4/18/12: The SEC's Office of Human Resources today informed Union officials that SEC employees who are given an intra-agency, voluntary transfer to another AD group will not be permitted to maintain their previously established Expanded Telework Program schedules. OHR informed NTEU that it is now advising all managers at the SEC not to permit any employee to retain their Expanded Telework Program schedule when they are granted a reassignment, even in cases where management might be willing to exercise discretion to allow an employee to remain on his or her established telework schedule. This will end these employees' participation in the Expanded Telework Program, as they will not be allowed to reapply to the program after transferring. OHR informed the Union that it is discouraging any exceptions to this rule, and that if a manager wants to make an exception, he or she will be required to appeal to the Director of OHR or the Chief Operating Officer.
This issue arose this month in the Division of Corporation Finance, due to the fact that April 30th is the deadline for Corp Fin employees to apply for a number of internal transfers to other AD groups within the division. Employees have been informed that they would not be permitted to remain on their Expanded Telework Program schedules if they transferred to a new group. The Union requested that Corp Fin management exercise its discretion to allow these employees to keep their current schedules, and thus encourage voluntary transfers within the division.
Corp Fin has the highest rate of Expanded Telework participation in the SEC, due to the type of work that Corp Fin employees do, which is highly conducive to working from home. In the past, many Corp Fin employees were permitted to keep their Expanded Telework Schedules when they transferred. As one example, employees who voluntarily transferred to the new AD group 12 (Financial Services Industry) were permitted to keep their Expanded Telework schedules. This time, however, the Union was informed by Corp Fin Director Meredith Cross that OHR has advised her not to allow these employees to keep their schedules, and she has decided not to seek an exception.
The Union urged management to reconsider because, in addition to being unfair, it is simply bad policy. Union officials pointed out that revoking volunteers' Expanded Telework schedules would create a "chilling effect," effectively discouraging employees from seeking voluntary transfers to other industry groups. This would not only decrease their opportunities for professional development, but would also eliminate an important opportunity for Corp Fin to create more diversity of work experience within the division by encouraging transfers between and among industry groups. Furthermore, the Union believes that this misguided human capital policy will further erode employee morale here at the SEC.
Despite the Union's efforts, employees will not be permitted to keep their Expanded Telework schedules when they transfer. We urge you to be aware of this when making a decision regarding whether to apply for a transfer.