Earth Sciences Division (ESD) Department of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

Workplace Resources - Payroll (Budget & Finance)

The LBNL's Payroll Department works with the Human Resources Department to provide service to a Division's particular needs in an accurate and timely manner and within compliance of applicable policies for employee payroll.

Pay and Time Policy

Accounting for and submitting your time (onto Time Cards) is a basic responsibility of every paid employee. Reviewing and approving an employee’s time is a basic responsibility of every supervisor. (LETSLite At-A-Glance is available as a quick reference of the Time Reporting business practice.)

Staff who receive an LBNL paycheck must abide by time reporting policies, notably from LBNL’s RPM Section 11.05(a) - General:

The goal of the Pay and Time Reporting System is accurate and timely reporting of time worked (by job or project) and time off (by category of leave). This is essential for (1) monitoring actual performance against budgetary goals, (2) ensuring that labor costs are properly reported by DOE Budget and Reporting classification, and (3) guaranteeing that employees are paid correctly and that their leave accumulations are accurate. Each employee is responsible for his or her own personal reporting, and each division or department is responsible for reviewing the employee's compliance.

Lab Employee Time Entry System (LETS Time Cards)

Time cards must be submitted and approved prior to "sweep" dates and times through the LETSLite web based application. Our goal is to acheive a 100% employee release and approvals of electronic time cards or printed time cards on a monthly basis.

Time reporting deadlines for monthly paid employees is normally three business days prior to the end of the month, and for bi-weekly paid employees, it is close of business, every Friday. The sweep schedule can be found on the LETS Home Page.

Submitting Time Cards

Employees must report any leave time (such as sick or vacation) and enter time worked using the appropriate project ID(s) for the current reporting period. If you do not have a list of project IDs or are unclear as to how much time you need to work on a particular project, please contact your supervisor or the PI of the projects you are supporting well in advance. If employees miss the sweep dealine you must enter a late time card.

Approving Time Cards

Approvers must review the employee's time card and validate that time worked is appropriately applied to the correct project ID. Approvers can modify an employee's time card for the employee and make any necessary corrections. If an approver does not approve a time card prior to the sweep, a PDF report is generated which must be printed, signed, and submitted to the ESD Time Keeper.

Late or Corrected Time Cards

If employees miss the sweep deadline, a PDF report is generated. Employees will need to submit a late or correction of time by marking corrections and signing on a printed copy of the PDF report or emailing the corrections to the ESD Time Keeper or ESD Resource Analyst. Please contact the ESD Time Keeper for more details.

Other Resources

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Overall LETS FAQ can be answered HERE
  • Who is my approver?
    • Your approver is your supervisor of record (the person who gives your performance review evaluations).
  • Who is my backup approver and what is their role?
    • Typically this is your supervisor's supervisor. In cases when the approver is not available (on travel or at a meeting), the backup approver can approve an employee's time card. Approvers should notify their backup approver in such cases to ensure that time cards are approved as close as possible to the sweep date. Contact the ESD Time Keeper to identify your backup approver.

Tips and General Information

  • To provide your supervisor with enough time to approve, enter your time as soon as possible, preferably by 9:00 am before the sweep
  • Email your supervisor when you're done entering your time
  • When you receive a paper timesheet, please review it for accuracy, make corrections (if necessary), sign and return it to the ESD Time Keeper immediately.
Contacts/More Information
  • Peter Lau, ESD Business Manager,, (510) 486-5570
  • Karen Elliott, ESD Time Keeper,, (510) 486-7659
  • Grace Miller, ESD Resource Analyst
  • Tracy Bigelow, Sr. HR Division Partner,, (510) 486-6065

For a complete description of these and all other policies, please refer to the LBNL RPM at: