Y’all Politics brings you a Bill of the Day from the Mississippi Legislature that just may pique your interest. 

Working from home has risen over the last two years, driven mostly by the COVID pandemic. However, with technology continuing to make advances, such an arrangement between employers and employees is likely to continue, even when it comes to government agencies.

However, the Legislature, up until now, has not defined parameters around working from home for state employees. SB 2810 could change that, limiting it to emergencies or as approved through the State Personnel Board.

State Senator Kevin Blackwell (R) has filed SB 2810 that would provide the terms and conditions for allowing state employees to engage in telework.

The bill says an agency may authorize telework, or work from home, for employees under the following conditions:

  • When the Governor declares an emergency authorizing telework.
  • When an employee has a medical condition that necessitates that employee be protected from exposure.
  • When an employee is responsible for the care of a person who is under order to quarantine by the Department of Health.
  • When access to the workplace is barred by inclement weather or other dangerous conditions.
  • When approved by the State Personnel Board in accordance with a telework policy.

The bill states that to implement a telework policy, an agency should seek guidance from the State Personnel Board in determining what forms of work activities can be effectively and efficiently managed through a telework arrangement. All privileged or confidential information must be secured and all employees engaging in at home work must sign a telework agreement.

Ultimately, the agency would be required to establish work schedules that ensure that some personnel are at the offices to provide direct contact with the public.

The bill has passed out of the Senate Accountability, Efficiency, and Transparency Committee.

You can read the full bill here.