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Federal Employment Law
working remote federal employees

The COVID-19 pandemic started a revolution in how people carried out their work. That revolution extends to the federal government.

Federal employees working from home or seeking remote work arrangements are the front-line soldiers of this change.

However, changes are occurring so rapidly that it’s difficult to stay ahead of all the developments.
Fortunately, our team at the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D Wersing, PLLC, works hard to maneuver through these evolving environments.

Our objective is for every federal employee to understand their rights, responsibilities, and opportunities regarding remote work.

We’ll cover these issues in this piece. If you have additional questions or are one of the many federal employees seeking remote work, give one of our quality federal employment attorneys a call today. 

What Is Remote Work, and How Does It Differ from Telework?

Remote work is a permanent working arrangement where you work on a full-time basis from an alternative work site rather than an office or traditional workplace.

Generally, the remote work location is your home. In a remote work arrangement, your agency cannot require you to report to the traditional worksite on any regular or recurring basis.

Furthermore, your remote workplace doesn’t have to be in the local commuting area of your agency’s traditional office. 

By contrast, telework is a flexible work arrangement where you can perform your duties from an approved alternate worksite, usually on a part-time basis.

While you can still use your home as your alternate telework worksite, you have to remain within the local commuting area of the agency’s main office. 

Are There Remote Work Benefits for Employees in the Federal Government?

Absolutely. Remote work offers several benefits for federal employees. These include increased flexibility, reduced commuting time and costs, and a better work-life balance.

In addition, it allows employees to design a work environment tailored to their personal productivity preferences. Consequently, remote work employees usually enjoy enhanced job satisfaction and efficiency compared to their teleworking and in-office counterparts.

That said, remote work is not a universal benefit or right for all federal employees. Its availability varies from one agency to another. Agencies can also remove existing remote work arrangements for valid business considerations. 

Which Federal Agencies Allow Remote Work?

If you want to learn more, you can visit the website of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Remote work for federal employees and related frequently asked questions are discussed in detail on their site.

But generally, many federal agencies have embraced remote work to some degree or another, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Defense, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

However, not all positions or offices have the same liberal attitude toward remote work. Agencies retain the discretion to decide whether to offer remote work options and determine employee eligibility according to performance and operational needs.

Due to the quickly changing nature of the attitude toward remote work, there isn’t an exhaustive list of agencies that offer it. You should contact an agency’s human resources department to obtain the most up-to-date information. 

Can I Request Remote Work As a Reasonable Accommodation?

Yes. Federal employees can request remote work as a reasonable accommodation under certain circumstances.

First, you must have a qualifying disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Second, you need to show that remote work would help you perform the core duties of your essential position with your limitations.

Third, you will have to produce adequate medical documentation to support the need for accommodation.

Finally, you must be ready to engage in an interactive process with your employer to determine if remote work is feasible for your agency. 

Have More Questions About Remote Work? Give Us a Call Today.

As the federal workforce continues to adapt to the increasing demand for flexibility and remote work opportunities, federal employees need to stay informed about their rights and the policies governing this type of work within their agencies.

Whether you’re exploring the possibility of remote work as a reasonable accommodation or seeking to understand more of the rules surrounding remote work, the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D Wersing, PLLC, is here to guide you.

Our expertise in federal employment law positions us to provide unparalleled advice and support as you explore your legal options.

Furthermore, we can represent you in a variety of legal situations if your employer violates your rights. Set up an initial consultation with us today by calling us or reaching out online

Author Photo

Aaron Wersing, Attorney at Law

Aaron Wersing is the founder of the Law Office of Aaron D. Wersing. Mr. Wersing graduated from the Georgia State University College of Law with a Doctorate in Jurisprudence and was the recipient of the CALI Excellence for the Future Award. Mr. Wersing previously attended the University of Georgia, where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting. Mr. Wersing is an active member of his local community. Mr. Wersing acts as a volunteer attorney with Houston Volunteer Lawyers, the pro bono legal aid organization of the Houston Bar Association. He is also a member of professional legal organizations such as the National Employment Lawyers Association and the American Inns of Court. To reach Aaron for a consultation, please call him at (833) 833-3529.

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