The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted, and in some cases, disrupted the lives of Berkeley Lab employees in a variety of ways. This includes impacts to research and operational goals and objectives for employees in term appointments, including those in Career-Track S&E appointments.
For this reason, the Lab is implementing a temporary expansion of the “Stop the Clock” policy provision (refer to the Appointments, Term and Appointments, Scientist & Engineer policies). The temporary expansion of the policy is intended to support and promote career paths and Lab goals as employees strive to address the impacts to work deliverables due to disruption or leave taken for COVID-related circumstances.
In the current policy, the “Stop the Clock” provision permits extensions of term appointments (including beyond the five-year maximum) due to a leave of absence of one month or greater, up to the equivalent length of the leave taken.
For this temporary expansion of the “Stop the Clock” provision, employees in non-represented term appointments (including Career-Track S&E appointments), who have experienced a significant disruption in their ability to accomplish established goals and objectives during and due to COVID-19, may be granted an extension of their appointment for an appropriate amount of time up to a maximum of one year beyond the five-year policy maximum. The policy expansion is available regardless of whether the employee has taken formal paid or unpaid leave, and can also be applied retroactively for leaves taken since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. The amount of time granted for the extension will be at the discretion of the employee’s division, may vary based on the individual’s circumstances, and shall be commensurate with the relative impact.
Example scenarios include: Researchers who typically require access to a laboratory may have focused on papers or applicable procedures during shelter-in-place, but were not able to conduct their usual lab research activities; and working parents who may have used some incremental leave on a part-time basis to balance family and work responsibilities. Employees who have been able to telework without disruption may not desire or warrant an extension beyond the current scheduled expiration of their term appointment.
All requests must be submitted in writing and approved by the employee’s supervisor and Division Director.
The postdoc collective bargaining agreement currently has similar provisions to extend the postdoc appointment beyond the five year maximum. See the Berkeley Lab Career Pathways Office Postdoc Resources page for additional information and instructions.
Please consult with your HR Division Partner for information and assistance with requests for Stop-the-Clock extensions.