As we’ve reported, federal employees began learning this week whether they’re eligible to take advantage of a new federal telework law.

Several Federal Eye Twitter followers said Tuesday that they had been informed of their telework status and a few said they had been given permission months, if not years ago.

We also learned this morning that contrary to the long-held belief that National Park Service rangers wouldn’t be allowed to work remotely, an agency spokesman said it will in fact permit rangers to telework occasionally on days that they might be researching new interpretative material, or writing reports that they can easily do off-site.

Finally, thanks to templates we obtained from the Agriculture Department, here’s a look at how federal workers are being informed of their status:


President Obama signed the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 into law on December 9, 2010 and USDA issued a new Departmental Regulation on Telework USDA DR 4080-811-002, on January 25, 2011. Consistent with the requirements of the Enactment and the Departmental Regulation, this message communicates official notification of the eligibility requirements for participating in USDA’s Telework Program and provides you with useful resources for getting started.

To ensure alignment with Secretary Vilsack’s Cultural Transformation initiatives and the new Telework Program guidance, it is the intent to allow all eligible employees (supervisors and managers are also eligible) to participate in Telework to the maximum extent possible, without diminishing employee performance or organizational mission accomplishment.

USDA presumes that all positions are eligible to participate in Telework, unless you meet the following criteria:

1) You received a performance rating of less than Fully Successful within the past 12 months;

2) You received a formal disciplinary or adverse action within the past 12 months. (Note: Informal disciplinary or adverse actions, no matter of the duration or whether included in the official OPF, cannot be a factor for determination of ineligibility.)

3) You have received formal disciplinary or adverse action for viewing, downloading, or exchanging

pornography, including child pornography, from a government computer or while performing official Federal Government duties.

4) You have been officially disciplined for being absent without permission (AWOL) for 5 days or more in any calendar year.

Furthermore, participation in the USDA Telework Program is voluntary and employees, whose positions are eligible, are not mandated to participate if they elect not to.

Impact on Employees Represented by Labor Unions

For employees represented by labor organizations that have been granted exclusive representation status under the Federal Labor-Management Relations Statute, the implementation of the Telework Directive and these instructions is contingent upon the completion of appropriate labor relations obligations.

Applying for Telework

If you are eligible for Telework, as indicated above, and you wish to participate, please ensure you complete the mandatory training requirements prior to working with your supervisor to complete the USDA Telework Agreement Form, AD-3018.

Both supervisors and employees must complete mandatory training, prior to entering into a Telework Agreement; however, if training has been successfully completed prior to the implementation of the Telework Enhancement Act, new training is not required- but strongly encouraged.

Mandatory Training available in AgLearn

New 2011 USDA Telework Program Training for Supervisors and Managers is now available this month via interactive, web-based forum from your desktops- if you are interested please coordinate with your AgLearn training Point of Contact to schedule a date that works best for your work group (not individually) and your organization, and they will work with the Virtual University to ensure you can enroll.

USDA approved AgLearn Telework Courses for mandatory training requirement are:

Telework 101 for Employees: Making Telework Work for You


Revision: 4/8/2011

Telework 101 for Manager: Making Telework Work for You


Revision: 4/8/2011

USDA Telework Agreement Form

All employees who wish to participate in Telework must complete the USDA Telework Agreement form, AD-3018.

AD-3018 can be found from the OCIO website at:

More details about USDA’s Telework Program and other cultural transformation initiatives can be found in past editions of the My USDA newsletter or by visiting the Work/Life and Wellness community at USDA Connect!

What is your telework status — or the status of your spouse or friends? Let us know and share details in the comments section below.