Connecticut State Workers Can Now Request Work-From-Home Schedules
Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, many state employees have been working remotely from their homes, and now a decision has been made to let them stay at home and not have to report to the office.
A state arbitrator’s new ruling, which will affect thousands of state employees, will now allow them to appeal by being forced to work in their real office more than one day a week.
The new decision comes at a time when the union and Governor Ned Lamont disagree with home / office mandates. The governor, who at one point during the pandemic had full power using his emergency powers, has since lost some of that authority and is currently operating with reduced emergency power, which incidentally is due to expire on February 15.
It has been an ongoing battle, but now that pandemic cases have increased dramatically in the state, the latest figures have an increase in the positivity rate of almost 24%, which is the highest since the start of the pandemic. with nearly one in four tests coming back positive.
According to current.com, the governor and the unions agreed to an earlier temporary deal in August, when initial stay-at-home restrictions were lifted, but were to put in place a permanent work / home policy in early 2022.
In a 37-page arbitration report that basically says that “any denial or modification of the previous agreement that would require an employee to work on-site in the office more than one day a week would be subject to appeal.”
The latest arbitral award says state employees can request a home work schedule that is consistent with their duties and operational needs.
There are many state employees who would not be eligible for an appeal of this new ruling because their job cannot be accomplished by working from home. This can apply to state soldiers, correctional officers, child welfare social workers, transport service drivers, etc.