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Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008

Policy: Reminder on Outside Business Activities

When is it permissible to engage in outside business activities? Outside business opportunities are extremely varied, but five basic rules to remember are: the work must be done outside Lab hours and not on Lab premises; it must not interfere with or detract from the performance of your Lab duties; it must not create a real or apparent conflict of interest; you must not use Lab supplies, equipment, facilities, time, or other resources for the work; and, when the proposed outside business activity involves any of the following types of work, you must obtain prior written approval of your employment arrangements from your supervisor and Division Director, and the Patent Department must review any employment or consulting agreement prior to its execution:

* Work with the potential to interfere with primary employment work.

* Work of any kind for a scientific or technical organization (including computers and software).

* 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 the outside employment or consulting is clearly not in one of these general categories and is obviously unrelated to the Laboratory's current and future activities and interests, the basic rules apply except that prior written approval is not required. However, it is recommended that you inform your supervisor of your outside employment and consulting and obtain informal concurrence. Examples include an outside job or business interest in ranching, retail sales, music, art, or real estate sales.
Additionally, employees who own or have an ownership interest of at least 10% in a commercial entity that has economic or technology connections with or seeks to have such connections with the Laboratory, or who have a management interest such as being a member of the Board of Directors in such a commercial entity, must report the interest to their division director.

Berkeley Lab's conflict-of-interest policies apply to all employees, including faculty members, who perform work under the UC/DOE Contract, including work for others, regardless of the percent time employed.  The conflict-of-interest policies stem from the Lab management contract between the University of California and DOE, University policy, and federal and state laws and regulations. Therefore, when considering outside employment, consulting, or other outside business activities such as management or ownership interest in an outside business, you are responsible for familiarizing yourself with Laboratory conflict-of-interest policies, because the penalties for failure to comply with these policies may result in disciplinary action by the Laboratory and prosecution under state law. Links to the Regulations and Procedures Manual and other conflict of interest policies are found at  Questions concerning potential conflicts of interest should be addressed to your division management or Meredith Montgomery, the Research and Institutional Integrity Officer. Questions may also be emailed to [email protected].