The Telework Agreement states that I am not authorized to telework at sites that are not within a reasonable commuting distance from my regular work site, except for brief periods of time, (generally considered 30 days or less). Why can't I work from anywhere I want?

December 16, 2020

UMB is a public employer in the state of Maryland largely employing, educating, and serving Marylanders. Although there are exceptions (e.g., grant or contract work that is required to be performed in other states/countries), there is an expectation that UMB employees ordinarily perform work in Maryland.
With regard to relocations during the pandemic, UMB is not able to automatcially authorize telework from outside an employee's regular commute since matters of workers compensation insurance, income taxes, reporting requirements, availability of employee health and wellness benefits, and other legal liabilities vary when employees work in other states. UMB is not able to mitigate or respond to these varying issues during this temporary period of telework. (These risks are somewhat mitigated when employees work from neighboring states with which Maryland has reciprocal agreements.)
Another reason that telework must be performed from within a reasonable commuting distance from UMB relates to safety. The COVID-19 Status of Operation and Telework Policy provides that a mandatory teleworker may be required to come on-site for certain operations on a part time or sporadic basis. Thus, authorizing employees to work from outside the commutable distance from UMB could have the effect of encouraging employees to engage in travel that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and our public health officials advise against.