History: First Issued: December 8, 2021 (effective March 1, 2022). Last Revised: May 17, 2022.
Contact: Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, 919-515-2973
North Carolina State University (NC State) recognizes that while employment at the university occurs primarily at its central campus (Main Campus, Centennial Campus, and Centennial Biomedical Campus) in Raleigh, some employees may perform their work remotely from an off-site duty station. This regulation applies to employees with a primary or permanently assigned duty station that is 100% remote and are not expected to work on university property. This regulation is distinguished from the Flexible Work Arrangements regulation because this regulation covers positions that are not assigned to an on-site duty station, while the Flexible Work Arrangements regulation applies to employees who have an on-site duty station but may be approved, as part of a flexible work arrangement, to occasionally perform work from an alternate work location.
This regulation establishes the approval processes and other requirements for an employee’s assignment to a remote work location, including out-of-state work locations.
2. Covered Employees
This regulation covers all position types as well as employee classifications (full-time, part-time, permanent, temporary) including:
- EHRA faculty,
- EHRA Non-faculty,
- Post-doctoral Scholars and CVM House Officers, and
- Student Workers (undergraduate and graduate General Services Associates in temporary positions)
Graduate Teaching Assistants and Graduate Research Assistants are not covered under this regulation.
3. Remote Work Location
3.1 Generally, a remote work location is an assigned primary duty station that is off-site (i.e., not located on central campus or other university owned or operated locations (e.g., the Plants for Human Health Institute (Kannapolis), NC State Equine Health Center (Southern Pines), NC Institute for Climate Studies (Asheville), etc.). This regulation applies to employees with a primary or permanently assigned duty station that is 100% remote and are not expected to work on university property. A remote work location includes the following (“Remote Work Location”):
- An off-site duty station that is not located on central campus or at another NC State owned or operated site and is not at an employee’s personal residence (“Off-Campus Location”). Examples might include a private office space in Charlotte or a laboratory in Wilmington. This type of Remote Work Location typically involves a position where the duties and responsibilities require an employee to work from the particular Off-Campus Location due to the nature of the position.
- An off-site duty station that is at an employee’s personal residence (“Home-Based Location”). This type of Remote Work Location typically involves a position where the duties and responsibilities may be performed off-site and where management has—based on operational needs—approved the position for a Remote Work Location that is home-based. Examples might include faculty members who only teach courses through distance education or information technology employees whose job duties may be performed entirely remotely.
3.2 Approval for Remote Work Locations
A position must be approved to work from a designated Remote Work Location. Unlike a request submitted by an employee for an alternate work location as part of a flexible work arrangement, the assignment of an employee to a designated Remote Work Location must originate from an employee’s supervisor.
Assignment of an employee to a Remote Work Location that is stationed 100% of the time at an off-site location must be approved as indicated below and with notification to Human Resources Information Management:
- Non-Faculty Staff: The Provost or Vice Chancellor (or their designee) that oversees the employee’s unit must approve a Remote Work Location assignment.
- Faculty: The Provost (or designee) must approve a Remote Work Location assignment.
All managerial requests to designate an out-of-state Remote Work Location are additionally subject to approval by the Associate Vice Chancellor for University Human Resources (or designee).
Employees performing work from a Remote Work Location remain subject to all applicable state and federal laws, policies, regulations, and rules as if the work was being performed from an on-site work location. These provisions include, but are not limited to, recordkeeping for work hours and leave, prohibitions on discrimination and workplace harassment, records retention obligations, and the North Carolina Public Records Act. Employees performing work from a Remote Work Location that is out of state may be subject to additional laws of the state and municipality where they are located.
3.3 The policies, rules, and regulations that apply to an employee’s position (including those covering work performance and disciplinary action) shall remain applicable to the positions designated to work in remote work locations per this regulation, and all employees working in such designated positions are expected to comply with all applicable policies, regulations, and rules of the UNC System and NC State, as well as with state and federal law. Failure to comply with these provisions may result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
3.4 Remote Work Locations are not to be used as a substitute for a reasonable accommodation in employment. A request for a reasonable accommodation in employment under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or Title VII should be directed to the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED).
4. Special Requirements for Remote Work Locations
The decision to approve a Remote Work Location for a position must be based on the position’s duties and responsibilities, not by an employee’s preference or desire to work remotely. Employees in remote work locations must be able to perform their duties and responsibilities free of external interruptions. It is within management’s discretion to approve a Remote Work Location, and the approval for a Remote Work Location may be withdrawn.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of special requirements for in-state or out-of-state Remote Work Locations:
4.1 Safe and Secure Work Environment
Employees and managers should work together to make safety an integral part of a Remote Work Location. The employee is responsible for maintaining a work location that is free from health and safety hazards. The employee is responsible for completing all relevant safety training and for reviewing and complying with the information in Ergonomics and Safety When Working Remotely pertaining to the designated Remote Work Location. Managers are responsible for ensuring the employee has reviewed this information, completed relevant safety training, and knows how to resolve or report any unsafe conditions or injury to the appropriate campus unit.
4.2 Workers’ Compensation
Employees working at an in-state Remote Work Location may be covered by workers’ compensation for job-related injuries that occur in the course and scope of employment during the employee’s approved work hours. Workers’ compensation will not apply to non-job related injuries that might occur at the Remote Work Location. Employees must immediately report any job-related injury occurring at a Remote Work Location to their supervisor. Failure to comply with workplace safety standards may impact workers’ compensation eligibility.
Employees with Remote Work Locations that are out-of-state may be subject to the workers’ compensation requirements for that particular state that may be different from those of the State of North Carolina. Those requirements may include special or additional costs of workers’ compensation insurance for that state.
4.3 Information and Data Security
Employees working from a Remote Work Location must protect the security, confidentiality, and integrity of university records and information at all times. Employees must comply with all information security requirements that would apply if working at an on-site work location. Employees may also be required to comply with any additional information technology requirements unique to the remote work location. Requirements for ultra or highly sensitive and other data classifications must be processed, transmitted and stored following the Endpoint Protection Standard which for more secure data means only on University Owned Equipment. The details of appropriate use, storage and access for University data are listed on the Data Management Framework website. Refer to OIT’s Remote Work Resources and Guidelines website for information regarding services to assist eligible employees in working securely from a remote location.
In addition, employees utilizing a Remote Work Location must ensure that, while working, their work area is configured to minimize distraction and is able to be secured or isolated during virtual meetings or work that requires confidentiality or is otherwise sensitive in nature.
4.4 Workspace, Office Equipment, and Supplies
NC State is not required to maintain an equipped on-site workspace for employees assigned to a Remote Work Location. NC State may provide an employee assigned to a Remote Work Location with necessary office supplies and equipment, if the individual unit deems appropriate and necessary to perform the essential functions of the job. An inventory of all university-owned equipment used by an employee at their Remote Work Location must be maintained. All university-owned resources provided to the employee must be used for university business and in accordance with applicable NC State policies, regulations, and rules, including but not limited to all requirements around data security and IT regulations. The employee will take reasonable steps to protect all university-owned equipment from theft, damage, or misuse. University-owned equipment used for work at a Remote Work Location remains the property of NC State and must be returned within five (5) business days of separation from employment or reassignment to an on-site work location (unless management, in its discretion, determines that continuing employees still require use of certain equipment to complete their job duties and responsibilities).
4.5 Travel Expenses
An employee’s designated Remote Work Location is considered their duty station. Employees who are working from a Remote Work Location are eligible to receive mileage or other expense reimbursements for travel in accordance with NC State travel policies, because their permanent duty station is the Remote Work Location. Expenses incurred by an employee related to travel are subject to the reimbursement policies outlined in the NC State Budget Manual. Whether travel time is considered as hours worked depends on the circumstances and should be determined on a case by case basis and in accordance with the Hours of Work and Overtime Compensation policy in the NC State Human Resources Manual.
4.6 Work Hours, Overtime, and Leave
Employees assigned to a Remote Work Location are expected to perform their work during their designated work hours, and, with the exception of normal breaks, must not engage in activities that are not work-related. NC State’s policies, regulations, and rules covering overtime work, annual, and other leave requests continue to apply to employees using a Remote Work Location.
Employees with Remote Work Locations that are out-of-state may be subject to the work hours, overtime, and leave provisions for employees in that particular state.
4.7 Tax Liability for Remote Work Locations
Employees are expected to cooperate with NC State regarding compliance with respect to tax withholding, however, employees remain individually responsible for the payment of employee income taxes, including ensuring that sufficient taxes are remitted to taxing authorities through withholding or estimated payments.
5. Out of State Remote Work Locations
As an institution within the University of North Carolina System (UNC System), it is an expectation that NC State contributes to the economy of the State of North Carolina. Accordingly, NC State will, to the greatest extent practicable, principally employ individuals who reside within or in close proximity to the State of North Carolina. Positions with duty stations outside of North Carolina are subject to the laws and regulations where the position is located.
This regulation is separate and distinct from NCSU REG 05.55.10 (Flexible Work Arrangements) and does not apply to those positions and employees who have an assigned permanent duty station that is on-site (i.e., on central campus or located on university owned or operated property)(“On Campus Location”) or with an Off-Campus Location as outlined in Section 3.1(a). These employees may be eligible to work part-time from an alternate work location such as their personal residence through a flexible work arrangement as outlined in NCSU REG 05.55.10 (Flexible Work Arrangements).