Argonne National Laboratory

Policies & Practices
A diverse workforce has a variety of needs, so we have developed a broad set of policies and practices that support a positive work-life balance.

Argonne fosters an environment that values diversity and inclusion. It's the right way to do business. It's good for people, the organization and scientific innovation. In line with these values, the lab is committed to optimizing policies and practices that promote work-life balance, diversity and accountability in support of workforce pipeline, mentoring and leadership development.

Work-Life Policies


Paid Time Off

Program       Description
Paid Vacation
  15 paid vacation days per year, accrued at the rate of 1.25 days per month
Paid Holidays
  10 paid holidays per year, including one floating holiday to be used at employee's discretion
Paid Sick Leave   18 days sick leave provided at start of employment. Employees accrue 18 days each January. Can accrue up to six months. Family friendly sick leave allows use of up to 10 days annually
Family and Medical Leave Act
  Up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave for serious illness based on Federal Law
Military Leave
  Ensures position continuation for active and reservist duty

Employee Benefits

Program       Description
Medical & Dental Insurance
  Pre-tax premiums for HMO or PPO medical and dental care effective first day of hire. Coverage available for spouses, civil union partners and dependants
Retirement Plan
  2.5%+ pre-tax employee contribution, 9% employer match
Life Insurance
  Basic, plus supplemental and dependent options
Flexible Spending
  Pre-tax contribution options for medical expense ($2,550 annual cap) and dependent care ($5,000 annual cap) reimbursement

Work-Life Balance

Program       Description
Alternate Work Schedules
  Variety of alternative schedules available including: four 10hr days per week or four 9hr days per week with either one day off every other week or half a day off each week
Dual-Career Job Search Support
  Argonne supports dual-career couples as a founding member of the Greater Chicago Midwest Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (GCM-HERC)
Employee Assistance Program
  Professional confidential source of help for employees and families who need assistance with personal issues. Additional resources also available for: day care, adoption, summer camps, nursing home care, pet services, separation/divorce, will preparation, college planning, debt couseling, retirement planning, tax consultation
  Work from home as job allows
Unpaid Entrepreneurial Leave
  Employees who meet the criteria may requenst unpaid time off to pursue entrepreneurial activities using laboratory intellectual property
Unpaid Personal Leave
  Employee may request unpaid time off to pursue personal interests
Unpaid Sabbatical
  Employees who meet criteria may request unpaid time off to pursue professional goals
Winter Shutdown
  Argonne closes for seven business days. Employees must take three paid vacation days or days without pay

Working Parents

Program       Description
Adoption Assistance
  Reimbursement available, up to $5,000 for qualifying adoption expenses
Child Develpment Center
  On-site childcare available for Argonne, DOE and UChicago employees' children. Fee based. Summer camp for older children available
Dependent Daycare Flex Spending
  Pre-tax contribution up to $5,000 per year
Extension of 5-Year Status Review
  RD2 employees in a 5-year status review position may request an extension of that time frame
Nursing Mothers
  Break time, private lactation rooms and base pump units available
Parental Leave
  Up to six weeks of paid leave is provided for the child's primary caregiver and up to one week of paid leave is provided for the child's secondary caregiver. In addition to six weeks of paid leave for the primary caregiver, employees can also use existing lab policies to help cover leave time: accrued paid sick leave with physician certification, accrued paid vacation, paid family-friendly sick leave (up to 10 days of accrued sick time for care of a family member) and unpaid leave of absence.
School Visitation Leave
  Only non-exempt employees are eligible. Up to eight hours per year
Tuition Assistance
  50% dependent child tuition remission for UChicago lab school and undergraduate studies



This snapshot of Argonne’s policies and practices  is provided for illustration and general information purposes only and is not a full list of the benefits available. This snapshot does not state all of the terms and conditions of benefits and is not intended to create any contractual obligation on the part of UChicago Argonne, LLC.  The benefits described herein may be changed, revised or eliminated at any time. Please refer to the appropriate Summary Plan Description, Plan Document or Human Resources Policy and Procedure Manual for more information.