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Bereavement Leave Policy

    Title:

    Bereavement Leave Policy

    Publication date:

    2/7/2012

    Effective date:

    2/7/2012

    BRIEF

    Policy Summary

    Berkeley Lab recognizes the importance of family and the difficulties employees face following the death of a family member or another person close to the employee. The Laboratory provides time off for this purpose.

    Who Should Read This Policy

    • This policy applies to all employee classifications: Career, Term, Postdoctoral Fellow, Limited, Visiting Researcher, Faculty, Rehired Retiree, Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA), and Student Assistant.
    • This policy applies to nonrepresented employees. Employees who are represented by an exclusive bargaining agent should refer to their collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

    To Read the Full Policy, Go To:

    The POLICY tab on this wiki page

    Contact Information

    For more information, employees may contact their division's Human Resources (HR) Center.
    Feedback on HR policies or procedures is welcomed. Send comments to hrpolicies@lbl.gov.

    Title:

    Bereavement Leave Policy

    Publication date:

    2/7/2012

    Effective date:

    2/7/2012

    POLICY

    A. Purpose

    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) recognizes the importance of family and the difficulties employees face following the death of a family member or another person close to the family. The Laboratory provides time off for this purpose.

    B. Persons Affected

    • This policy applies to all employee classifications: Career, Term, Postdoctoral Fellow, Limited, Visiting Researcher, Faculty, Rehired Retiree, Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA), and Student Assistant.
    • This policy applies to nonrepresented employees. Employees who are represented by an exclusive bargaining agent should refer to their collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

    C. Exceptions

    Requests for bereavement leave that exceed what is allowed under current policy or that are not expressly addressed by current policy are considered exceptions to policy. A request for an exception to policy requires, at minimum, the approval of the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO).

    D. Policy Statement

    1. Eligibility for Bereavement Leave: All employees are eligible to take paid or unpaid bereavement leave. Employees eligible to accrue sick leave may use a portion of their accrued sick leave for paid bereavement leave.
    2. Use of Bereavement Leave

      If you need time away from work…

      You may be eligible to use the following amount of sick leave or unpaid leave:

      For the death of a family member (spouse, domestic partner, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, in-law, or step-relative in the same relationship) or person residing in your household

      Up to 10 days for each family member or person residing in the household

      For the death of an individual who is not a family member or person residing in your household

      In total, up to five days in a calendar year

      1. If an employee requires more than the time allowed for bereavement leave, he/she may request an unpaid personal leave of absence or may use any accrued vacation leave.
      2. An employee may not use accrued sick leave for bereavement leave:
        1. As a personal day off. Employees must use accrued vacation for a personal day off.
        2. After his/her effective date of separation, retirement, or layoff
        3. In excess of his/her scheduled hours of work (e.g., an employee scheduled to work six hours a day would not take eight hours of bereavement leave a day) up to a maximum of eight hours per day and 40 hours per week, including extended workweek situations
        4. During work deferment or leave without pay
        5. On an intermittent basis for purposes of eligibility for holiday pay and employer-paid contributions toward benefits. However, if the employee is taking Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave on an intermittent or reduced-schedule basis, refer to the applicable policies (Family Care and Medical Leave, Pregnancy Disability Leave, Parental Bonding Leave) for further details.
    3. Evidence of the Need for Bereavement Leave: An employee may be required to submit satisfactory proof of the bereavement.
    4. Return to Work
      1. An employee is expected to return to work no later than the next regularly scheduled workday after the bereavement leave has ended.
      2. An employee who unexpectedly cannot return to work on the next regularly scheduled workday after the bereavement leave has ended must notify his/her supervisor soon as possible to explain the reason for the absence.
      3. Failure to return to work after the bereavement leave has ended without supervisory approval is considered an unauthorized absence. Five consecutive workdays of unauthorized absence constitutes job abandonment and may lead to disciplinary action up to and including termination from employment. See the Unauthorized Absences and Job Abandonment Policy.
    5. Misuse of Leave
      1. Misrepresenting reasons for requesting time off, including but not limited to misrepresentations that could lead to concerns of conflict of interest and/or fraud, may result in disciplinary action, suspension without pay, and/or termination from employment.
      2. Employees on an approved leave of absence for which a medical certification is required may jeopardize their right to leave benefits and or their continued employment by engaging in activities incompatible with the medical certification submitted in support of the leave.

    E. Roles and Responsibilities

    Role

    Responsibility

    Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)

    Has the functional responsibility for this policy

    Employees

    Must adhere to the provisions of this policy, including requesting bereavement leave in advance of the event, when foreseeable

    HR Department

    Must advise management and employees on how to comply with this policy

    LETS Timekeepers

    Must follow procedures in support of this policy

    Manager and Supervisor

    Must adhere to the provisions of this policy, including approving requests for this type of leave in accordance with policy

    Payroll

    Must develop procedures in support of this policy

    F. Definitions/Acronyms

    Term

    Definition

    Child

    • A biological, adopted, step-, or foster child of the employee or a legal ward of the employee or
    • A person for whom the employee stands in loco parentis, meaning "in place of the parent," for whom the employee has day-to-day caretaking or financial responsibilities
    • A person under 18 or incapable of self-care due to a mental or physical disability

      NOTE: For purposes of this policy, a child of an employee or domestic partner can be over the age of 18.

    Domestic Partner

    The individual designated as an employee's domestic partner under one of the following methods:

    • Registration of the partnership with the state of California
    • Establishment of a same-sex legal union, other than marriage, formed in another jurisdiction that is substantially equivalent to a state of California-registered domestic partnership
    • Filing of a Declaration of Domestic Partnership form with the University of California

      If an individual has not been designated as an employee's domestic partner by any of the above methods, the following criteria are applicable in defining domestic partner:
    • The individual is the employee's sole domestic partner in a long-term, committed relationship with the intention to remain so indefinitely; and
    • Neither individual is legally married to someone else or a partner in another domestic partnership; and
    • The individuals are not related by blood to a degree of closeness that would prohibit legal marriage in the state of California; and
    • Each individual is 18 years of age or older and capable of consenting to the relationship; and
    • The individuals share a common residence and are financially interdependent

    G. Recordkeeping Requirements

    Role

    Responsibility

    Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO)

    Must maintain a complete and accurate record of sick leave accrued and used by eligible employees, including each employee's current available sick leave balance and accrual rate. Maintains a complete and accurate record of bereavement-leave usage by eligible employees.

    Non-exempt employees. Berkeley Lab will record leave used by non-exempt employees to the nearest quarter hour.

    Exempt employees. Berkeley Lab will record leave used by employees in half-day increments or in increments of not less than that portion of the day during which an employee on less than full-time pay status is normally scheduled to work. The foregoing does not apply when an employee is using accrued sick leave while taking Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave on an intermittent or reduced-schedule basis. Refer to the applicable policies (Family Care and Medical Leave, Pregnancy Disability Leave, Parental Bonding Leave) for further details.

    H. Implementing Documents

    Audience

    Document Number

    Document Title

    Type

    All Laboratory Staff

    UBEN250

    UC Declaration of Domestic Partnership

    Form

    Manager and Supervisor

    02.07.004.002

    Manager and Supervisor Responsibilities under the Bereavement Leave Policy

    Process

    Managers and Supervisors

    02.86.001.001

    Supervisor Responsibilities at Berkeley Lab (BLI0117) (mandatory for new supervisors)

    Training

    Managers and Supervisors

    02.86.001.002

    Supervisor Scenario Workshop – HR Issues (BLI0122) (mandatory for new supervisors)

    Training

    For HR Staff

    02.07.004.001

    Understanding the Bereavement Leave Policy Presentation

    Training

    I. Contact Information

    For more information, employees may contact their division's Human Resources (HR) Center.
    Feedback on HR policies or procedures is welcomed. Send comments to hrpolicies@lbl.gov.

    J. Revision History

    Date

    Revision

    By whom

    Revision Description

    Section(s) affected

    Change Type

    2/7/2012

    1

    M. Bello

    Reformatted for wiki-RPM.
    Revised policy: bereavement leave may be paid or unpaid and is available to all employees, increased usage of bereavement leave from 5 to up to 10 days for each family member.

    All

    Major + 30 Days

    DOCUMENT INFORMATION

    Title:

    Bereavement Leave

    Document number

    02.07.004.000

    Revision number

    1

    Publication date:

    2/7/2012

    Effective date:

    2/7/2012

    Next review date:

    2/7/2015

    Policy Area:

    Leaves of Absence

    RPM Section (home)

    Human Resources

    RPM Section (cross-reference)

    Section 2.09(D)(6)

    Functional Division

    Human Resources

    Prior reference information (optional)

     

    Source Requirements Documents

    • California Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act
    • DOE Contract DE-AC02-05CH11231, Mod No. M046, Sec.J, App. A, Advance Understandings on Human Resources
    • University of California Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM) 2.21, Absence from Work

    Implementing Documents

    Audience

    Document Number

    Document Title

    Type

    All Laboratory Staff

    UBEN250

    UC Declaration of Domestic Partnership

    Form

    Manager and Supervisor

    02.07.004.002

    Manager and Supervisor Responsibilities under the Bereavement Leave Policy

    Process

    Managers and Supervisors

    02.86.001.001

    Supervisor Responsibilities at Berkeley Lab (BLI0117) (mandatory for new supervisors)

    Training

    Managers and Supervisors

    02.86.001.002

    Supervisor Scenario Workshop – HR Issues (BLI0122) (mandatory for new supervisors)

    Training

    For HR Staff

    02.07.004.001

    Understanding the Bereavement Leave Policy Presentation

    Training

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