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Monday, August 22, 2005

Reminder about Outside Consulting and Employment

When is it permissible to engage in outside consulting, employment, and other types of paid work? Outside employment opportunities are extremely varied, but five basic rules to remember are: the work is done outside Lab hours and not on Lab premises; it does not interfere with or detract from the performance of your Lab duties; it does not create a real or apparent conflict of interest; you do not use Lab supplies, equipment, facilities, or resources; and your management supervisor is aware of and concurs with your employment arrangements.

If you are given an opportunity to engage in professional consulting, outside employment, or teaching, carefully consider the benefits and downsides of such an endeavor. The most important thing to remember is that any secondary employment responsibilities should not detract from or interfere with your primary work for Berkeley Lab.

Below are employment categories requiring Laboratory management review and approval:

  • Work with the potential to interfere with primary employment work of any kind for a scientific or technical organization 
  • Work paid by federal funds or for a federal government office 
  • Work paid by any other part of the University of California 
  • Work in scientific, technical, or engineering consulting

If your outside employment opportunity is related to one of these general categories, you must have your supervisor and your division management review and approve the employment prior to your agreeing to the work. If the employment is clearly not in one of these categories and is obviously unrelated to the Laboratory's activities and interests, you are not required to report it or have it formally approved. However, it is recommended that you inform your supervisor of these extracurricular activities and obtain at least informal concurrence. Examples include an outside job or business interest in ranching, retail sales, music, art, or real estate sales.

To review Berkeley Lab's policy on outside employment, see  Regulations and Procedures Manual §§ 2.20 (Outside Employment and Business Activities) and 3.01(C) (Work Schedule).

Additionally, the Lab is regulated by a variety of conflict-of-interest policies, many of which pertain to outside employment, including consulting and other outside employment; business ownership; and the proper use of Berkeley Lab facilities, resources, and equipment. These policies stem from the Lab management contract between the University of California and DOE, University policy, and federal and state laws and regulations. When considering outside employment you should also familiarize yourself with these conflict-of-interest policies because the penalties can be significant. An employee who fails to comply with these policies may incur disciplinary action by the Laboratory and prosecution under state law. All questions concerning potential conflicts of interest should be addressed to your division management or Karl Olson, the Laboratory Conflict of Interest Coordinator.


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