Ensuring the stability of pay for our workforce has been our top priority as well as our top challenge during this prolonged standby period. We want to let you know that while we continue to seek more ways to assist Lab employees during this time, the Lab is today authorizing an additional extension to the number of paid Administrative Leave days available for each eligible Lab employee from the previous 22 days to 25 days, which now can be used through Monday, April 20. DOE has recently issued new guidance that could result in a further authorization of paid Administrative Leave, and we will communicate additional details as soon as we are able.
To those who are using paid Administrative Leave, we’re sorry we still haven’t been able to extend its availability through May 3, when the current Bay Area shelter-in-place orders expire. We will continue to seek ways to extend this option. As we’ve noted previously, the Lab aligns its actions with UC, the DOE, and relevant federal regulations in ways that are allowable under our DOE contract. This is complex and can take time.
We also know that the uncertainty this situation brings can cause anxiety, but please know that our leadership team is doing everything within our authority to ensure our people are taken care of and protected from hazards, including the coronavirus itself and the financial impact caused by it. Thank you for your patience as we work through the complexities of this unprecedented situation.
Please watch for updates on the Lab’s status via email, in Elements, at status.lbl.gov, on our COVID-19 website, or Twitter @LBNLstatus. Thank you, again, for your continued support of Berkeley Lab’s mission in these difficult circumstances.
Deputy Lab Director and Chief Operating Officer