New labwide EDI and EPE time charging codes being launched

SuperHeroes in STEM

Students and mentors engage at Fermilab’s November 2019 Superheros in STEM conference.

For some time, employees have been asking for a consistent way across the lab to charge for time they spend on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) or Education and Public Engagement (EPE)-related activities. This process is now being launched, thanks to the efforts of the EDI Task Force and the Senior Leadership EDI Council in partnership with the Finance Section.

“Lab leadership encourages participation in EDI and EPE, and this important work supports the mission of the lab,” said Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer Alison Markovitz. “Our goal is to remove barriers and establish clear guidance for participation in these activities by employees across the lab,” she said.

Alison worked closely with Chief Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer Sandra Charles and her team, as well as the EDI Task Force’s Outreach Subgroup of Bryan Ramson, Dawn Staszak and Leo Aliaga Soplin. “This was a great partnership and we are pleased to launch this initiative,” said Sandra Charles.

Working with the Finance Section and the Field Financial Managers, two new codes have been established for each Division, Section and Project – one for time charged to EDI and one for time charged to EPE. A labwide procedure is in place and provides guidelines on the appropriate use of these new codes. Employees can contact their managers or FFMs for information about the codes.

Under the new procedure, employees working 40+ hours a week may charge up to six hours per month on EDI/EPE combined without seeking prior manager approval. This is a change, as manager approval previously was needed. Employees working less than 40 hours per week may charge up to 3% of their regular hours each month without prior manager approval.

As recommended by the EDI Task Force, the procedure with these new time charging codes is being launched as a pilot and will be evaluated within six months.

“These time charging codes are a positive step that the lab has needed for some time,” said Fermilab Neutrino Division scientist Bryan Ramson. “I’m proud our EDI Task Force Outreach team contributed to an effort that sends a clear signal about the importance of EDI and EPE to all our work.”

Putting the codes to work

Other elements of the new labwide procedure include:

  • Time charged to EDI or EPE must fall within established EDI or EPE office programs or be approved by the appropriate office in advance – in other words, not all “education” activities may be charged to EPE. It also does not include self-education, conference attendance, or external communication with Office of Communication. A list of established programs, as well as a form to propose new activities, is located here.
  • Managers are expected to work with employees to identify times where interested employees can participate in EDI or EPE without impacting primary work needs.
  • Employees who seek to charge additional time beyond six hours/month may seek approval from their managers, in consultation with EDI/ EPE.
  • Employees with approval may charge more than six hours per month, up to the approved amount. Those who do not receive approval may volunteer time during non-work hours.
  • These codes are not for use by those with EPE or EDI as part of their primary job responsibilities or those supporting EPE or EDI as part of regular work (e.g., computing or communications).
  • EDI and EPE will conduct bi-annual audits of time charged to those codes to survey participation.

More details on using the new time charging codes are available in the procedure posted to the webpage.