Fact Check: The Truth About Telecommuting at the AOC

On Feb 26, 2013, the Judicial Council voted to adopt a new, more restrictive telecommuting program for the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). The new policy limits who can participate in the program, restricts the number of days for telecommuting, and expands oversight and monitoring of those participating in the program. Judicial Council report on AOC's telecommute pilot program

An interim report on the pilot program will be presented to the council’s Executive and Planning Committee six months after the program has been in place, with a further presentation to the full council after twelve months.

The council’s action goes further than recommendations made by the Strategic Evaluation Committee (SEC), which the council adopted on Aug 12, 2012. The SEC never recommended terminating the telecommuting policy. It did say the AOC should enforce its existing telecommuting policy.

SEC Recommendation No. 6-3 states:

“The AOC Executive Leadership Team must order immediate compliance with the requirements and policies in the AOC personnel manual, including formal performance reviews of all employees on an annual basis; compliance with the rules limiting telecommuting; and appropriate utilization of the discipline system.”

SEC Recommendation No. 7-40 states:

“The AOC must adhere to its telecommuting policy…It must apply the policy consistently and must identify and correct all existing deviations and violations of the existing policy.”

In adopting the SEC recommendations, the council expanded the SEC recommendations in two separate directives. Directive 25 states: 

“The AOC Executive Leadership Team must order immediate compliance with the requirements and policies in the AOC personnel manual, including formal performance reviews of all employees on an annual basis; compliance with the rules limiting telecommuting; and appropriate utilization of the discipline system.” 

And Directive 26 states:

“E&P recommends that the Judicial Council direct the Administrative Director of the Courts to ensure that the AOC adheres to its telecommuting policy consistently and identifies and corrects all existing deviations and violations of the existing policy. The Administrative Director of the Courts must review the AOC telecommuting policy and provide the council with a report proposing any recommendations on amendments to the policy by the December 13-14, 2012, council meeting. Based on a recommendation from the Executive and Planning Committee, the Judicial Council added an additional directive to the existing telecommute directives at the December 14, 2012, meeting to consider and report on alternatives for the telecommute policy, including whether this policy should remain in force and directed the ADOC to return to the council with a report and recommendations for the council’s February 2013 meeting.”

March 2013

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