to be performed independently of others with minimal need for support and little face-to-face interaction; and
  7. Performance can be measured by quantitative or qualitative results-oriented standards versus time spent doing the job.
A remote work assignment is not appropriate if it will result in any reduction or elimination of any job duty.  Typically, a position designated as remote work-eligible, indicates that partial rather than full-time remote work is feasible.  Very few TUSD positions are eligible for full time remote work.

Employees approved to work from home must be available by telephone, email, or video conferencing to the same extent that they would be during an on-site workday. 

Evaluation of employee’s performance while working remotely will include regular interaction by phone, video conference and email between the employee and the supervisor, and possible weekly meetings to discuss work progress or other pertinent topics.  The supervisor will evaluate the remote work assignment and make recommendations for continuance or modifications.  Evaluation of employee performance while working remotely will be consistent with that received by employees working on-site in both content and frequency and will focus on work output and completion of objectives. 

If an employee in an eligible position requests approval to work remotely, the supervisor, in consultation with the Human Resources Department, will determine whether the employee is eligible. Generally, the following conditions must be met to approve an employee for remote work:
  • The employee has been in the position for at least 30-days;
  • The employee has no active disciplinary actions;
  • The employee has a remote workspace with good internet connectivity available;
  • The employee has a demonstrated ability to work productively on their own and is self-motivated and flexible; and
  • The employee’s performance meets standards.

Supervisors must ensure that teleworking decisions are made for appropriate, non-discriminatory reasons.

Other informal, short-term assignments may be made for employees on family or medical leave to the extent practical for the employee and the District, and with the consent of the employee’s health care provider, if appropriate.  Such cases should be documented with either the ADA office or Human Resources.

On a case-by-case basis, the Tucson Unified School District will determine, with information supplied by the employee and the supervisor, the appropriate equipment needs for each remote work assignment. Equipment supplied by the District is to be used for business purposes only and will be maintained by the District.  Upon termination of employment, all District property will be returned to the District, unless other arrangements have been made.  Equipment supplied by the employee, if deemed appropriate by the District, will be maintained by the employee.  The Tucson Unified School District accepts no responsibility for damage or repairs to employee-owned equipment. 

The employee will establish an appropriate work environment within his or her home for work purposes.  The Tucson Unified School District will not be responsible for costs associated with the setup of the employee’s home office, such as remodeling, furniture, or lighting, nor for repairs or modifications to the home office space.

As outlined in the Tucson Unified School District’s Acceptable Use of Technology Resources Policy EJA, Regulation EJA-R, and Exhibit EJA-E, a system administrator or other authorized District staff member may, at any time and without advance notice to staff monitor, access, modify, remove, review, retrieve and or disclose the subject, content, and appropriateness of any and all information stored or transmitted on District technology resources, including information that may have been deleted but still exists on the system.

Security and Confidentiality
Consistent with the District’s expectations of information security for employees working at the office, in accordance with the Tucson Unified School District’s Acceptable Use of Technology Resources Policy EJA, employees approved to work remotely will be expected to ensure the protection and retention of all District information, whether electronic or hard copy, that is accessible from their home office.  Expected actions include the use of locked file cabinets and desks, regular password maintenance, and any other measures appropriate for the job and the environment.

An employee who is approved to work from home shall recognize and respect confidential information acquired in the course of employment regarding individual student safety, education, health, and personal information of students and their families as well as information acquired about personnel. Employees need to be cognizant of others in their workspace at home and consider confidentiality when talking with students, parents and/or staff via telephone, email, and video conferencing.

General Working Conditions & Safety
Employees are expected to maintain their home workspace in a safe manner, free from safety hazards and will be required to identify the space in their home that will be used for work and will need to clearly designate working hours to include not only start and end times, but also lunch periods and breaks.  Injuries sustained by the employee in a home office location and in conjunction with his or her regular work duties may not be covered by the District’s workers’ compensation policy.  Employees working remotely are responsible for notifying the supervisor of such injuries within 24 hours of the incident.

Employees are responsible for filling out an Employee Accident Investigation Report and submitting this to their supervisor and Human Resources within five (5) calendar days after reporting such injury to their supervisor. 

The employee is liable for any injuries sustained by visitors to his or her home worksite.

Remote work is not designed to be a replacement for appropriate child or adult care.  If children or adults in need of primary care are in the alternate work location during employees’ work hours, another person must be present to provide the care. An exception to this requirement may be granted in special or limited circumstances. Employees should check with Human Resources on available options. Although an individual employee’s schedule may be modified to accommodate childcare needs, the focus of the remote work assignment must remain on job performance. 

Employees cannot use remote work in place of sick leave, personal leave, Family and Medical Leave, leave used under the Workers’ Compensation act, or other types of leave.  However, the District may determine whether it is appropriate to offer remote work as an opportunity for partial or full return to work based on Tucson Unified School District’s return-to-work policies following an injury or illness and the criteria normally applied to decisions regarding the approval of remote work.

Employees of the District may be reimbursed mileage at the rate established by the Governing Board and in accordance with Governing Board policy.  Mileage reimbursement is strictly limited to travel required by job performance and will not include:
  • Travel to any TUSD site from home.
  • Travel to home from any TUSD site.
  • Travel for meals or snacks.
  • Any other related personal business travel.

Time Worked
Employees working remotely, who are not exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act, will be required to accurately record all hours worked using the Tucson Unified School District’s time-keeping system.  Hours worked in excess of those scheduled per day and per work week require the prior approval of the employee’s supervisor.  Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the immediate termination of the remote work assignment.

Additionally, all remote workers are required to submit a Time and Effort form for any work performed remotely.  Forms must be completed and submitted on the last day of the pay period.  Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the immediate termination of the remote work assignment.

Remote Work vs. Itinerant Position
There may be positions within TUSD that are considered a remote position as opposed to an itinerant position that provides direct serves to more than one District site.  Remote positions will be posted and advertised as remote work positions and will not require an employee to complete the 30-day on site period prior to entering into a remote work agreement with their supervisor. 

Additional Considerations
Tucson Unified School District is not obligated to assume responsibility for operating costs, home maintenance, or other costs incurred by employees in the use of their homes as alternate work locations.  Remote employees must determine and be responsible for any tax and or legal implications under IRS, state, or local government laws.  Tucson Unified School District is not responsible for any costs incurred due to remote work.

  1. Determination of Position Eligibility. Supervisors should begin identifying positions as eligible or ineligible for remote work upon approval of this policy.
  1. Positions Ineligible for Remote Work Assignment: The Tucson Unified School District Human Resources Department, in consultation with the District Leadership, identifies broad categories of positions that are typically not eligible for remote work, including but not limited to direct service and place-specific positions.  These include but are not limited to:
    1. All student facing positions (Teachers, Coaches, Nurses, Counselors, etc.)
    2. School/Site Administrators
    3. Custodial staff
    4. Front office staff
    5. Grounds staff
    6. Library and school support staff
    7. Food Services staff
    8. School Safety Monitors, Officers, and personnel
    9. Receptionist positions
    10. Student health staff
    11. Trades workers (plumbers, electricians, HVAC, carpenters, locksmiths, etc.)
    12. Crossing Guards
    13. Bus Drivers
  1. Pre-existing Teleworking Assignments. For any employee working remotely as of or prior to the effective date of this Policy, the supervisor shall consult with Human Resources to determine the appropriate approach considering the specifics of the arrangement. For an employee with an existing, documented remote work agreement, the assignment will be reviewed under this Policy prior to the expiration of the term so that an updated agreement may be signed.

ADOPTED: February 10, 2022 (SLT approved)