Employees Working Outside of Massachusetts and California*

Information for Schools and Units that will offer full or partial remote work arrangements this coming fall 2021 - REV 06/09/2021

Harvard will implement payroll tax withholding and benefits for several new states this fall. Below is a brief summary of the changes intended for employees in those units who have had remote work arrangements approved by their departments. 

What is Happening?

If your School or Unit offers full or partial remote work and you’ll begin or continue such an arrangement in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, or Maryland, starting this fall, Harvard will withhold taxes for these states (where applicable) from your paycheck for the amount of time you work there. Your Massachusetts state tax withholding will be adjusted accordingly. 

Why Now?

Before the pandemic, Harvard operated under a 2014 Payroll Policy, under which payroll and benefits were designed primarily to meet the needs and requirements for Massachusetts-based roles, which comprised nearly 100% of University jobs. Harvard is making this change now because the University anticipates that some Schools and Units may offer hybrid work arrangements post-pandemic, and we will need to support direct University employment for these remote workers in some states.

When and Where Can I get More Information?

We understand that you will have many questions about this coming change. We also understand that some University areas have not yet finalized their return to campus plans, which may affect employee plans for remote work arrangements, which will be subject to department approval. Here’s how we will help:

  • To address your state withholding questions, this summer Central Payroll will host a series of Zoom information and Q&A sessions, and provide detailed guidance, instructions, and FAQs, which will be posted on the Central Payroll website
  • Employees who wish to change their state withholdings after mid-September, in line with plans approved by their department, will have until August 13 to submit required information – so there is more time to plan. Additional details on how to submit this information will be communicated in the coming weeks
  • Harvard has recently published a new Flexwork Policy and guidelines for its implementation. See Flexwork at Harvard for a comprehensive overview of various types of flexwork including telework and remote work, and other essential information about managing and working in hybrid teams

Harvard continues to assess registrations in additional states during this period of transition. Until further notice, however, if you have relocated to a state not listed above and you do not change your work location to a state where Harvard is registered by mid-September, the expectation is that you will transition to a payrolling provider such as AllSource. Additional guidance and information for these employees is forthcoming.

* Due to local requirements, only exempt employees may be put on the California payroll (with the limited exception of nonexempt employees who already have established payroll arrangements in California).

See Payroll Processes for Summer and Fall 2021 for additional information, including for individuals working outside the United States.