Updated guidance for mandatory telecommuting

On May 21, 2020, King County Executive Dow Constantine extended mandatory telecommuting for all Executive Branch employees who are currently telecommuting through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7, 2020, except where there is an operational need to physically return to the workplace. Employees in other branches (definitions below) of County government will receive guidance from their leaders.

Read the Executive’s announcement here, and please see our updated guidance below.

First responders: Employees designated as first responders have the highest duty to report to work as directed in emergency conditions. Given the unique situation of the COVID-19 emergency, employees designated as first responders may be different than those who are designated as first responders in our traditional natural disaster emergencies. First responders who have been exposed to COVID-19, but do not have symptoms, are expected to report for work rather than stay home because of their essential function. First responders who do not have symptoms, but are at high risk for severe illness are strongly encouraged to stay home. Every department needs to determine which employees should be designated as a first responder. These designations may change through the course of the COVID-19 emergency. Supervisors need to inform those employees who are designated as a first responder. There may be circumstances where the particular exposure or household risk factors affect whether a first responder can or should report to work if exposed. If a supervisor has questions about whether a first responder should report to work, they should contact the department Human Resources Manager.

Mission-critical employees: Mission-critical employees must be available to perform their duties as determined by their agency management. During the COVID-19 emergency, the majority of mission-critical employees will be able to perform their duties while telecommuting. Mission-critical employees who have been exposed, but do not have symptoms should discuss with their supervisor and Human Resources Manager whether or not the employee should stay home. Mission critical employees who do not have symptoms, but are at high risk for severe illness, are strongly encouraged to stay home. If the work must be performed in a workplace with other employees, supervisors should make a decision about whether or not an exposed mission-critical employee who does not have symptoms can effectively stay home.

For all other employees, King County is now mandating telecommuting for those Executive Branch employees (definitions below) whose work allows for it, with supervisor approvalthrough Monday, Sept. 7, except where there is an operational need to physically return to the workplace. Managers and supervisors must work with their employees to permit telecommuting wherever possible and be creative to maximize telecommuting. Employees are permitted to telecommute with children in the home. The expectation of productive work remains. Please find telecommute resources here and submit a signed telecommute agreement to your supervisor. You can also get KCIT resources here on the necessary technology tools (SharePoint). Please note that this guidance does not apply to employees designated as first responders and mission-critical employees. Employees in other branches of County government (definitions below) may receive additional guidance from their leaders.

For additional questions, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions, or talk to your department’s HR Manager (employee access only).

Executive Branch departments: Department of Assessments, Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention, Department of Executive Services, Department of Community and Human Services, Department of Human Resources, Department of Judicial Administration, Department of Local Services, Metro Transit Department, Department of Natural Resources and Park, Department of Public Defense, Department of Public Health, Executive Department, King County Elections, King County Sheriff’s Office (The King County Sheriff’s Office is administered by the King County Sheriff).

Other branches of County government: District Court, King County Council, Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Superior Court.