Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory logo and masthead Berkeley Lab New Employee Briefing

The Requirements and Policies Manual (RPM) is Berkeley Lab’s official policy manual containing information from Laboratory procedure manuals, UC policies, DOE directives, federal and state regulations, and the Laboratory’s master contract with the DOE. Note that employment policies related to employees represented by unions are not covered in the RPM as this information may be found in their collective bargaining agreement.

New employees should be aware of the following information and links to the RPM:

Acceptance of Gifts or Favors
Under Department of Energy rules and regulations, you are not permitted to accept gifts, gratuities, or favors from any source that might affect or appear to affect your judgment in discharging your duties, since such acceptance may be construed as a conflict of interest. This restriction does not apply to acceptance of food and refreshments of nominal value on infrequent occasions in the ordinary course of a luncheon, dinner, or other meeting; and acceptance of modest entertainment, such as a meal or refreshments in connection with attendance at widely attended gatherings sponsored by industrial, technical, or professional associations or at public ceremonies in an official capacity. Contact the Financial Policy and Assurance Office for guidance.

Archives and Records Management
Scientific and operational records generated in the course of the Laboratory's work are institutional records and must be appropriately managed - they are not the property of the employee. Specific retention and archiving policies apply to different kinds of records. The Archives and Records program helps Lab employees fulfill their responsibilities. More information is available here.

Cost Allowability
Allowable costs are costs and expenses actually incurred in the performance of work in accordance with the UC-DOE Prime contract and other rules and regulations listed in the cost allowability policy. Under Department of Energy (DOE) rules and regulations, you cannot use DOE funds to pay for the following: ceremonies; promotional material designed to call favorable attention to the Laboratory and its activities; souvenirs and other mementos provided to customers or the public; memberships in civic and community organizations; alcoholic beverages; and contributions or donations, except for participation in community service activities. Also, you cannot use DOE funds to pay for certain public relations activities, such as sponsoring meetings, conventions, symposia, seminars, and other special events when the principal purpose of the event is other than dissemination of technical information or stimulation of production. Contact the Financial Policy and Assurance Office for complete guidance on what costs are allowable.

Employment and Consulting Outside of Berkeley Lab

If you want to engage in compensated work outside of Berkeley Lab, you must get prior institutional approval before doing so. If you have existing employment or consulting obligations when you join us as an employee, those arrangements must be reviewed as soon as possible. These reviews and approvals are necessary to manage or eliminate conflicts of interest and protect Berkeley Lab intellectual property. For more information on this and related topics, including the approval process, see the Outside Employment and Consulting policy or the Conflict of Interest web page.

Integrity in Research
Integrity in research is crucial to the search for new knowledge. All individuals involved in scientific research at the Laboratory are obligated to create an environment that encourages absolute intellectual honesty.

Intellectual Property
As a Berkeley Lab employee, you are required to assign any intellectual property (including patentable inventions or copyrights) to The Regents of the University of California. It is every researcher’s responsibility to report all inventions to Berkeley Lab Innovation and Partnerships Office (IPO) before any public disclosure, such as a publication or presentation outside Berkeley Lab, so that the invention can be evaluated for possible patenting because any public disclosure will destroy foreign patent rights. Likewise, report software written by you at Berkeley Lab to IPO and obtain an appropriate license prior to any software distribution outside Berkeley Lab. Contact IPO for a nondisclosure or material transfer agreement if you wish to transfer nonpublic scientific information or research material outside Berkeley Lab or if a third party wants you to sign such an agreement. 

Lab Resources
The facilities, tools, supplies, materials, and equipment at the Laboratory, including scrap and excess items, are the property of the U.S. government and are for official use only by division-authorized employees. Use for any purpose other than official Laboratory business, regardless of the location, is illegal and prohibited, and you may be disciplined and/or prosecuted accordingly.

Obtaining Goods and Services
As a Berkeley Lab employee, you must follow Federal rules when you purchase goods and services. Before you spend any money or otherwise commit Berkeley Lab, be aware that:

  • you cannot sign any agreement or contract on behalf of Berkeley Lab (whether or not money is involved) unless you have been granted the specific authority to do so
  • you cannot negotiate with vendors, contract for services and/or create/agree to subcontracts without involving the Procurement Department

If you need to buy anything, you must obtain advance approval and engage a purchasing representative as soon as possible. You can purchase items easily through e-Buy or the Software Licensing and download page. Contact your supervisor to learn more about purchasing at Berkeley Lab. 

Property Management
Property issued to you is considered government property and is for official Laboratory use. You must be able to locate all property assigned to you upon request. More information is available in the Property Management New Employee Briefing.

Scientific and Technical Publications
All scientific and technical reports authored at Berkeley Lab or any Berkeley Lab located user-facility, or authored in collaboration with other facilities or laboratories, should be submitted to the Scientific Publications Office. Scientific Publications collects scientific and technical documents published by Berkeley Lab, checks that these documents comply with DOE and LBNL requirements, and assigns a Berkeley Lab publication number for tracking. The documents are then disseminated for open access to the DOE’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI),, and the California Digital Library’s eScholarship collection. Submission of reports is a contractual requirement of DOE funders. To submit a report, view work in progress, and search the Reports Database, go here. For more information, see the Report System scientific publications FAQs.


Report broken links - please supply the URL of the page with the broken link.

Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy
The Laboratory is committed to creating and maintaining a community in which all persons who participate in Laboratory programs and activities can work together in an atmosphere free from all forms of harassment, exploitation, or intimidation, including sexual. Specifically, every member of the Laboratory community should be aware that the Laboratory is strongly opposed to sexual harassment and that such behavior is prohibited by law and by Laboratory policy. It is the intention of the Laboratory to take whatever action may be needed to prevent, correct, and, if necessary, discipline behavior that violates this policy. More information is available on the policy tab here.

California Law AB 1825 (Gov. Code Section 12950.1) requires supervisors to complete two hours of sexual harassment prevention training every two years. Berkeley Lab supervisors are automatically registered for the online Sexual Harassment Prevention course that is coordinated by the University of California Office of President (UCOP). Supervisors will receive an email from UCOP that includes their personal unique link to access the course and confirms the deadline for completion. For more information on this requirement, contact the Diversity and Inclusion Office at (510) 486-4232.

Telephone Services and Personal Calls
Incidental Personal Phone Calls. The Laboratory recognizes that occasionally there may be times when Berkeley Lab cell phones and desk phones may be used for personal calls. Such calls must be held to a minimum and must not interfere with the employee's work. Employees are encouraged to conduct such calls during their breaks or at lunchtime if during business hours. Modest personal use of your cellular phone and desk phone (and all use of free mobile-to-mobile calling and free nights and weekends on cellular phones) is permissible.  Personal additional charges (such as non-work related international calls) and extensive personal use must be self-reported to Telephone Services. Personal use may never involve illegal activities, violate Berkeley  Lab policy or involve any activity that could potentially embarrass Berkeley  Lab, DOE, or UC, or result in a loss of public trust. 

Allowed Non-Business Telephone Calls. In addition to official business calls, the Laboratory considers the following as examples of non-business telephone calls that are allowed and paid for by the Laboratory:

  • Calls to notify the family of changes in work schedules or for emergencies.
  • Calls to locations in the local commuting area to speak to spouse/ children/ family members/ companion regarding their safety or well-being.
  • Brief calls within the local commuting area that can be made only during normal business hours such as to a physician, local government agency or repairs for an automobile.
  • Calls allowed by LBNL Travel Guidelines while on LBNL approved travel.

Time Reporting
All employees are accountable for recording their time, which is done through the LETS timekeeping system. Please check with your supervisor for additional information. 

Whistleblowers and Whistleblower Protection
Berkeley Lab expects employees to report improper activities. The law and Laboratory policy prohibit retaliation for reporting such activity. You can report concerns to your supervisor or any level of management; if you are uncomfortable doing so, we provide a confidential 24/7 ethics hotline (800-403-4744) managed by an outside vendor with an option to report concerns anonymously.

Work Planning and Control (WPC) 

All employees must be authorized to perform work, before starting work. This work authorization process is called Work Planning and Control (WPC), and it is designed to ensure work is performed safely. The Work Planning & Control process is based on Integrated Safety Management. Activity Leads will add you to one or more WPC work authorizations. A WPC work authorization will describe the work you do, it will identify all of the hazards associated with the work and it will indicate the requirements for working safely. For more information visit the WPC website.