Workplace Policies

Workplace Policies

Workplace Policies

The following workplace policies apply to visitors, guests, residents and employees. In the text below, “Employee” refers to guests, visitors, residents as well as NMC employees. Click on each policy below for more information:

The NMC believes that equal opportunity for all its staff and contractors is essential for our success and the fulfillment of our mission.  We maintain a policy of fairness and impartiality in relation to both current and potential staff and contractors without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability or veteran disability status that does not prohibit performance of an essential job function, or any other factor protected by law. A copy of the NMC Affirmative Action Plan is available in the HR office.

Americans With Disabilities Act Policy Statement

NMC is committed to complying with all applicable provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAAA”).  It is the NMC’s policy not to discriminate against any qualified employee or applicant with regard to any terms or conditions of employment because of such individual’s disability or perceived disability so long as the employee can perform the essential functions of the job.  Consistent with this policy of nondiscrimination, NMC will provide reasonable accommodations to a qualified individual with a disability, as defined by the ADAAA, who has made the NMC aware of his or her disability, provided that such accommodation does not constitute an undue hardship on the NMC.

Employees with a disability who believe they need a reasonable accommodation to perform the essential functions of their job should contact the HR staff.

Title IX: Nondiscrimination Policy

Title IX reads, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

The HR office is designated to serve as the Title IX coordinators, namely the HR Manager, Lynn Strauss (located at 999 Central Avenue, Suite 300, Los Alamos, NM 87544, 505-412-4198) is designated to serve as the Section 504 coordinator (14 C.F.R. §1251.106(a)).

This office publishes an Affirmative Action Plan annually, including a Equal Employment Policy stating that NMC does not discriminate in the operation of its programs and activities.

If any employee has complaints, concerns, or questions as to the ethics or legality of a particular action taken by another employee, CEO or officer, he/she is encouraged to raise such complaints, concerns or questions with HR, COO or the CEO.  In the event an employee is not comfortable raising the issue with HR, COO or the CEO, he/she may request a conference with NMC Ombudsman who has the authority to facilitate communication directly with the NMC Board.

Anyone filing a complaint concerning a violation or suspected violation of a law, regulation or ethical requirement must be acting in good faith and have reasonable grounds for believing the information disclosed indicates a violation.

Requirement of Investigation: Within a reasonable time of receiving a complaint, concern or question regarding compliance with a law, regulation or ethics requirement, the COO, CEO, or board member, shall open an investigation into the matter and pursue it to resolution.  Should the CEO or board member find that a law, regulation or ethics requirement has been violated, appropriate action should be taken.

Confidentiality: To the degree possible, the names of the individuals reporting under this Nondiscrimination Policy shall be kept confidential.

Protection from Retaliatory Action: Neither the NMC nor its managers may take any negative employment or other retaliatory action against any employee who in good faith reports a violation of a law or regulatory requirement.  An employee who retaliates against someone who has reported a violation in good faith may be subject to discipline including, but not limited to, termination of employment.

General Policy. This general policy is not a contract and it may be rescinded or amended at any time by the NMC.  It is not intended to and does not create any legally enforceable rights whatsoever for any employee.

Confidential and sensitive information includes all business, financial, personnel, and technical information, such as budgetary or planning information; donor information; enrollment applications, letters of recommendation, recruitment evaluations; research results not yet in the public domain, etc. If you aren’t sure whether something is confidential or proprietary, and you do not have permission from the originator to release it, treat it confidentially and/or see the COO for clarification.

Staff and contractors are expected to exercise due diligence to maintain the confidentiality of any and all information about NMC, its staff and contractors, and affiliates that is not obviously and explicitly in the public domain. “Due diligence” includes care not to divulge sensitive information to those not authorized to receive it, physical protection as needed (e.g., locked file cabinets for documents requiring physical protection, appropriate electronic passwords, etc.), and care in handling and storage of such information. Staff and contractors are expected to: (1) use the confidential and sensitive information to which they have been officially granted access only for the purposes to which that access has been granted; (2) ensure that all confidential information to which they have been granted access is properly destroyed or returned to its owner upon completion of official access; and (3) contact the COO if any confidential information is encountered inadvertently or if there are questions about how to treat any particular type of information.

“PII means information that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity, either alone or when combined with other personal or identifying information that is linked or linkable to a specific individual.” (NMC IT policy, page 5, https://newmexicoconsortium.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/IT_POLICIES_AND_PROCEDURES.pdf)

All employees must acknowledge NMC’s Information Technology securities policies upon checking out laptops or other devices. To protect PII, DO NOT store PII on your laptop or other NMC device unless it is encrypted. Store on server or in  NMC’s SalesForce records.

NMC Employees, Affiliate Researchers, Research Fellows, Joint Appointees, and Visitors agree to follow the direction of NMC CEO and abide by NMC policies and procedures referenced below.

NMC approves work with DOE sensitive information in the NMC on a case-by-case basis.  As a LANL staff member you may work with DOE sensitive information routinely. You are responsible for reporting any work at the NMC involving DOE sensitive information to the NMC CEO. You are responsible for getting prior authorization from the NMC CEO for any work at the NMC involving DOE sensitive information.

The NMC business hours are 8:30am to 5:30pm. The normal business day includes a lunch period of 30 minutes to 1 hour. Administrative and support staff are expected to work normal business hours at the NMC offices in order to ensure smooth business operations.  Employees may arrange alternate work schedules and locations with the approval of their supervisor.

Research staff are expected to be available if needed by their project or the NMC during normal business hours. They are expected to work the number of hours required by their assignment during the bi-weekly pay period. For example, a researcher working 50% time would be required to put in 40 hours over two weeks.  The payroll week normally begins at 12:01 A.M on Sunday and ends at midnight on Saturday.

Research staff are expected to commit to a particular level of effort (for example, 20%) over the period of their assignment and remain at that level or formally change the assignment.

The NMC recognizes that the amount of time researchers put in beyond the minimum work week and the start times of the workday are driven by the requirements of the research project and therefore our policy is to be flexible in establishing work hours for researchers.  However, the NMC reserves the right to establish formal work hours for all staff for institutional or project needs.  The NMC may also require office hours and/or attendance at standing meetings as needed for specific projects.

The hours for Limited-term and Part-time positions are governed by their agreements and may be flexible.

In the case of bad weather, NMC employees may come to work late and/or leave early if their commute becomes unsafe or school closures require them to care for children. Each employee should use his/her own judgment regarding when to exercise this option. Your decision should depend on the safety of your own commute and your family situation. When bad weather is expected, if possible, organize your workload to allow for work at home.

NMC does not follow LANL or school closures and, we do not close the NMC for bad weather or holidays or weekends.  The NMC will close a particular facility if the facility is unsafe or unsuitable for work (i.e. no heat or cooling).

NMC property, including computers, electronic mail and voice mail, should be used for conducting company business.

Brief and occasional personal use of phones, electronic mail system or the Internet is acceptable as long as it is not excessive or inappropriate and does not result in expense to NMC. Use is defined as “excessive” if it interferes with normal job functions, responsiveness, or the ability to perform daily job activities.

Substantive personal use of phones, computers and internet access will be reported on form W-2 as taxable income.

NMC’s Information Technology Policy is available at: https://newmexicoconsortium.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/IT_POLICIES_AND_PROCEDURES.pdf

NMC does not condone the illegal duplication of software.

  1. NMC licenses the use of computer software from a variety of outside companies. NMC does not own this software or its related documentation and, unless authorized by the software manufacturer, does not have the right to reproduce it.
  2. With regard to use on local area networks or on multiple machines, NMC employees shall use the software only in accordance with the software publisher’s license agreement.
  3. NMC employees learning of any misuse of software or related documentation within the company must notify their manager immediately.
  4. According to the U.S. Copyright Law, illegal reproduction of software can be subject to civil damages and criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment. NMC employees who make, acquire or use unauthorized copies of computer software shall be disciplined as appropriate under the circumstances. Such discipline may include termination.

The NMC is committed to maintaining a safe work place free from the influence of drugs/alcohol.  The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in the workplace and conviction of such actions will result in mandatory participation in an approved rehabilitation program and/or dismissal. The NMC may require drug/alcohol testing prior to employment and at any time during employment by the NMC. The NMC contracts with certified laboratories to perform the drug/alcohol test. Refusal to submit to a drug/alcohol test or a positive test result may be cause for termination or for refusal to hire. An employee who has tested positive may request a re-test of the same sample at a certified laboratory at his/her own expense.

The NMC reimburses employees for appropriate and necessary work related expenses, including materials and supplies (i.e., books, software), travel and services (i.e., copying, internet charges). The NMC Reimbursement Policies are intended to satisfy requirements of the Internal Revenue Service in regard to having an “accountable plan” in place, which allows for providing reimbursement for travel or other business-related expenses without including such payments as income on an employee’s W-2 and withholding applicable taxes from the reimbursement.

The information listed below summarizes NMC requirements to reimbursement payments to meet the “accountable plan” rules.

  1. NMC will not reimburse individuals for business or professional expenses incurred on behalf of the NMC that are not properly This requirement is necessary to prevent our expense reimbursement plan from being classified as a “non-accountable” plan.
  2. All expenses must be substantiated within 60 days or less after the expense is paid or incurred.
  3. All charges to company credit cards must be substantiated in the same manner as the above-mentioned
  4. Any excess reimbursement is returned within 120 days after the expense was paid or incurred.
  5. Mileage logs: employees that regularly incur this type of expenses are expected to turn in receipts or mileage logs on a quarterly basis.

Use the online Reimbursement Request form to request reimbursement for allowed expenses.

Information on travel reimbursement requirements can be found in NMC Travel Guidelines

NMC will reimburse reasonable relocation costs up to $2,000 for employees relocating to Los Alamos to work for NMC for at least twelve consecutive months. Employees who resign for reasons within their control, are transferred at their own request, or are terminated for cause within twelve months of their payroll start date, or the date of their permanent transfer for which relocation benefits were awarded, may be required to repay NMC the amount received for relocation.

Employees whose job description requires occasional use of their privately-owned vehicles for NMC business will be reimbursed for mileage. Those employees must have car insurance that covers such usage.

NMC intends to provide a work environment that is pleasant, professional, and free from intimidation, hostility or other offenses that might interfere with work performance.  Harassment of any sort – verbal, physical, and visual – will not be tolerated.

In the workplace, the term “harassment” refers to behavior that constitutes an illegal form of discrimination. To be unlawful, the behavior must be based on or directed at an individual’s status as a member of a protected characteristic (see EEO policy).

Workplace harassment can take many forms. It may be, but is not limited to, words, signs, offensive jokes, cartoons, pictures, posters, e-mail jokes or statements, pranks, intimidation, physical assault or contact, or violence.  Workplace harassment is not limited to sexual harassment.  It may also take the form of other vocal activity including derogatory statements not directed to the targeted individual but taking place within their hearing.

Sexual harassment at NMC is unacceptable.  Such harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances and other physical, verbal, or visual conduct based on sex when (a) submission to the conduct is an explicit or implicit term or condition of employment, (b) submission to or the rejection of the conduct is used as a basis for an employment decision, or (c) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating or offensive working environment.  Sexual harassment may include explicit sexual propositions, sexual innuendo, suggestive comments, sexually oriented “kidding” or “teasing,” “practical jokes,” jokes about gender-specific traits, foul or obscene language or gestures, display of foul or obscene printed or visual material, and inappropriate physical contact.

Should you feel that you have been subject to discrimination or any form of harassment at work, or in connection with work, please notify your supervisor.  If you are not comfortable discussing this issue with your supervisor, contact the NMC HR Manager, COO or CEO. You may also request a conference with NMC Ombudsman who has the authority to facilitate communication directly with the NMC Board.

NMC will investigate any complaint of harassment, sexual or otherwise, and will take immediate and appropriate disciplinary action (up to and including termination of employment) if harassment has been found within the workplace.  NMC will protect the confidentiality of the harassment complaints to the extent possible.  NMC prohibits all staff and contractors from retaliating in any way against anyone who has raised any concern about harassment or discrimination against another individual.

NMC has adopted a policy prohibiting workplace violence.  Consistent with this policy, acts or threats of physical violence, including intimidation, harassment, and/or coercion, which involve or affect NMC or which occur on NMC property will not be tolerated.

Acts or threats of violence include conduct that is sufficiently severe, offensive, or intimidating to alter the employment conditions at NMC, or to create a hostile, abusive, or intimidating work environment for one or several employees.

NMC prohibition against threats and acts of violence applies to all persons involved in NMC’s operation, including but not limited to personnel, contract, and temporary workers and anyone else on NMC property.  Violations of this policy by any individual on NMC property will lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination and/or legal action as appropriate.

Every employee is encouraged to report incidents of threats or acts of physical violence of which he/she is aware.  The report should be made to your supervisor, HR, COO or the CEO. You may also request a conference with NMC Ombudsman who has the authority to facilitate communication directly with the NMC Board.

Expectation. NMC expects employees to observe high ethical standards in carrying out their responsibilities and to comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

Open Door Policy. If any employee has complaints, concerns, or questions as to the ethics or legality of a particular action taken by another employee, CEO or officer, he/she is encouraged to raise such complaints, concerns or questions with HR, COO or the CEO.  In the event an employee is not comfortable raising the issue with HR, COO or the CEO, he/she may request a conference with NMC Ombudsman who has the authority to facilitate communication directly with the NMC Board.

Anyone filing a complaint concerning a violation or suspected violation of a law, regulation or ethical requirement must be acting in good faith and have reasonable grounds for believing the information disclosed indicates a violation.

Requirement of Investigation. Within a reasonable time of receiving a complaint, concern or question regarding compliance with a law, regulation or ethics requirement, the COO, CEO, or board member, shall open an investigation into the matter and pursue it to resolution.  Should the CEO or board member find that a law, regulation or ethics requirement has been violated, appropriate action should be taken.

Confidentiality.  To the degree possible, the names of the individuals reporting under this Whistleblower Policy shall be kept confidential.

Protection from Retaliatory Action. Neither the NMC nor its managers may take any negative employment or other retaliatory action against any employee who in good faith reports a violation of a law or regulatory requirement.  An employee who retaliates against someone who has reported a violation in good faith may be subject to discipline including, but not limited to, termination of employment.

General Policy. This general policy is not a contract and it may be rescinded or amended at any time by the NMC.  It is not intended to and does not create any legally enforceable rights whatsoever for any employee.

Social media includes all means of communicating or posting information or content of any sort on the Internet, including to your own or someone else’s web log or blog, journal or diary, personal web site, social networking or affinity web site, web bulletin board or a chat room, whether or not associated or affiliated with NMC, as well as any other form of electronic communication.

All NMC policies apply to your activities online.  Ultimately, you are solely responsible for what you post online. Any conduct that adversely affects your job performance, the performance of fellow employees or otherwise adversely affects our funders, clients, customers, colleagues, collaborators, supporters, suppliers, or people who work on behalf of NMC, or NMC’s legitimate business interests, may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Inappropriate postings that may include discriminatory remarks, harassment, and threats of violence or similar inappropriate or unlawful conduct will not be tolerated and may subject you to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Employees should not use NMC’s email addresses to register on social networks, blogs or other online tools utilized for personal use.

NMC employees should not speak to the media on NMC’s behalf without prior approval of the CEO or his designee.

Nothing in this policy is intended to or will be applied in a manner that limits employees’ rights to engage in protected concerted activity as prescribed by the National Labor Relations Act.

NMC is committed to maintaining a safe workplace and a work culture that promotes safety. NMC also recognizes the need to comply with regulations governing work related injury and accident prevention and employee safety. Maintaining a safe workplace is the first priority of all NMC employees. If you are ever in doubt about how to safely perform a job, it is your responsibility to ask your manager for assistance.

Communication. Timely communication about safety is the most important factor in maintaining a safe workplace. Communicate work related safety issues to an NMC manager or Safety Officer immediately if there is imminent potential for harm.  “Work related” means that the incident was caused by or significantly aggravated by events or exposures in the work environment. Report any issue immediately, but no more than one business day from when you observed the issue.

  • Report work related incidents involving personal injury or damage to property.
  • Personal injury includes any harm to your person, or subsequent loss of consciousness, illness, days away from work, restricted work activity, or medical treatment.
  •  Near misses.  Report incidents that might have caused or almost caused personal injury or damage, even if no damage occurred.
  • Unsafe activities or workplace. Report any work-related activity, process or physical arrangement that appears unsafe.

This information gives the NMC the opportunity to track and manage and address safety issues and maintain a safe workplace.

Regulatory Requirements. The Employee’s Claim for Worker’s Compensation Benefits Form must be completed in all cases in which an injury requiring medical attention has occurred.

Federal law (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires that we keep records of certain work related injuries, illnesses and accidents which occur during the workday. The NM state Workers’ Compensation Act also requires that you report any workplace illness or injury, no matter how slight. If you fail to report an injury, you may jeopardize your right to collect workers’ compensation payments as well as health benefits. OSHA also provides for your right to know about any health hazards which might be present on the job. Should you have any questions or concerns, contact your manager for more information.