WHEREAS, traffic congestion has become a major problem in many of Washington's larger metropolitan areas;
WHEREAS, The Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation and the Washington State Telework Coalition recognize telework and flexible work hours as cost-effective components in reducing traffic congestion and have recommended that state government take a leadership role in adopting programs for state agencies;
WHEREAS, Washington State's Commute Trip Reduction law was adopted by the 1991 Legislature and incorporated into the Washington Clean Air Act as RCW 70.94.521-551 as a way to reduce air pollution, congestion, and energy consumption;
WHEREAS, RCW 70.94.547 directs the state, as a major employer, to take a leadership role and for state agencies in Washington to aggressively develop substantive programs to reduce commute trips by state employees;
WHEREAS, telework and flexible work hour studies have shown economic and organizational benefits to employers resulting from less sick leave, reduced hiring and training costs, increased employee productivity and morale, and reduced space and parking needs;
WHEREAS, telework and flexible work hours are viable tools for reducing commute trips, eliminating tons of pollutants released into the atmosphere, and saving energy by reducing the consumption of gasoline;
WHEREAS, telework and flexible work hours provide state agencies and employees work options to keep state government operating during emergencies such as natural disasters; and
WHEREAS, the accomplishments made by the employees of the State of Washington in reducing the number of single-occupant vehicle trips, and other commute trip reduction efforts, demonstrate the potential and importance to further these efforts, setting a positive example and providing best practices for our state's employers - large and small.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Gary Locke, Governor of the State of Washington, by virtue of the authority vested in me do hereby establish the Washington State Telework and Flexible Work Hours Program, and direct the following actions:
- Each agency shall adopt a written policy that defines specific criteria and procedures for telework and flexible work hours
- The policy shall require the agency to consider an employee's request to telework and/or to work flexible hours in relation to the objectives of this Executive Order and the agency's operating, business, and customer needs.
- Currently four and one-half percent (4.5%) of state employees participating in agency commute trip reduction programs telework; and 23 percent have flexible work hours (1999 CTR Survey). The goal shall be that by 2006, an average of at least 9 percent of all state employees across all agencies will be teleworking and at least 35 percent of all state employees will be using flexible work hours. The results from the 2003 and 2005 CTR surveys from worksites participating in the state's CTR program, will be used as the indicator of telework and flexible work hours usage by state employees.
- The Interagency Task Force (ITF) for Commute Trip Reduction shall establish policy guidelines and methods for the collection of data for the Washington State Telework and Flexible Work Hours Program.
- Agencies shall provide the Department of General Administration (GA) and the Department of Personnel with a copy of their written policies. GA will maintain the policies on file for the purposes of data collection and sharing of best practices with other agencies and employers.
- GA, in consultation with the Transportation Demand Management Office in the Washington State Department of Transportation, shall provide a biennial report to the Office of the Governor. The report shall include the following information, supported by data collection methods established by the ITF:
- Number of agencies participating in telework and flexible work hours programs.
- Number of employees teleworking.
- Number of employees working a compressed work week.
- Summary and effectiveness of efforts made by agencies to promote and encourage telework and flexible work hours, including successes and barriers.
- Other information that may be requested by the Office of the Governor.
For purposes of this executive order, the following definitions apply:
- "Agency" means state agency, board, commission, or institution of higher education.
- "Telework" means to work from the employee's home or from an office near the employee's home, rather than from the principal place of employment at least once every two weeks resulting in fewer commute trips by the employee.
- "Flexible work hours" includes both the compressed workweek and flextime.
- "Compressed workweek" means an alternative work schedule that regularly allows a full-time employee to eliminate at least one work day every two weeks by working longer hours during the remaining days, resulting in fewer commute trips by the employee.
- "Flextime" means a fixed work schedule whereby an employee is permitted some flexibility in choosing his or her starting and ending time outside of the agency's normal work hours. Flextime is allowable under RCW 41.04.390.
Provisions of this Executive Order are not intended to alter any existing collective bargaining agreements. This order shall take effect immediately.