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Can My Agency Restrict Where I Telework?

Teleworking has become a popular trend recently, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to advanced technologies and the shift toward remote work. It offers most federal employees much-needed flexibility and improved work-life balance. It'sIt's also great for the environment, as it reduces commuting to/from the office. While teleworking offers many benefits, it'sit's crucial to recognize that there are specific limitations to remote working, especially regarding the location of teleworking.

If you are a federal employee considering teleworking, you may be wondering, can my agency restrict where I telework? In this blog, our top-rated, award-winning federal employment attorneys will explore what you need to know if you're considering teleworking.

OPM Guidance on Teleworking

Unlike private sector employers, there are no specific guidelines from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on where telework can and cannot occur. However, federal agencies can establish rules and policies permitting telework only from specific locations. The rules can restrict teleworking to specific geographic areas, such as within a particular radius of the office, city, or state. Additionally, agencies can set restrictions on the types of work that can occur while teleworking, such as when working with sensitive information.

Agency Restrictions on Teleworking Locations

While teleworking does offer flexibility, it is crucial to note that federal employees who telework must maintain a workspace that meets agency standards. For instance, an employee working on sensitive or classified information must ensure the workspace is secure and free of unauthorized persons. This requirement can limit the location of teleworking, as it is impossible to ensure that others cannot access sensitive information at specific public places, such as coffee shops or libraries.

Considerations For Federal Employees When Teleworking

It'sIt's also essential to consider the impact of your location on your ability to work efficiently. For example, if your job involves attending meetings or participating in teamwork, it would be challenging to participate in discussions if you try to telework in a public location. Additionally, if you need to attend training and work-related events, it's essential to ensure that your location will not limit your attendance.

When considering teleworking, it'sit's vital to keep abreast of agency policies on telework and to seek your supervisor permission before teleworking. These policies can restrict teleworking from some locations, impact the types of work you can complete, and provide guidelines for maintaining the workspace. Additionally, it is essential to be mindful of the impact of your location on your ability to work efficiently and the capability of the workspace to meet agency standards.

Defending Your Rights & Your Career

Teleworking has become increasingly popular, and many federal employees can be authorized by their agencies to telework in certain situations. However, while telework offers flexibility, it is essential to consider its limitations and requirements, especially regarding securing your agency's authorization, such as through a telework agreement. While there are no specific OPM guidelines on where telework can occur, federal agencies can restrict and set guidelines on the types of work conducted while teleworking.

For more information or to seek our firm'sfirm's representation, call our firm today at (202) 350-3881 to schedule an initial telephonic consultation with one of our attorneys.