Policy Number: RPM Section 2.01(E)(6)
Title: Terms and Conditions of Employment
Publication Date: 6/20/2011
Effective Date: 6/14/2011

  1. Purpose
  2. Persons Affected
  3. Exceptions
  4. Policy Statement
  5. Roles and Responsibilities
  6. Definitions/Acronyms
  7. Recordkeeping Requirements
  8. Implementing Documents
  9. Contact Information
  10. Revision History
  1. Purpose

    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) defines certain terms and conditions that individuals must meet to be hired at the Laboratory. The contents of this policy are not intended to serve as an exhaustive list of requirements or conditions of employment, and some or all of the requirements and conditions described in this policy may not apply to every individual who is hired by the Laboratory.
  2. Persons Affected

    This policy primarily impacts newly hired, transferred, or promoted employees in all employee classifications: Career, Term, Faculty, Postdoctoral Fellow, Limited, Visiting Researcher, Rehired Retiree, Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA), and Student Assistant. It also requires all current employees to report felony convictions that occur at any time during their employment. This policy applies to nonrepresented employees. Represented employees should consult their collective bargaining agreement.

  3. Exceptions

    1. Approval of Variations from Policy
      Unless there is explicit and specific authorization for an action by this policy, the action is considered to be a variation from the policy and must be approved in advance by the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO). Contact your division’s Human Resources Center if you have any questions. 
  4. Policy Statement

    1. Eligibility for Employment: In general, to be eligible for employment at the Laboratory, individuals must meet and/or fulfill the following requirements:
      • The employee is at least 15 years of age at the time of hire for any position; however, this age minimum may be higher for employment within a clinical or research laboratory.
      • If the employee is under 18 years of age, a work permit from the superintendent of the employee’s school is required, and the employee’s hours of employment must be consistent with the provisions of that work permit.
      • Staff required to be licensed, certified, or credentialed must present documentation of such status before employment and as required thereafter.
      • Staff must authorize the Laboratory to conduct a background check. Employment is contingent upon the successful outcomes of this screening process.
      • Staff must agree to sign the Intellectual Property Acknowledgement form. For more information, see RPM Section 5.03 (Patents).
      • Staff who are U.S. citizens must sign the Oath of Allegiance.
    2. Background Checks
      1. Information provided by final candidates on employment applications or resumes for any Laboratory position will be verified to ensure the selection of individuals who are qualified to perform the duties of a position, and who are likely to serve the Laboratory’s interests. Additional background information may also be checked for positions designated as requiring additional review, as found on the list of LBNL Background Checks Requirements. This list is maintained by the Berkeley Lab Human Resources (HR) Department, and may be changed if warranted.

        The background check must be completed before the candidate begins employment. Adverse information found on the background check may result in the withdrawal of the job offer.

        If programmatic needs require that the candidate begin employment prior to the completion of the background check, continued employment is contingent upon successful completion of the background check.

        If adverse information is found on a background check and the hiring manager, division/department management, and the division’s HR Center do not agree on a course of action, the (CHRO) will decide on the final course of action.
      2. The Laboratory reserves the right to conduct background checks on internal applicants.  
      3. Background checks may be conducted by both Laboratory staff and a third-party service provider.
    3. Work Status Requirement
      The Laboratory, as a federal contractor, must verify the work status of an employee who is hired after November 6, 1986, and is directly performing work under a federal contract or subcontract that contains an E-Verify requirement clause using the E-Verify employment verification system. Use of the E-Verify employment verification system is in addition to the requirements currently specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.
    4. Employment of Foreign Nationals
      Employment of foreign nationals must be in accordance with federal law and the regulations of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Employment of graduate student research assistants (GSRA) and student assistants must also be in accordance with the student’s educational institution’s requirements. Determination of the work eligibility status of a nonimmigrant will be made by the Laboratory’s International Researchers and Scholars Office (IRSO). IRSO will also make the job offer to nonimmigrants when authorized by the HR Center.

      Foreign nationals with permanent resident status do not require IRSO review. Recruitment policies as stated in RPM §2.01E (Recruitment and Selection) apply to employment of foreign nationals.
    5. Medical Screening and Approval
      All new employees are required to undergo a medical evaluation by Health Services. In some cases, Health Services may recommend restrictions on an employee’s work assignment or activities and advise the division director or department head and the division’s HR Center, who will be jointly responsible for arranging a reasonable accommodation with the employee. See RPM §1.12(A)(1) (Laboratory Occupational Medical Program, Medical Surveillance) for additional information on medical services and requirements.

      The Laboratory requires preplacement, postemployment medical evaluations for all new employees when required by government regulations. Positions currently requiring a preplacement, postemployment physical may be found here. When preplacement medical evaluation is required, the offer of employment is made contingent upon the applicant’s passing those portions of a physical examination pertinent to the position.
    6. Probationary Period
      1. Requirements
        With the exceptions noted below, all new Career employees and Term employees hired with an initial appointment of a year or more must work a minimum probationary period of six months. During the probationary period, their work performance and general suitability for Laboratory employment are carefully evaluated. While the employee is serving his or her probationary period, the employee is considered to be an at-will employee.
        1. Employees are not required to serve another probationary period if they have completed a full probationary period at a University of California (UC) location and transfer from that location without a break in service into a Career or Term appointment of one year or less at Berkeley Lab.
        2. Term-appointment employees who accept a Career position in the same classification, in the same division, reporting to the same supervisor, without a break in service are not required to serve a probationary period if their Term appointment lasted at least one year and they have received at least a “satisfactory” rating on either a probationary period review or annual performance evaluation.
        3. Limited-appointment employees who accept a Career position in the same classification, in the same division, reporting to the same supervisor, without a break in service are required to serve a probationary period. Time served on pay status by these employees during their Limited appointment, exclusive of on-call and overtime hours, shall be credited toward completion of their probationary period, up to a maximum of 1,000 hours.
        4. Individuals hired into Research Scientist/Engineer (Career-track), Staff Scientist/Engineer (Career-track), Divisional Fellow (Career-track), Senior Staff Scientist/Engineer, and Distinguished Scientist/Engineer appointments do not serve a probationary period. See RPM §2.07 (Professional Research Staff).
        5. Employees who are rehired following a break in service shall serve a new probationary period whether or not they previously completed a probationary period.
        6. Time on cumulative leave of four weeks or longer with or without pay is not qualifying service for completion of the probationary period, and the employee’s probationary period shall automatically be extended by the length of time spent on leave.
      2. Progress Monitoring and Reports
        The supervisor is responsible for monitoring the progress and performance of probationary employees throughout the probationary period.
      3. Extending the Probationary Period
        1. A manager or supervisor may request an extension of the probationary period. The division director and the CHRO may approve an extension of up to three (3) months.
        2. If an employee’s probationary period is being extended because the employee was on cumulative leave of four weeks or longer during the probationary period, the extension is automatic and does not require the concurrence of the division director and CHRO.
      4. Release of Probationary Employees
        An employee serving a probationary period may be released at any time during the probationary period at management’s discretion.
      5. Completion of Probationary Period
        The employee’s probationary period is completed after six months of continuous service. If the employee’s probationary period was extended, then the employee’s probationary period is completed after the extension date. Employees who have received credit for working in a Limited appointment prior to beginning a Career appointment complete their probationary period after working the equivalent, in number of hours, of six months of continuous service.
    7. New Employee Orientation and Safety Training
      Each new employee must take the New Employee Briefing (NEB), EHS0010 (Overview of EH&S at LBNL), and any additional safety training that is required based upon potential hazards associated with his/her position and in compliance with Laboratory safety training requirements.
    8. Criminal Conviction Reporting
      Within five calendar days of a felony conviction in any U.S. or foreign court, current employees are required to report that conviction to their division’s Human Resources Center. Adverse information found may result in corrective actions.
  5. Roles and Responsibilities

    Roles Responsibilities
    Chief HR Officer (CHRO) Has the functional responsibility for this policy
    Employees Have the responsibility to adhere to the provisions of this policy
    Health Services Has the responsibility to advise division management on recommended restrictions on an employee’s work assignment or activities
    Hiring division management Has the responsibility to adhere to the provisions of this policy

    Divisions/departments that have training requirements Have the responsibility to determine and provide required training to employees.
    HR Department
    • Each division HR Center
    • International Researchers and Scholars Office (IRSO)
    Has the responsibility to advise management and employees on how to comply with this policy


    Roles, responsibilities, authority, and accountability are documented in applicable procedures. See Section H (Implementing Documents), below.

  6. Definitions/Acronyms

    TERM DEFINITION
    At-Will An employee with an at-will employment status may be terminated from his or her appointment, up to and including termination from employment, at any time, with or without cause or notice.
    Break in Service A break in service is a separation of at least one scheduled workday of Berkeley Lab/UC employment. Authorized leave without pay and time on preferential rehire status do not constitute a break in service.
    Felony Conviction A finding of guilt for any felony violation (including a plea of nolo contendere) or imposition of sentence, or both, by any judicial body charged with responsibility to determine violations of any felony statutes
    Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) The FLSA is a federal law that requires:
    • Payment of the federal minimum wage
    • Overtime pay for time worked over 40 hours in a workweek (for nonexempt employees only)
    • Restrictions on the employment of children
    • Recordkeeping
    Exempt Employee Exempt employees are defined as employees who, based on duties performed and manner of compensation, shall be exempt from Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime provisions. Because of hourly pay practices, an employee appointed to work a variable-time schedule in an exempt title shall be treated as a nonexempt employee subject to FLSA minimum wage and overtime provisions.
    Nonexempt Employee Nonexempt employees are defined as employees who, based on duties performed and manner of compensation, shall be subject to all Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provisions. An employee appointed to work a variable-time schedule in an exempt job classification shall be treated as a nonexempt employee subject to FLSA minimum wage and overtime provisions.
    Probationary Period A period of time when new Career- or Term-appointment employees’ work performance and general suitability for Berkeley Lab employment are carefully evaluated. While the employee is serving his or her probationary period, the employee is considered to be an at-will employee.


    ACRONYM

    TERM

    BCD&A

    Background Check Disclosure and Authorization

    CHRO

    Chief Human Resources Officer

    EH&S

    Environment, Health & Safety

    FLSA

    Fair Labor Standards Act

    GSRA

    Graduate Student Researcher Assistant

    HR

    Human Resources

    IRSO

    International Researchers and Scholars Office

    LBNL

    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

    NEB

    New Employee Briefing

    RPM

    Regulations and Procedures Manual

    UC

    University of California

    USCIS

    United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

  7. Recordkeeping Requirements

    Role Recordkeeping Requirement
    Division HR Center Maintains the following applicant and employee records: job applicant information, background check information, probationary period status
    International Researchers  and Scholars Office (IRSO) Maintains I-9 records
    Health Services Maintains employee medical evaluation records
    Divisions/departments that have training requirements Maintain training records
  8. Implementing Documents

    For LBNL Staff:

    For LBNL Managers and Supervisors:

    For HR Staff:

  9. Contact Information

    For more information, contact your division's Human Resources Center.

    Feedback on HR policies or procedures is welcomed. Send comments to hrpolicies@lbl.gov.
  10. Revision History

    Date Revision By Whom Revision Description Section(s) Affected Change Type
    6/14/11 0 M. Bello In addition to reorganizing the policy for better clarity and understanding, Berkeley Lab has added two new sections: Eligibility for Employment or Placement, and Criminal Conviction Reporting. All Major + 30 days
    6/20/11 0.1 M. Bello Technical change to Section D(1) (Policy Statement/Eligibility for Employment) D(1) Minor

Printed . The official or current version is located in the online LBNL Requirements and Policies Manual.
Printed or electronically transmitted copies are not official. Users are responsible for working with the latest approved revision.

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