Voluntary winter break pilot FAQs

Voluntary Winter Break Pilot FAQs

 Q:   I was planning to retire/resign on Dec. 31, 2020; however, according to the lab director’s Oct. 28 all-hands message, I see terminations will be paused over the break. What should I do?

A:  We recommend that you use Jan. 4, 2021, as your new end date; however, if your retirement/resignation date cannot be adjusted, please work with Benefits or your HR Partner to ensure all steps are competed by December 24, 2020

Q:  I would like to participate in the Voluntary Winter Break Pilot but do not have any vacation accrued. Can I still take time off as suggested?

A:  Yes, you may use Leave Without Pay (LWOP) and be excused for up to the 3.5 days to participate in the Voluntary Winter Break Pilot.

Q:  I am planning to retire/resign on Dec. 31, 2020 and would also like to participate in the Voluntary Winter Break Pilot however; according to lab policy I am not permitted to take vacation on my last day of employment. What should I do?

A:  According to lab policy, employees cannot use vacation on their last day of service, however, during the Voluntary Winter Break Pilot, this has been waived and you may take your last day as a vacation day before terminating your employment at the lab. Please give notice by Dec. 11, 2020, if you would like to participate and use this option.

Q:  According to the current LWOP policy, an employee must be at the lab for one year before being eligible for LWOP. I have not been at the lab for a year. Am I unable to participate?

A:  According to the policy, employees are not eligible for LWOP until they have been at the lab for at least a year; however, this has been waived during the Voluntary Winter Break Pilot and all employees, regardless of the start date, may use LWOP. If the employee has vacation time accrued, they must use that first before using excused LWOP on their timecard to participate in the pilot.

Q:  What if I am an essential worker and would like to take advantage of the Voluntary Winter Break Pilot?

A:  Managers and supervisors should make every effort to accommodate employees who would like to participate in the pilot. Please work with your HR Partner if you need assistance.

Q:  If I participate in the Voluntary Winter Break Pilot but I am called in to work due to an emergency, will normal overtime/premium pay policies apply?

A: Yes, the overtime, premium pay, and emergency call-in pay policies for nonexempt workers are applicable during this period.

Q: I am planning to save my vacation time for an upcoming trip in the spring. Can I elect to use LWOP instead of vacation to cover 3.5 days?

A: No, per the LWOP policy, you need to exhaust eligible paid leave prior to taking unpaid leave.

Q:  If there is a snow event during this time, will there be staff on site to plow the roads?

A:  Yes, many of the roads and grounds personnel will be participating in the Voluntary Winter Break; however, they will be on call in the event of a winter weather event, including snow.

Q:  I am expecting a package to be delivered to the lab during this time. Will there be staff on site to process this shipment?

A:  The Receiving department will be participating in the Voluntary Winter Break; however, they will be on-call to support emergency requests. If there are packages that are scheduled to be received during this time period, please make arrangements as soon as possible through the Logistics & Property Services Office (https://fess.fnal.gov/atwork/logistics-and-property-services/).

Q:  Will the Fermilab Children’s Center be open during the winter break?

A:  The Fermilab Children’s Center will participate in the Voluntary Winter Break, however there will be limited availability for children of employees that are working during this time.  To allow children’s center leadership time to plan, parents should communicate their student’s anticipated schedule during the break.

Q:  Will the Fermilab remote learning program be open during the winter break?

A:  No, the remote learning program will not be open beginning on 12/24/20 and reopen on 1/4/21.  There will be no school’s out program during this time.