Remote and Hybrid Working Policy

Brandeis’s primary location of operations is in the Commonwealth of MA. The university is registered to do business only in Massachusetts and those states as listed below (and subject to change). An on-campus presence for faculty and staff is often critical to maintain the highest possible quality of job function or campus service. Furthermore, on-campus interactions build connections between employees, facilitate quick exchange of information, and help integrate new employees into office and university culture and operations. A pillar of Brandeis’s strategic framework is to create a vibrant campus community that advances the university’s mission.

The university recognizes the need to hire or reassign an employee who will, due to the nature of a particular position or business need, reside and perform their work outside of Massachusetts. To this end there are certain states in which Brandeis as a matter of policy allows people to be located in when working. Employees who request approval to work in a state outside of Massachusetts subject the university to other state laws and may result in additional insurance, payroll requirements and costs (e.g., workers compensation, liability insurance, unemployment insurance, payroll tax withholding/reporting, administrative costs, and other reporting requirements and expenses).

The purpose of this policy is to establish requirements and decision-making processes for approval of employees who may request to work outside of the approved states listed below or employees requesting a fully remote work arrangement in any state.

The university reserves the right to determine in advance whether the university will permit an employee’s principal work location to be outside of the approved states included here: MA, NH, VT, ME, CT, RI, NY and CA (states as of June 2023). For purposes of work location, faculty who are teaching during a term on campus are considered to be working completely within Massachusetts.

It is important to note that even though this policy lists a number of states that do not require prior approval for faculty and staff to work from, as previously stated, any employment outside of Massachusetts requires the university to comply with the other state’s laws, payroll tax withholding requirements, insurance requirements, etc. As a result, departments choosing to make such employment decisions should be prepared for the possibility of additional costs in the future as a result of employing faculty and staff outside of Massachusetts.


This policy and the associated requirements will apply to all current staff and faculty (not including part-time non-benefits eligible faculty), or candidates for these positions.

Hybrid Work

Hybrid work is an arrangement where work is performed on campus at least one day per week with
flexibility to work remotely a set number of days per week, at an agreed upon location in an approved
state. All hybrid work arrangements must be memorialized through a telecommuting agreement in accordance with the university’s Staff Telecommuting and Alternative Work Policy. 

Any request for an employee to work in a hybrid capacity from a location outside of the approved states above will require an initial review and conversation with the respective HR Business Partner and approval by the Vice President/Dean of the employee’s department and respective Executive Vice President.

In situations where the university is not registered to do business in a state, the university will undertake an assessment as to the appropriateness, risk and expense of registering in the specific state, and approve, only if deemed in the best interest of the university. There may be additional expenses associated with this approval that will need to be borne by the requesting unit. The university also reserves the right to not register in a particular state due to applicable laws and considerations of that state. Due to the complexity of international laws over “doing business” payroll and employment practices, the university cannot accommodate employees outside of the United States.

Fully Remote Work

Fully remote work is an arrangement where work is performed off-site at an agreed upon location on a consistent basis. If the employee does not perform work on campus at least one day per week they will
be considered fully remote. This will be an exception-based process regardless of the state where the work is performed and will require an initial review and conversation with the respective HR Business Partner and approval by the Vice President/Dean of the employee’s department and the respective Executive Vice President.  Requests for fully remote work must be supported by an important university business purpose and not be merely an accommodation to the employee.  Factors that need to be considered in this request include:

  1. the operational needs and services provided by the department, and for the department by the
    individual, including the impact a fully remote arrangement will have on quality and consistency
    of service to students, campus partners and other constituencies (this will need to be documented by the manager in the request process),
  2. the core responsibilities of each employee, the nature of the position and its suitability for fully remote work (this will need to be documented by the manager in the request process),
  3. tax, legal, and compliance considerations, and
  4. space and planning implications

Exceptions to the approval requirement of this policy are limited to the following:

  • Remote work outside of an approved state during isolated travel up to 30 days;
  • A short-term university assignment or program that must be conducted outside of an approved state and is approved by the responsible Vice President, Dean, Senior Vice President or Executive Vice President; or Professional development leave.

Obtaining Approval for New Hires

Hiring managers may not make an offer of employment to any job applicant seeking a fully remote arrangement and/or work in a non-approved state until receiving approval through this process. Hiring managers are responsible for informing their Talent Specialist and HR Business Partner as soon as they are aware that they may have an out of state finalist for an open position. New employees are not eligible for a fully remote arrangement, including fully remote employment in Massachusetts, fully remote employment in an approved state or working for Brandeis in a non-approved state until approval by the Vice President/Dean of the employee’s department and the respective Executive Vice President is obtained. Performing work for Brandeis, even on a hybrid basis, in a non-approved state, must be approved by the Vice President/Dean of the employee’s department and the respective Executive Vice President.

Approval by the Vice President/Dean of the employee’s department and the respective Executive Vice President is not necessary for applicants who reside outside of the approved state, but intend to move to Massachusetts or an approved state in a reasonable amount of time if offered employment. Offers of employment in these situations will include a specified timeframe in which the applicant must move into an approved state to continue employment.

Approval is also not required for applicants who reside outside of Massachusetts, but will commute
to campus and work fully onsite for Brandeis.

Obtaining Approval for Current Employees

Effective immediately, departments and business units must identify any existing employee who is working fully remote (in any state) or fully or partially remote in a non-approved state and request approval from the Vice President/Dean of the employee’s department and the respective Executive Vice President. Notice of all fully remote employees and fully and partially remote employees who perform work for the university in a non-approved state should also be provided to the Vice President of Human Resources and appropriate HR Business Partner. Current employees are not eligible to work outside of the approved states unless this approval is obtained. In cases where an employee is not approved to continue working fully remotely or in a non-approved state, the department must work with the employee to provide fair notice and create a reasonable transition plan to a work arrangement in an approved state. If the employee does not abide by the department-based transition plan, they may be subject to termination. Managers must work with their HR Business Partner to create a transition plan for these situations where fully remote and/or out of state employment is no longer approved and prior to any discussions with the employee about relocating to an approved state or potential termination of employment. As noted above, the department is responsible for the initial identification and reporting of any cases where an employee may be working outside of an approved state in any capacity or fully remote. On an annual basis, the manager or department leader may be asked to provide justification for continuing/extending any previously approved fully remote arrangements or work in non-approved states.


If the protocols for applicants or existing employees outlined in this policy are not followed, and if it is later discovered that an individual is working fully remotely or in a state that is not an approved state, the employee may not be allowed to continue working, the employee’s employment may be terminated, and the manager may be subject to corrective action.

In the event that a request for an applicant or existing employee to work fully remotely or out of state is not approved, the department must immediately notify the applicant or employee in writing, request that their work be performed in an approved state, and develop a plan to create a work arrangement in an approved state. Prior to any communication between the employee’s department and the impacted employee, the employee’s manager must consult with their appropriate HR Business Partner.

Approved fully remote arrangement and/or work in a non-approved state must be reviewed annually (or sooner if operational needs change) and approved by the department Vice President/Dean and the respective Executive Vice President.

Administrative Costs

The approved hiring of employees in any states outside of Massachusetts or non-approved states may necessitate that the university retain the services of outside consultants to assure compliance with state laws related to employment and benefits issues. These costs will be charged to the department and may include fees for a third-party administrator, payroll and legal advice. Failure to report these employees to the university in a timely manner may also result in the assessment of penalties or fines by other states, which will also be assessed to the assigning department. Equipment or supplies for an employee’s home, when the employee has been approved for a fully remote arrangement or in a hybrid arrangement, is the responsibility of the employee unless as a result of an approved reasonable accommodation.

Payroll Considerations

If the individual will be located in a state in which the university is not currently registered to do business, a legal opinion (which will be charged to the requesting unit) will need to be obtained as to whether registration is required under that state’s law. If registration is required in the new state, Payroll will be authorized to complete and file necessary registration documents according to specific protocols of the state. The state will notify Payroll of acceptance and effective dates. (NOTE: The process of registering to do business in another state can take six to eight weeks.) As mentioned above, there may be additional department costs for hiring a person to work in a non-approved state including the potential costs associated with using a third party to manage these situations.

I-9 Compliance

Employees who have been hired for a fully remote or out of state work arrangement may come to the Brandeis campus to provide their required documents to comply with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requirements for verification of identity and eligibility to work in the United States. Employees may also present their original and unexpired document(s) for inspection to an authorized agent. An authorized agent can be a representative of a new employee’s current or former human resources office, dean’s office, legal services, a notary, attorney, banker or accountant. For detailed information and procedures, review the Form I-9 Remote Instructions. As always, all I-9s must be completed within three (3) days of the employee’s date of hire, regardless of whether the I-9 is completed onsite at Brandeis or remotely by using an authorized agent.

Telecommuting and Alternative Work Policy

All hybrid and fully remote employees must have an approved telework agreement in place with their department and follow all of the provisions of the Telecommuting and Alternative Work Policy.

Workers’ compensation – Employees are generally covered by workers’ compensation for job-related injuries that occur in the course and scope of Brandeis employment. Employees who work in MA are covered by our current plan for job related injuries. Brandeis is also required to provide workers compensation coverage for employees who work in states outside of Massachusetts. In these cases, and once approved, Brandeis will register for workers compensation coverage for the employee. The costs of this coverage will be charged to the department.

Paid Family & Medical Leave (PFML) – To be eligible for MA PFML and the university’s bonding leave
program, an employee must consistently work in MA for a portion of their work week and pay into Massachusetts unemployment insurance. Employees who are fully remote and do not perform any work
on campus (including the New England states) are not covered by MA PFML or the University’s Bonding
Leave program. Brandeis does not take PFML deductions or report hours and wages for employees whose work location is in Massachusetts. Employees who work in a state outside of MA, and never come to campus to perform their work, may be covered by a similar program in the state in which they work. This coverage may be accompanied by a required payroll tax, depending on the state in question.

Unemployment insurance – Remote employees who work outside of MA are not covered by MA unemployment coverage unless there is a reciprocal coverage arrangement in place with that state. Employees who work in a state outside of MA may be covered by an unemployment insurance program
in the state in which they work.

Out-of-state Tax withholding – Both the employee’s work location and the location of the employee’s residence may trigger state withholding, depending on state law. If the employee meets the requirements for state taxation and has accurately updated their work location in Workday, Brandeis withholds the applicable taxes for that state.

Health insurance and benefit impacts – Eligibility for health insurance plans varies based on work location and home address. Employees who are requesting an out-of-state work location are strongly encouraged to contact the Office of Human Resources for guidance and options.

Travel between locations – The costs of travel to and from Brandeis for remote teleworkers is the
responsibility of the individual employees. The only exception would be for an employee in an approved
position that requires the employee to work outside of MA.


This policy is for general guidance only. It does not create an employment contract or any right to continued employment at Brandeis University. Brandeis University reserves the right to modify, revoke, suspend, terminate and/or change any and all policies and procedures at any time, with or without notice.

Office of Human Resources

June 2023