New Jersey Establishes Telework Pilot Program for State Employees

New Program Will Not Impact In-Person Services at New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development or Motor Vehicle Commission

April 6, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER) – The New Jersey Civil Service Commission (CSC) today voted to approve a pilot program empowering State of New Jersey departments and authorities to establish a telework program for employees. This action is a bold step toward modernizing New Jersey’s State workplace landscape while maintaining core services and ensuring responsiveness to the needs of constituents. Additionally, the shift to telework will offer more workplace flexibility, allowing State agencies to compete with the private sector by broadening strategies and incentives for talent recruitment and retention. 

The pilot program will last one year and apply to all State departments and authorities, with an implementation deadline of July 1, 2022.

“Telework will accelerate the modernization of New Jersey’s State government to reflect the evolving workplace landscape,” said Governor Murphy. “Our union partners have been integral to the creation of this telework pilot program. Through collaboration, we can continue to build a workforce equipped to handle the demands of the modern workplace.”

“The approval of the Model Telework Pilot Program is a monumental step that addresses the current needs of the State workforce,” said Civil Service Commission Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Deirdré Webster Cobb Esq. “During the height of the pandemic, we witnessed State employees successfully continue to deliver critical State and public services while teleworking. As we witness changes around the world in the landscape of how we work, it is important for us to adapt in order to attract and retain qualified State workers.” 

“CWA applauds Governor Murphy for taking the initiative in proposing a robust Pilot Telework Program for the State workforce,” said New Jersey State Director of the Communication Workers of America Fran Ehret.  “This is a significant step forward and demonstrates the progressive leadership of this administration to carve new paths for fairer and stronger public services.  We look forward to working with the Governor and his cabinet in implementing this program in a manner that is equitable and ensures that the highest quality services continue to be delivered to the public.”  

Not all State employees will be eligible for telework due to the nature of their jobs. For example, Department of Labor & Workforce Development and Motor Vehicle Commission employees whose primary job responsibilities involve in-person services will not be eligible for telework.

The pilot telework program establishes general parameters for all State departments and authorities to follow when developing their department-specific telework policies. Parameters include: 

  • All departments and authorities will be required to offer a telework program of no more than two working days per week based on operational need.  
  • Appointing authorities should make available flextime schedules and/or alternate work programs for employees who are not eligible for telework when operational needs allow. 
  • Employees will be required to engage in an application process to determine eligibility. Both employees and managers will be required to complete telework trainings as part of the approval process. 
  • Significant discretion shall be given to appointing authorities to consider operational needs when determining telework schedules for eligible employees.
  • Each department will be required to consult with relevant unions when developing their telework plans.   

All pilot telework plans must be submitted to the New Jersey Civil Service Commission (CSC) by June 1st and implemented by July 1st.