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REQUIREMENTS AND POLICIES MANUAL

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    Title:

    Severance

    Publication date:

    3/10/2022

    Effective date:

    9/25/2014

    BRIEF

    Policy Summary

    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) career employees who have been involuntarily laid off will be eligible to elect either:

    • Severance pay in accordance with this policy or
    • The right to be recalled to the layoff unit from which the employee was laid off and the right for preference for reemployment at Berkeley Lab (for up to one year; see the Recall and Preferential Rehire policy).

    For information about layoffs, see the Reduction in Force policy.

    Who Should Read This Policy

    • This policy applies to career employees who have completed their probationary period.
    • This policy does not apply to career employees in Upper Laboratory Management (at-will) positions. Upper Laboratory Management employees should consult the Appointments, Upper Laboratory Management policy.
    • This policy does not apply to those employees on a temporary work deferment status, temporarily reduced in time, or permanently reduced in time.
    • This policy applies to non-represented employees. Represented employees should consult their collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

    To Read the Full Policy, Go To:

    The POLICY tab on this wiki page

    Contact Information

    For more information, contact your division's HR Field team.
    Feedback on HR policies or procedures is welcomed. Send comments to [email protected].


    Title:

    Severance

    Publication date:

    3/10/2022

    Effective date:

    9/25/2014

    POLICY

    A. Purpose

    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) career employees who have been involuntarily laid off will be eligible to elect either:


    For information about layoffs, see the Reduction in Force policy.

    B. Exceptions

    Requests 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, approval by the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO). Depending on the circumstances, some exceptions may require University of California Office of the President (UCOP) and/or Department of Energy (DOE) approval.

    C. Persons Affected

    • This policy applies to career employees who have completed their probationary period.
    • This policy does not apply to career employees in Upper Laboratory Management (at-will) positions. Upper Laboratory Management employees should consult the Appointments, Upper Laboratory Management policy.
    • This policy does not apply to those employees on a temporary work deferment status, temporarily reduced in time, or permanently reduced in time.
    • This policy applies to non-represented employees. Represented employees should consult their collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

    D. Policy Statement

    1. Non-probationary career employees who are voluntarily or involuntarily laid off from employment for an indefinite period due to lack of work or lack of funds are eligible for a severance payment if they elected severance payment instead of recall and preferential rehire rights (see Reduction in Force and Recall and Preferential Rehire policies) in accordance with the provisions listed below.
    2. Severance Payment Calculations and Method of Payment
      1. Calculation. The severance payment will be based on full-time-equivalent (FTE) service, which is equivalent to a 40-hour week. Any service period less than full time will be adjusted to reflect the reduction. For example, part-time employment will require working more than a year to equate to a year of service. 

        Work Schedule

        Service Credit

        40 hours per week

        Work one year to receive one-year credit

        20 hours per week

        Work two years to receive one-year credit

      2. The severance payment will be made in an amount equal to one week's pay for each year of continuous FTE Berkeley Lab service (including service at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory while these national laboratories were exclusively managed by the University of California). Anything less than FTE service will be calculated at a reduced rate. A fractional year of full-time service of six months or more is counted as one year of service. For example:

        Years of Service

        Appointment Percentage

        Severance Payment

        5.25 years

        100%

        5 weeks of severance

        5.50 years

        100%

        6 weeks of severance

        10 years

        100%

        10 weeks of severance

        10 years

        50%

        5 weeks of severance

      3. The severance payment is not to exceed a total of 26 weeks' pay.

      4. Method of Payment. Severance will be paid in a lump sum at the time of termination, and will include appropriate taxes and other withholdings deductions.

    3. Conditions

      1. Layoff. Severance payments will not extend the period of employment beyond the date of termination due to layoff.

      2. Previous Severance Payment. A severance payment made to an employee will not include payment for any period of service for which the employee has previously received severance payment(s).

      3.  Time worked at a University of California (UC) location is not counted for severance payment.

      4.  Time worked before a break in service is not included in the severance calculation.
        (UC currently manages Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. UC ceased managing these DOE national laboratories: LLNL (10/1/2007); LANL (6/1/2006))

    4. Limitations. Severance will not be made to any employee who:

      1. Is on temporary work deferment status, temporarily reduced in time, or permanently reduced in time.

      2. Elects right to recall/right for preferential rehire (see the Recall and Preferential Rehire policy).

      3. Transfers to another Berkeley Lab position or University career position.

      4. Refuses an offer or transfer to an equivalent position within Berkeley Lab or another University location.

      5. Is offered employment with a successor/replacement DOE contractor.

      6. Dies, except that severance pay will be provided if an individual dies after receiving notice of layoff.

      7. Is dismissed for cause.

      8. Elects to resign and has not received notice of layoff.

      9. Elects to retire and has not received notice of layoff.

    5. Exceptions for Voluntary Resignations. Exceptions for voluntary resignations upon approval of the Deputy Director for Operations or designee may be made as follows:

      1. An employee who resigns after receiving formal notification of layoff but before the effective date of layoff may be provided a severance payment.

      2. An employee who resigns in lieu of another employee who would have been laid off may be provided a severance payment. Normally, approval of a voluntary layoff will be given only if the resignation will not have a detrimental effect on work in progress.

    6. Reemployment. If an individual who has received severance payment is rehired at Berkeley Lab in a career position before expiration of the number of weeks for which the employee has received severance payment, the amount of the balance will be repaid to Berkeley Lab at time of hire.

    E. Roles and Responsibilities

    Role

    Responsibility

    Chief Human Resources Officer

    Has the functional responsibility for this policy

    Employees

    Have the responsibility to adhere to the provisions of this policy

    Human Resources Division

    Has the responsibility to advise management and employees on how to comply with this policy

    Managers and supervisors

    Have the responsibility to adhere to the provisions of this policy

    Payroll

    Has the responsibility for the severance-payment calculation

    F. Definitions/Acronyms

    Term

    Definition

    CBA

    Collective bargaining agreement

    CHRO

    Chief Human Resources Officer

    Continuous service

    Service is continuous if an employee is on pay status each month without a break in service.
    For severance-pay purposes, a break in service occurs when there is a separation from Berkeley Lab employment status for any reason, except that a separation from employment for the purposes of transferring an employee to another University location is not a break in service.

    • Periods on an approved leave without pay for military service, illness or injury compensable by workers' compensation, assignment to another research organization at the direction of Berkeley Lab, or an approved leave without pay for any period of 30 calendar days or less are counted as periods of continuous service for the purposes of severance pay, as are periods on pay status before and after any other approved leave without pay.
    • Periods of employment before a break in service are not counted as periods of continuous service for purposes of severance pay.
    • Periods of employment as a UC Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA), student assistant, or other trainee position are not counted as periods of continuous service for purposes of severance pay.
    • Periods of employment on variable time (once called indeterminate time) are not counted as periods of continuous service for purposes of severance pay.
    • Time spent as a postdoctoral fellow is counted toward calculating severance payment if the postdoctoral fellow continued their employment in a career appointment without a break in service.
    • When a Limited appointment has been designated a career appointment after attaining 1,000 hours of qualifying service in any 12 consecutive months without a break in service of at least 120 consecutive calendar days, these hours on pay status will be counted for purposes of severance pay. Qualifying service includes all time on pay status in one or more Limited appointments at the University. However, only those hours worked at Berkeley Lab will be counted toward calculation of the severance payment.

    Equivalent job

    An equivalent job is any career position with Berkeley Lab or the University at a beginning salary at least equal to the salary paid the employee in the job from which that employee was laid off, regardless of salary range.

    One week's pay

    One week's pay for nonexempt hourly rated employees is defined as the basic hourly rate (excluding shift differential and overtime) times 40 hours or the specifically approved workweek. One week's pay for full-time exempt employees is defined as the hourly equivalent of the monthly rate times 40 hours (or, for part-time exempt employees, times the percentage time equivalent).

    University

    "University" in this section refers to any University of California location, including a UC-managed DOE national laboratory

    G. Recordkeeping Requirements

    Role

    Responsibility

    Human Resources Division

    Is responsible for maintaining all employee records

    Payroll Department

    Is responsible for maintaining severance calculation records

    H. Implementing Documents

    None

    I. Contact Information

    For more information, contact your division's HR Field team.
    Feedback on HR policies or procedures is welcomed. Send comments to [email protected].

    J. Revision History

    Date

    Revision

    By Whom

    Revision Description

    Section(s) Affected

    Change Type

    1/2/2012

    0

    M. Bello

    Re-write for wiki (brief only).

    All

    N/A

    9/21/2012

    1

    M. Bello

    Re-write for wiki. Reduction in Force policy was revised. Recall and Preferential Rehire policy was archived.

    All

    Major + 30 days

    9/25/2014

    2

    M. Bello

    Reinstated Recall & Preferential Rehire policy. Changed period of right to recall & right to preferential rehire to one year.
    Eligible employees choose between severance or right to recall/preference for reemployment.

    All

    Major +  30-day employee comment period

    3/8/2017

    2.1

    M. Stoufer

    Update "Chief Operating Officer" position title to "Deputy Director for Operations"

    All

    Editorial

    3/10/2022

    2.2

    W. Crosson

    • Minor edits for clarification
    • Updated links
    • Removed outdated Implementing Documents
    • Removed existing gendered pronouns and replaced with gender-neutral language.

    All

    Editorial

    DOCUMENT INFORMATION

    Title:

    Severance

    Document number

    02.06.009.000

    Revision number

    2.2

    Publication date:

    3/10/2022

    Effective date:

    9/25/2014

    Next review date:

    3/10/2027

    Policy Area:

    Compensation and Work Hours

    RPM Section (home)

    Human Resources

    RPM Section (cross-reference)

    none

    Functional Division

    Human Resources

    Prior reference information (optional)

    RPM Chapter 2.06(C)(3)

    Source Requirements Documents

    Source

    Document Number & Effective Date

    Document Title

    DOE

    DE-AC02-05CH11231, Sec. J, App. A

    Advanced Understandings on Human Resources

    DOE

    FAR 31.205-6(g)

    Compensation for Personal Services (Severance)

    University of California

    PPSM 60

    Layoff and Reduction in Time from Professional and Support Staff Career Positions

    Implementing Documents

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