Employment Conditions and AWA Responsibilities

An Alternative Work Assignment (AWA) does not alter an employee’s employment relationship with the University or the obligation to observe all University rules, policies and procedures. All existing terms and conditions of employment, such as job description, salary, benefits, vacation, leave and overtime, remain the same. The AWA must also allow the employee to be supervised and mentored as effectively as they would be without an AWA.

For hybrid or remote work assignments, the employee must be fully accessible during their designated work hours and are expected to maintain a presence using agreed-upon technology, as well as be available to their manager, coworkers and customers with the same response time as if working on site.

The following topics are covered in more detail below:

Work Schedules

Employees will continue to maintain regularly scheduled and approved work hours and must be fully accessible during those hours. Work schedules are subject to ongoing review, and requested scheduling changes are approved at the discretion of the employee’s manager based upon unit operational needs. Any changes to an approved schedule or alternate work location must be reviewed and approved by the employee’s manager in advance.

Split Workday Schedules and Travel Time

Partial or split days are permitted for exempt and non-exempt employees for up to five days of the week, with prior manager approval. Managers are responsible for ensuring their employees adhere to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), including for non-exempt employees permitted to work a partial or split remote day. Non-exempt employees should review the Non-Exempt Staff Pay Policy if they have additional pay questions.

Generally, travel time from a remote location to campus is not compensable for non-exempt staff with an AWA. If a non-exempt employee is traveling to Brown for a regular scheduled shift (whether that is to work for a full day or for a half day on site), the employee would not receive pay for travel time to and from work. However, if at their manager’s request, a non-exempt employee is asked to work on site for a full or partial day when they were previously scheduled to work remotely, then the non-exempt employee’s travel time must be compensated.

For additional information relating to split days and travel time pay for non-exempt employees, please contact the University Human Resources compensation team.

Overtime Compliance

In accordance with the FLSA, non-exempt employees will continue to receive overtime pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a standard workweek. Non-exempt employees are required to obtain advance approval to work overtime. All hours worked, including unapproved overtime, must be reported and paid in accordance with the University’s Non-Exempt Staff Pay Policy.

Registered AWA States

An alternative worksite location may be in any state in which Brown is registered to do business, as determined by and approved by the University. Important: Alternative worksite locations cannot be outside the U.S. due to the significant variation in employment laws, benefits availability, tax consequences and other considerations.

Relocating with an AWA

Employees should consult with their HR business partner and University Human Resources when considering relocating to another area that is outside the state of Rhode Island. Depending upon the location and the employee’s assigned position work location (PWL), prior approval may be required by the employee’s manager and University Human Resources.

Salary and Benefits

Salary and benefits remain unchanged while working on an AWA. Additional information can be found in the Non-Exempt Staff Pay Policy, Exempt Staff Pay Policy and the Paid Time Off Policy.


Employees may experience personal tax consequences and are responsible for all tax obligations that may result from alternative worksite locations outside of the state of Rhode Island. Employees are advised to consult with a professional tax advisor of their own choosing to assist with determining any additional personal tax obligations that may arise from their PWL and AWA.

For more information about state taxation compliance, please refer to the Multi-State Project webpage.

Type of PWL State Taxation Guidelines


Subject to State of Rhode Island taxation


Subject to State of Rhode Island taxation

Remote (in Rhode Island)

Subject to State of Rhode Island taxation

Remote (outside Rhode Island)

Subject to the taxation laws of the alternative worksite location

Employee Workplace Safety and Worker’s Compensation

To ensure the workplace safety of all staff, applicable workers’ compensation benefits are available for injuries or illness arising out of and in the course of employment with an AWA. Please review the Workers Compensation procedures for more information.

Workplace Accommodation Requests

Workplace accommodations related to a disability cannot be requested through the AWA process and must be requested by following the University’s separate accommodation process. Please review the Employment Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities Policy and reach out to the University Human Resources leave team for assistance.

Office/Home Office Equipment and Supplies

Brown University provides employees with the appropriate tools to perform their jobs. If needed to support effective remote work basic office supplies (e.g., pens, pencils or notebooks) and small computer accessories (e.g., monitors, keyboards or mice) are generally approved. For additional information, see the Alternative Work Assignment Expense Reimbursement Policy.

Ergonomic and accessibility needs/requests will be assessed separately in accordance with the existing University ergonomics telecommuting guidance and assessment process.

Travel Reimbursement

Employees with a remote PWL who reside beyond a 50-mile radius of Brown’s campus in Providence, Rhode Island, may be reimbursed for travel to campus (e.g., hotel, car, parking fees, flights, meals, etc.). All allowable travel expenses will be reimbursed to the employee from the unit’s budget and not funded centrally by Brown. The employee must obtain pre-approval. Expenses are subject to the University’s Alternative Work Assignment Expense Reimbursement Policy.

Other Reimbursable Expenses Outside Rhode Island

California, Massachusetts,and Washington, D.C., have additional requirements related to reimbursing remote employees for certain remote work expenses. Employees working in these jurisdictions should obtain prior approval from their department head or manager before incurring any additional expenses. All allowable expenses will be reimbursed to the employee from the unit’s budget and not funded centrally by Brown.

Visit each state’s website to view all applicable state requirements:

California Labor Code Section 2802

Washington D.C. Register Title 7 Section 910

Massachusetts General Laws Part I, Title XXI, Chapter 149, Section 148

Employee Performance

If an employee with a hybrid PWL is having performance issues their manager should first consult with their University Human Resources business partner and employee relations representative. In accordance with the University’s performance management protocols, the manager, in consultation with University Human Resources, should develop a performance improvement plan for the employee that could include a requirement by the manager that the employee works more frequently on site for the duration period of the plan, or until the employee’s performance has improved to a satisfactory level. Please note that requiring an employee to work more frequently on site as part of their improvement plan may also require more frequent managerial on-site supervision.