Remote work situations are those in which the majority of work is routinely performed at a location other than a UC Merced site. Remote work differs from telecommuting in that it is intended as a means of working from home or an alternate site on a full-time basis. Any establishment of a remote worker agreement outside of California or the U.S. may carry additional tax and/or legal implications. Remote workers outside California should review the Resources for Remote Workers Outside California section for tax, workers’ compensation, and other important information.
For information about telecommuting, refer to the Telecommuting section for more information.
Remote work will be assessed and approved by management on a case-by-case basis and will be subject to the operational needs of the department. If implemented by management in a given unit, employees who have completed probation (if applicable) may be approved to work remotely based on the work and the employee’s suitability for successful remote work as well as on the employee’s agreement with the provisions in the UC Merced Remote Work Agreement. In some cases, the operational need may dictate that the employee work remotely prior to completing a probationary period (if applicable).
- Departments may decide if remote work is allowable within the department based on operational needs.
- Approval for an employee to work remotely rests solely with the management of the University. Within each department, managers and supervisors should follow departmental protocol for approval. Human Resources does not need to approve remote work agreements, but departments should use the UC Merced Remote Work Agreement template.
- It is recommended that departments review proposed remote work arrangements with Labor and Employee Relations before implementation for general consultation or questions related to policy, the applicable collective bargaining agreement, and/or the law.
Considerations for Remote Work Arrangements
When considering a remote work arrangement, managers should evaluate the work and the employee’s suitability for successfully working remotely. The following factors are suggestions for managers to evaluate the appropriateness of a remote work arrangement. Additionally, managers should consider if a remote work arrangement may help accomplish reasonable accommodation for employees who are permanently or temporarily disabled (see Reasonable Accommodation for more information). Prior to implementing remote work as a reasonable accommodation, contact Disability Management Services for assistance in engaging in the interactive process.
- The operational needs can be met regardless of the location of the employee.
- The job can be done off-site without disruption to the flow of work and communication (e.g., availability by phone and email, websites, shared servers can be accessed remotely).
- Participation in meetings can be done via phone and web tools without hindering in-office staff ability to conduct meetings and communicate efficiently and effectively.
- Completed their probationary periods, if applicable.
- There may be cases when an employee is needed to perform work remotely and therefore is hired with a remote work agreement prior to completion of a probationary period, if applicable.
- Current performance and documented performance rating on their last evaluation was Meets Expectations or better.
- Demonstrates the ability to prioritize and manage time/workload effectively with minimal direction/oversight.
All managers, supervisors, and remote workers should be familiar with these guidelines and the Remote Work Agreement. If an employee or supervisor wishes to adopt a remote work arrangement, review the template agreement and all applicable tax and non-California resident resources above.
Once the employee and supervisor have agreed on specific terms, within UC Merced guidelines, both parties should sign and retain copies for their records and provide a copy to their HR Generalist to include in the personnel file. Employees must also review and complete Attachment I – UC Merced Off-Campus Loan Form.
- Managers/Supervisors are responsible for working with Human Resources, and Central Payroll to ensure compliance.
- Employees who will work remotely are responsible for:
- Working with department staff and other UC Merced offices to ensure compliance with applicable laws, policies, and procedures.
- Making any necessary adjustments to their personal income taxes and benefits
Annual Review/Renewal of Remote Work Agreements
The remote worker and supervisor should review the remote work agreement annually during the performance evaluation process, or whenever there is a major job change (such as a promotion), a change to the operational needs, or a change in supervisor.
If a supervisor/manager wishes to discontinue a remote work agreement, please consult with your HR Generalist/Labor and Employee Relations (ELR) to ensure reasonable notice is provided and any performance-related concerns are addressed.
Resources for Remote Workers Outside California
- Out-of-State Income Tax Withholding (UPAY 830)
- University of California Employee’s Federal-State Withholding Allowance Certificate (UC W-4/DE 4)
- States Withholding Requirements and Withholding Forms (courtesy of UCLA)
- Other States Workers' Compensation
- Entry and Work Permit Requirements by Country
- International Workers' Compensation