Why is an exception request required?
On April 23, 2020, we received guidance that the travel restrictions restrict the ability of individuals to use DOE funds to support their relocation to the Lab. Those travel restrictions are still in effect. If an individual relocates before receiving DOE approval to do so, the relocation support funds can be considered unauthorized by the Bay Area Site Office (BASO) and may not be provided under the contract. We do have a process in place to obtain relocation exception approval from DOE and it must be used to avoid
any potentially unauthorized situations.
What is the process for obtaining a relocation exception request?
- When a new hire has accepted an offer that contains relocation assistance, the Recruiter or an HR Shared Services team member will:
- Add the employee to the Relocating Hire list.
- Remind the Hiring Manager and inform the pending new hire that the hire may not move or use the flexible spending relocation package at this time. Any lump-sum payments will not be paid out until the DOE COVID-19 Travel Restrictions have been lifted or DOE relocation approval is granted through the process below.
- If the position is mission-critical and necessitates being physically present to perform work, the Hiring Manager should work with the Recruiter (for recruited positions) or HR Division Partner (for direct hires) to prepare a justification for the relocation exception request that uses the approved format below:
- Description of the mission-critical research and why it requires the individual to be physically present on-site to perform the work.
- Why the individual is uniquely suited to fill this role.
- A mention of the timeliness of the request which can include upcoming milestones or deliverables that require the individual to be present on-site to contribute to the fulfillment of those goals.
When should relocation exception requests be prepared?
- Exception requests should be finalized as early as possible, but at least two weeks prior to submission to allow for the appropriate internal review. How are relocation exception requests reviewed and submitted?
- Finalized relocation exception requests are reviewed by the Office of the Deputy Lab Director for Operations and submitted to the Bay Area Site Office (BASO).
- BASO submits the request to the DOE Office of Science for final approval.
- Approval from the DOE Office of Science is reported back through BASO to the Office of the Deputy Lab Director for Operations.
How and when will I find out if a request has been approved?
- Final approval decisions are typically received within a couple of days to one week from submission, but an occasional delay could be expected. We appreciate your patience.
- Notice of approvals will be sent to the HR Contact and the Hiring Manager listed on the Relocating Hire list. The Recruiter (for recruited positions) or HR Division Partner (for direct hires) will inform the hiring manager and send a notification to the employee (with a copy to the hiring manager) that they have permission to relocate. Concurrently, HR Shared Services will notify the relocation vendor of the approved individuals, so the vendor can contact the employee to discuss specifics of their relocation needs and coordinate with Payroll regarding lump-sum payments.
Who should I contact for questions?
- Questions pertaining to the new hire process and relocations should be directed to your HR
Division Partner for direct hires, and your Recruiter for recruited positions.