Work Flexibility Policy in the United States
Federal | Arizona | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Indiana | Iowa | Kentucky | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | Ohio | Oregon | Pennsylvania | South Carolina | Tennessee | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wyoming
Telework Metrics and Cost Savings Act (proposed | telework). Introduced on July 26, 2018, by sponsor Gerald E. Connolly to improve Federal agency telework programs, and for other purposes.
Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 (passed | telework). President Obama signed this act into law requiring all federal agencies to establish telework policies for federal employees.
Workflex in the 21st Century Act (proposed | workflex options). Introduced on Nov. 2, 2017 by Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Calif.) along with co-sponsors Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) Based on concepts originally developed by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Would amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to create a program in which employers that choose to offer their employees a minimum number of paid leave days per year and institute a flexible work arrangement would be exempt from current local and state paid leave laws. Opponents warn that while the bill claims to offer flexibility and improvements in work-life balance, it will just hand even more control over employees’ time to employers.
Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017 [H.R. 1180] (proposed | time off in lieu). Introduced in February 2017 by Rep Martha Roby (R-AL), largely the same text as the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2015 [S.233]. Passed in the House of Representatives on May 2 2017. Opponents warn that this bill unecessarily trades compensation for flexibility, at workers’ expense.
Flexibility for Working Families Act of 2017 (proposed | right to request). Introduced in May 2017 by Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) , with the intention of giving workers the right to request flexible work (in terms of number of hours, schedule, and location of work), without fear of retaliation. Employers are required to give a written response.
Portable Benefits for Independent Workers Pilot Program Act (proposed | portable benefits). Introduced in May 2017 by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), this bill would establish a portable benefits pilot program at the U.S. Department of Labor. It would authorize $20 million for competitive grants to states, local governments and nonprofits for pilot projects to design, implement and evaluate new models ($15 million) or assess and improve existing models ($5 million) for portable benefits for independent workers such as contractors, temporary workers and self-employed workers.
Multi-State Worker Tax Fairness Act of 2016 (proposed | telework tax law). Introduced in April 2016, this bill would eliminate what’s known as the “telecommuting tax penalty“—taxation by both the state in which a telecommuter works (from home), as well as the state in which their employer is based.
Working Families Flexibility Act of 2015 [S.233] (proposed | time off in lieu). This bill sought to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to allow employers to pay workers nothing for overtime work; instead, workers would get time off in-lieu of overtime payment. This time off would be granted at the employer’s discretion (for example, during less busy periods when co-workers can pick up the slack).
Schedules That Work Act [H.R.5159] (proposed | right to request). Introduced in July 2014, with the intention of giving workers the right to request a flexible, predictable, or stable schedule, without fear of retaliation.
Working Families Flexibility Act of 2007 [S. 2419] (proposed | right to request). This bill would have allowed employees to request from their employer a change in (1) the number of hours the employee is required to work; (2) the times when the employee is required to work; or (3) where the employee is required to work. Requests would be made without fear of retaliation.
NB: Our Election 2016 page kept tabs on the presidential candidates’ stances on issues related to work flexibility.
[Last updated October 2018]
State of Arizona Telework program (state policy | state employees). Training workbook dated 2012. “Telework is a management option that allows qualified state employees to work from home, or a state office location closer to home, one or more days a week. Properly trained employees and supervisors are equipped to implement a successful telework agreement, which can increase productivity, improve morale and help recruit and retain high value employees.”
State of California Telework Policy (state policy | state employees). “It is the policy of the State of California to encourage the use of teleworking as a management work option. Chapter 1389 Statutes of 1990 (AB 2963 – Klehs), adding Sections 14200-14203 to the California Government Code, authorized State agencies, boards, and commissions (agencies) to establish telework programs as an element of transportation management programs. As practiced today, appropriately planned and managed, telework is a viable work option that can benefit managers, employees, and customers of the State of California.”
Employment: Flexible Work Schedules (proposed policy | state employees). Introduced on Feb. 14, 2018, by assembly members Voepel and Baker with coauthor assembly members Acosta, Gallagher, and Harper and senators Bates and Berryhill. “This bill would permit an individual nonexempt employee to request an employee-selected flexible work schedule providing for workdays up to 10 hours per day within a 40-hour workweek, and would allow an employer to implement this schedule without the obligation to pay overtime compensation for those additional hours in a workday, except as specified. The bill would require that the flexible work schedule contain specified information and the employer’s and the employee’s original signature. The bill would also require the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement in the Department of Industrial Relations to enforce this provision and adopt regulations.”
Berkeley Family Friendly and Environment Friendly Workplace Ordinance (passed | right to request). Passed on January 24 2017 by the City Council of Berkeley, CA, this law gives employees the right to request part-time work, flexible working hours, predictable working hours, and flexible working arrangements (such as telecommuting). To refuse the request, employers must provide a business reason why they cannot accommodate it (employees cannot appeal the reason for the refusal).
Fair Workweek Ordinance (passed | predictability). Passed in October 2016 and to go into effect July 2017. Requires large retailers to give employees schedules two weeks in advance, to give extra pay for shifts on short notice, and to offer extra hours to existing part-time employees before hiring new staff.
Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance of San Francisco (passed | right to request). Passed by the Board of Supervisors under Board President David Chiu, the FFWO went into effect on January 1, 2014. Employees in San Francisco (at companies of 20 or more) now have the right to request a flexible or predictable work arrangement to assist with caregiving responsibilities. Employers must respond within three weeks of the request.
Retail Workers Bill of Rights (passed | predictability). Sponsored by Board Supervisor Eric Mar, this legislation went into effect January 5, 2015 and promotes predictable schedules for hourly workers at San Francisco’s retail stores, restaurants, and banks, as well as fair treatment for part-timers.
Opportunity to Work (passed | part-time). Passed on the ballot of the Nov 8 2016 election. Requires employers to offer extra hours to existing part-time employees before hiring new staff.
State of Colorado Telework guidance (state policy | state employees). Dated August 2008. “The policy of the State of Colorado is to promote flexibility and innovation in job design, work hours, location, environment, leave policies, and benefits in order to create an environment that encourages positive, efficient, and productive solutions.”
Connecticut Resident Income Tax (tax law, may result in “telecommuting tax penalty”). Requires a Connecticut resident to pay state income tax for every cent earned while physically present in Connecticut, even if the work is for an out-of-state company.
State of Connecticut Telecommuting Program (state policy | state employees). “The Connecticut General Assembly passed the ‘Telecommuting’ legislation in 1996. This was codified as Section 5-248i of the Connecticut General Statutes.”
An Act Prohibiting “On-Call” Shift Scheduling for Employees (proposed | predictability). Session Year 2017. “This bill requires employers to provide employees with at least 24 hours’ notice of their shifts. The requirement applies to employers and employees who are covered by the state’s minimum wage law, but not health care employees or temporary or day workers. Under the bill, a ‘shift’ is the consecutive hours an employer requires an employee to work or be on call to work, excluding any breaks shorter than one-hour or less.”
Delaware Tax Treatment of Nonresidents and Part-Year Residents (tax law, may result in “telecommuting tax penalty”). Residents and non-residents must pay state income taxes on all income earned from a company that’s located in Delaware, even if the employee lives and works in a different state (exception for the “convenience of the employer”).
State of Delaware Telecommuting Policy (state policy | state employees). Dated March 2013. “This policy sets forth the State of Delaware’s policy regarding telecommuting and establishes the requirements for agencies to designate alternate work locations in order to promote general work efficiencies.”
Florida State Employee Telework Program (state policy | state employees). Effective November 2016. “Telework is a statutorily authorized program that has the potential to create mutual benefits for employees and employers. Telework can be an effective recruitment and retention strategy, as well as a useful tool for supporting the agency’s Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP), improving employee productivity, and reducing office space requirements. In addition, depending on the work being performed, telework may be used as an accommodation for a variety of employee needs, including requests for reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).”
Georgia Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget Telework Policy (state policy | state employees). Dated 2005. “The state allows teleworking where there are tangible benefits to the agency or state.”
Georgia Telework Week (statewide telework resource week; held annually since 2000). See Telework Week Proclamation, signed by Governor Nathan Deal, 2016.
State of Hawaii: Flexible Working Hours (state policy | state employees). Current as of Feb 2017. “The State recognizes that flexible working hours can: Improve productivity and efficiency through improved employee working conditions and/or increased hours of operations; Help ease peak morning and afternoon traffic congestion by spreading work arrival and departure times; and Accommodate employees’ work and family needs by allowing them to participate in setting their work starting and ending times, where feasible.”
State of Idaho Executive Branch Agency Policy (state policy | state employees). Dated April 2011. “The State of Idaho encourages state agencies to utilize telecommuting programs.”
Indiana State Personnel Department Worklife Options (state policy | state employees). Current as of Feb 2017. “The state of Indiana is committed to researching and providing flexible work options to employees. The state of Indiana currently offers Alternative Work Schedules (AWS), Community Service Leave, and Parental Absence for Child’s Education. Agency participation in Alternative Work Schedules is voluntary and contingent upon State Personnel approval.”
Iowa Department of Administrative Services Telework Program (state policy | state employees). Last updated June 2017. “The State of Iowa will provide its employees with the opportunity to participate in telework when practical and consistent with the agency mission.”
Commonwealth of Kentucky Personnel Cabinet: Careers Portal (state policy | state employees). Current as of Feb 2017. “We recognize the importance of flexibility when juggling a full-time job and family responsibilities. Team Kentucky offers flexible work schedules, compressed work weeks and telecommuting to give our employees control over their schedules.”
State of Maine: Administrative Procedures and Services (state policy | state employees). Dated 1981. “The Legislature finds that alternative working hours, including part-time work, job sharing and more flexible work schedules will lead to greater efficiency by state employees. There are many qualified and talented Maine citizens of all ages whose personal responsibilities make it difficult to work full time or during the traditional hours of employment.”
Maryland State Personnel Management System: Benefits (state policy | state employees). Current as of Feb 2017. “Our family-friendly benefit practices and policies offer the support and flexibility you need at work and at home…. Many State agencies offer their employees flexible work schedules. The Teleworking Program enables eligible state employees to work at home, at a satellite office, or at a Telework Center.”
Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance: Alternative Work Options Fact Sheet (state policy | state employees). Memo dated 2000. “The Alternative Work Options Program enables the state to recruit many talented, creative individuals who would otherwise be unable to work for the Commonwealth. The options also provide current state employees with more control over their worklives – increasing morale and productivity.
Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance: Telecommuting Policy (state policy | state employees). Dated 2000. It is the policy of the Commonwealth to encourage, in appropriate circumstances, the creation of telecommuting opportunities for state employees.
State of Michigan Civil Service Commission Employee Benefits (state policy | state employees). Current as of Feb 2017. “Flexible work schedules and telecommuting options are available in many jobs.”
State of Michigan Office of the State Employer Telecommuting Guidelines (state policy | state employees). Not dated. “The purpose of these guidelines is to establish standards for telecommuting.”
Minnesota Management and Budget Telework Policy (state policy | state employees). Issued 1997; revised 2015. “The State of Minnesota strives to provide a flexible work environment as part of its human capital strategy to aid agencies in attracting, motivating, and retaining a highly qualified and skilled workforce.”
Nebraska Treatment of Nonresidents and Part-Year Residents (tax law, may result in “telecommuting tax penalty”). Residents and non-residents must pay state income taxes on all income earned from a company that’s located in Nebraska, even if the employee lives and works in a different state (exception for the “convenience of the employer”).
State of Nevada Alternative Work Schedule Guidelines (state policy | state employees). Current as of Feb 2017. “A schedule different from a traditional 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (with an hour lunch)/40-hour work week requested by an employee.”
Senate Bill 416 (passed | right to request). As of September 1 2016, all New Hampshire employees have the right to request work flexibility for any reason and without the fear of retaliation or retribution.
State of New Hampshire Telework Technical Assistance Manual (state policy | state employees). Dated May 2009. “It is recognized that a public employer has a special obligation to ensure that employees and work resources are being used efficiently and productively. Telework refers to conducting normal business operations from the home or alternate location and has been found to benefit society by reducing energy consumption, decreasing environmental pollution and reducing traffic congestion. Additionally, Telework has been found to benefit employers and employees by reducing office costs, saving commuting costs and allowing flexibility in work schedules.”
State of New Mexico Office of the Governor Executive Order (state policy | state employees). Dated June 2008. “I, Bill Richardson, Governor of the State of New Mexico, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the State of New Mexico do hereby order the establishment of the State of New Mexico Telework and Alternative Work Schedule Program…”
NY State Senate Bill S5811A (state policy | state employees). Requires the president of the NY State civil service commission to prepare a biennial report relating to current programs within state agencies that allow for alternative work schedules or flexible work hours. Sponsored by State Senator Daniel L. Squadron (D-Brooklyn); signed into law Nov 29 2017 by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
New York Tax Treatment of Nonresidents and Part-Year Residents (tax law, may result in “telecommuting tax penalty”). Residents and non-residents must pay state income taxes on all income earned from a company that’s located in New York, even if the employee lives and works in a different state (exception for the “convenience of the employer”).
New York City
Freelance Isn’t Free (passed | freelancers). Passed October 2016. Requires written agreements for the timeline and payment of freelance work, with penalties for employer violations.
Fair Work Week Package (passed | predictability). Five “Fair Work Week” bills were passed together by the New York City Council and signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio in May 2017, to go into effect on November 26 2017. The bills pertain to fast food and retail workers, providing them with more schedule predictability and stability, as well as a path to full-time hours. Bill text is available as follows: Intro 1396, Intro 1388, Intro 1395, Intro 1384, and Intro 1387.
FlextimeNYC (proposed | right to request). As of Sept 2015, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer is promoting right to request legislation for New York City and beyond.
North Carolina State Human Resources: Work Options Program (state policy | state employees). Dated 1982. “The Work Options Program develops and expands the use of variations in work schedules for State employees. This program is intended to increase productivity in State services, benefit employee morale, and expand job opportunities. The program allows for agencies to consider flexible work schedules, job sharing and other work options while ensuring operating and business needs are met.”
North Carolina State Human Resources: Work From Home (state policy | state employees). Current as of Feb 2017. Teleworking Program dated 2000. “This North Carolina program permits agencies to designate employees to work at alternate work locations for all or part of the work week in order to promote general work efficiencies.”
State of Ohio Administrative Policy: Teleworking (state policy | state employees). Dated June 2016. “The purpose of this policy is to establish statewide standards and guidelines for teleworking arrangements where an employee is directed or permitted to work from a designated alternative work location.”
Tulsa Remote (city policy). Nov 2018. As part of the Tulsa Remote initiative, the city will offer full-time remote workers free shared-office space, a subsidized furnished apartment in the city’s Arts District, and $10,000 cash to relocate and work in Tulsa for at least one year. Tulsa Remote is one of several revitalization projects in the region funded by the George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF).
Oregon Department of Administrative Services: Telecommuting and Teleworking (state policy | state employees). Dated Nov 2009. “Oregon state government encourages state agencies to allow employees, where suitable, to telecommute or telework.”
Fair Work Week Act [Senate Bill 828] (passed | predictability). Signed by Governor Kate Brown on August 8, 2017. Effective: July 2018. Requires large food service, retail and hospitality employers to provide new employees with estimated work schedules and current employees with seven days’ notice of work schedule.
South Carolina Code of Laws: Public Officers and Employees (state policy | state employees). “State agencies may use alternate work locations, including telecommuting, that result in greater efficiency and cost savings [eff 2002]…. In conformance with the authorization for use of alternative scheduling strategies for employees of state agencies and institutions pursuant to Section 8-11-15, a state agency or institution specifically may use flexible scheduling of the minimum full-time workweek hours for an employee, including hours before eight-thirty a.m. and after five p.m., so long as the implementation of flex-time does not impair the ability of the agency or institution to meet its needs and service delivery requirements. [eff 2001]”
Tennessee Department of Human Resources: Alternative Workplace Solutions Policy (state policy | state employees). Dated Sept 2016. “The purpose of this policy is to outline the various types of Alternative Workplace Solutions (AWS) arrangements as well as the requirements for each arrangement.”
Tennessee State Government Alternative Workplace Solutions Initiative (state policy | state employees). Current as of Feb 2017. “Alternative Workplace Solutions (AWS) is an initiative that creates a physical and cultural transformation using non-traditional workspaces to promote productivity, efficiency and flexibility across state government that improves the management of the state’s real estate portfolio.”
Equal Pay Act (passed | right to request). As of January 1, 2014, all Vermont employees have the right to request a flexible work arrangement for any reason. Employers must grant the request unless it is “inconsistent with its business operations or its legal or contractual obligations.”
Vermont Department of Human Resources: Telework (state policy | state employees). Current as of Feb 2017. “An employee may voluntarily request to work remotely from an alternative worksite, including an employee’s home, on a regularly scheduled basis, under certain conditions and in accordance with established policy.”
New Remote Worker Grant Program: Starting Jan. 1, 2019, Vermont will grant $10,000 over a two year period to new residents who move to the state and work remotely for an out-of-state employer. The grant is to pay for expenses including relocation, coworking memberships, computers, internet, and other work-related costs.
Virginia Department of Human Resource Management Human Resource Policies: Telework (state policy | state employees). Dated July 2008. “It is the policy of the Commonwealth to promote general work efficiencies by permitting agencies to designate employees to work at alternate work locations for all or part of their workweek as required by § 2.2-2817.1 of the Code of Virginia.”
Virginia Department of Human Resource Management Human Resource Policies: Hours of Work (state policy | state employees). Effective 1993; revised 2004. “This policy provides guidelines for agencies to schedule reasonable and flexible work hours for employees as well as to provide convenient and consistent hours for citizens to transact business with the Commonwealth.”
Virginia Telework Week (statewide telework resource week). “The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) and commuter assistant agencies statewide are encouraging businesses across Virginia to allow qualifying employees to work from home at least one day during Telework Week.”
State of New Washington Office of the Governor Executive Order (state policy | state employees). Signed June 2016. “I, Jay Inslee, Governor of the state of Washington, by virtue of the power vested in me, declare my commitment for the state to be an employer of choice and an efficient, effective, and accountable government. I hereby direct executive cabinet-level agencies and small-cabinet agencies to build a modern work environment and create an organizational culture that empowers employees with choice, enables excellent performance, supports all generations, and is mindful of our impact on the environment….”
Senate Bill 6016 (proposed | tax credit). Introduced December 11 2017 by Washington state Sen. Kevin Van De Wege (D-24), this bill would allow employers headquartered in Washington to get tax credits for certain telework expenses, as well as a $500 tax credit annually per employee who teleworks at least 12 days each month.
Secure Scheduling (passed | predictability). Adopted on September 19 2016. Requires employers of retail and food service employees to provide workers with a good-faith estimate of hours upon hiring, work schedules two weeks in advance, and compensation for workers if their hours are changed or if they’re asked to work back-to-back shifts that prevent adequate resting time.
West Virginia Division of Personnel: Flexible and Alternate Work Schedules (state policy | state employees). Current as of Feb 2017. “Most State agencies offer employees the opportunity to adjust their hours or work schedule. At the discretion of the agency head, and within certain guidelines, employees may be permitted a flexible starting and quitting time. In addition, if circumstances allow, some agencies may offer opportunities for a compressed workweek, part-time work, or telecommuting.”
Wyoming Department of Administration and Information: Alternative Work Schedules Policies and Procedures (state policy | state employees). Dated May 2015. “Alternative work schedules have been shown to accomplish both work and personal goals, to provide coverage for individual department operations and to serve the State as a whole with increased productivity at no expense to quality output.”
Wyoming Department of Administration and Information: Telework Wyoming Program (state policy | state employees). Dated April 2015. “The advantages of teleworking are many. Employees, telemanagers, and the state benefit from the many positive attributes associated with the Telework Wyoming Program.”