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Sample Component Flexible Work Options Program Plan

I.  Purpose:  This establishes the Flexible Work Options program for the (component).

II.  Policy:  The policy of the (component) is to effectively accomplish its mission by making the best possible use of staff resources through creative and flexible work options. All employees are eligible for the FWO Program except where the nature of the employee's assignment or the mission of the work unit is incompatible with one or more FWOs. Participation in a FWO Program is voluntary and shall be permitted at the discretion of management. In particular, flexible work options shall be used to the extent possible to accommodate employees with disabilities, and to effectively employ employees receiving workers' compensation benefits.

III. Definitions:

  1. Basic Work Requirement -- The number of hours, excluding overtime hours, an employee is required to work, or to account for, by charging leave, excused absence, holiday hours, compensatory time off, or time off as an award.
  2. Core Hours -- Established duty hours within a specified tour of duty that an employee is required to be at work.
  3. Duty station--For pay purposes, the "official duty station" is the employee's position of record [and location] as indicated on his or her most recent notification of personnel action.
  4. Flexible Work Options -- Subject to management approval, Flexible Work Options include, but are not limited to:
    1. Flexible Work Schedule -- Varying the starting and ending time of the 8 hour workday.
    2. Compressed Work Schedule for a full-time employee -- Completing the 80-hour pay period requirement in less than 10 work days through working 9 or 10 hours per day.
    3. Job Sharing -- Two or more employees sharing one full-time position.
    4. Telecommuting -- Working from a satellite location - a home office, telework center, or other remote site - as approved by the supervisor or other appropriate management official.
    5. Part-Time -- Work schedule of 32 to 64 hours per pay period.
    6. Credit Hours -- Any hours, within a flexible schedule established under 5 U.S.C. 6122, which are in excess of an employee's basic work requirement and which the employee elects to work so as to vary the length of a workweek or a workday.
  5. Full-Time -- Work schedule of 80 hours per pay period.
  6. Memorandum of Understanding -- Each employee who participates in one or more flexible work options and his or her supervisor may develop a memorandum of understanding, as an addendum to the DOJ Flexible Work Option Request form, which more specifically addresses such matters as hours of work, work schedule, standards of performance, and any other work-related issue attendant to the employee's flexible work option(s).

IV. Responsibilities:

  1. Component Heads shall ensure that the Flexible Work Options Program is established, maintained, and evaluated as set forth in this Plan.
  2. Managers and supervisors shall:
    1. Review and approve/disapprove employee requests for flexible work options within three weeks of submission of completed FWO form (see Section VI.B.).
    2. Insure effectiveness of flexible work options relative to employee performance, program requirements, and mission objectives.
    3. Insure that all work-related material is secure within the work site.
    4. Maintain a record of all Flexible Work Option requests for one year after the end of the employee's participation in the flexible work option or one year after the request to participate is denied.1
    5. Track FWO Program participation and the number of denials and approvals granted.
    6. Periodically evaluate the efficacy of flexible work options in use and ensure compliance with applicable labor-management obligations, including any provisions of the component's collective bargaining agreement.
    7. Insure appropriate use of one or more FWOs, e.g., telecommuting, for employees receiving worker's compensation benefits and employees with disabilities, to facilitate performance of their work assignments.
  3. Employees shall:
    1. Complete the necessary forms which, depending on the nature of the request, include the Department of Justice (DOJ) Flexible Work Options Request form, memorandum of understanding, and the DOJ Telecommuting Agreement forms.
    2. Observe agreed-upon hours of work in accordance with approved flexible work options request and memorandum of understanding.
    3. Observe policies for requesting leave when leave is to be taken.
    4. Ensure that work information in both hard copy and electronic form have been adequately secured.
    5. Maintain a fully successful or equivalent performance rating or higher as a condition of obtaining and continuing on a flexible work arrangement.
  4. Component Worklife Coordinator shall:
    1. Develop and, upon management approval, implement the Component Flexible Work Options Program.
    2. Advise managers and employees on use of flexible work options, in accordance with Component policy
    3. Collect management reports annually on FWO Program implementation.
    4. Periodically evaluate Flexible Work Options Program effectiveness and recommend strategies for improving the Program.
    5. Report on the Component FWO Program as required in DOJ Order 1200.1, Part 6, Chapter 2, Flexible Work Options Program.
    6. Represent the Component on the Department's Worklife Quality Council.
    7. Act as Component liaison with the Department Worklife Program Manager.

 V. Guidelines:

  1. Management Discretion: Supervisors have the discretion to determine appropriate use of flexible work options authorized by this plan. The following groups of employees are not eligible for flexible work options:
    1. (List) or
    2. Any group or classification of employees whose work location and schedule is fixed based on the protection and safety of property, employees, or the public.
    3. Employees who have documented performance deficiencies or are on leave counseling and/or leave restriction letters, unless management deems this necessary to improve performance or attendance.
  2. Time and Attendance Issues.
    1. Hours of Duty. The Flexible Work Options Request form shall document the hours of duty which shall otherwise conform with regulatory guidelines.
    2. Leave. Leave approval policies and procedures are unaffected by flexible work options.
    3. Certification and control of time and attendance. Time and attendance policies and procedures are unaffected by flexible work options. Supervisors continue to be responsible for certifying the accuracy of payroll and leave data.
  3. Pay Issues.
    1. Official Duty Station. The employee's official duty station serves as the basis for determining certain pay entitlements, e.g., locality pay and special salary rates.
    2. Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP). LEAP shall not be payable during the time an eligible employee works a part-time schedule. When the part-time employee returns to full-time status, the supervisor must ensure that the employee is again certified to receive LEAP within the first pay period.

VI. Procedures:

  1. Application.  Employees must submit a completed DOJ Flexible Work Options Request form (FWO form) to apply for a flexible work arrangement.
  2. Response Time.  Managers shall review and approve or disapprove flexible work option requests within 3 weeks of submission of the completed FWO form.2
  3. Grievances.  Employees and managers are strongly encouraged to develop "win-win" solutions to requests for flexibility. If a mutually acceptable solution is not established, employees may file a grievance in accordance with DOJ Order 1200.1, Part 3, Chapter 2, Agency Grievance Procedure, or a negotiated bargaining agreement.

VII. Reporting Requirements:  Managers shall submit a report each calendar year to the Component Worklife Coordinator summarizing annual FWO program participation, benefits obtained, problems encountered and how those problems were resolved, and projecting eligibility goals for the next calendar year.

1  This is based on guidance from the National Archives and Records Administration under "Alternate Worksite Records" which can also be applied to any type of flexible work option record..

2  Exceptions to this provision will only be granted when a manager is on leave or training and requires additional time to consider the request. In no case should response time exceed 5 weeks.


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Updated August 29, 2014