What We Do
Berkeley Lab employees who need help with work-related conflict can use the Ombuds Service. We advocate for systemic fairness, justice, and humane treatment in the workplace, and offer assistance that is:
The Ombuds keeps information in confidence (unless the visitor gives permission or discloses a threat to harm themselves or others), does not keep permanent records, and is not an office of notice.
The Ombuds provides an alternate to formal channels, does not conduct investigations, arbitrate or adjudicate, does not enact policy, and does not replace other resources at the Lab.
The Ombuds is impartial, doesn’t take sides or represent any individual or the Lab, and will consider the interests and concerns of all parties.
To ensure objectivity, the Ombuds reports to the Lab Directorate only for administrative and budgetary purposes, not regarding the matters discussed with visitors.
How We Do It
The Ombuds listens, discusses and clarifies concerns, assesses and provides options and information to resolve or manage problems, and facilitates communication between employees so that equitable and mutually acceptable solutions can be reached.
Types of Conflict We Handle
The Ombuds can assist with issues like workplace disputes, interpersonal difficulties with colleagues, subordinates or supervisors, preparing for a difficult conversation, harassment, cultural misunderstandings, bureaucratic frustrations, and incivility, among others.
Who Is Eligible
The Laboratory’s Ombuds Services are available to all employees in scientific and operational division, including postdoctoral fellows.
To assure confidentiality, contact the Ombuds Service by phone:
Call for an appointment. No drop-in visits, e-mails or faxes are accepted.
What “Ombuds” Means
The position of Ombudsman was originally created in Sweden in 1809 as a way to resolve problems in the Swedish Parliament during the absence of the country’s abducted king.
In more recent times, Ombuds programs have been created worldwide to help various groups address concerns about administrative actions or lack of action.
In the United States, Ombuds are utilized in federal, state and local governments, colleges and universities, and corporations.
The Berkeley Lab Ombudsperson abides by the International Ombudsman Association Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.