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Return to Lab and Current JPL Guidance

List of Key Policies updated on Jan. 10, 2024: The Lab’s official information page on the process for reopening JPL facilities and offices impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.


We have organized the information below by category: Telework Policies, Dual Setups and Office Space, Access to Lab and Parking, Safety Protocols, Facilities and Logistics, Travel, and Time Charging and Human Resources. Anyone not on the JPL network can find the same information (minus access to linked internal sites) at

As of March 21, 2023, this site contains only updates that remain relevant and timely. Other updates have been moved to an archive page that contains:

  • Previously communicated information on JPL’s gradual Return to Lab process that began June 23, 2021
  • The Return to Lab Task Force weekly updates (suspended after the week of July 18, 2022)
  • Coronavirus and Current JPL Guidance page, which provided information on the Lab’s pandemic response

You can find important resources and policies in the sidebar below titled Key JPL Resources.

We recognize many JPLers are facing unique circumstances. If your situation is not addressed below, please discuss with your supervisor and HR Business Partner or Talent Specialist. You can also submit inquiries about the return to Lab process through AskHR.

Most Recent Updates

(Updated June 5, 2023) In a Lab-wide message June 1, JPL announced that the Lab’s mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policy would expire June 19, 2023. Other protocols, including on reporting positive tests and on return to on-site work after exposure, were unchanged. Please refer to the “Key Policies” sidebar on this page.

Telework Policies

What is the Lab's current telework policy?

(Updated Nov. 21, 2022) JPL has a new telework policy that goes into effect on Jan. 30, 2023. Human Resources will send a notification when Workday is available to submit your new work agreements. All Employees must submit their new work agreement in Workday no later than January 8. See the Lab's new Telework Policy and FAQs on the HR site here.

How will my on-Lab days be decided? Do they have to be the same days every week?

(Added Feb. 18, 2022) These are questions that Lab management has decided are best answered by each employee and their direct supervisor after discussing the specifics of their work assignments, those of their co-workers, and the needs of the projects and customers that they support.

Which telework agreement meets the LCUSD eligibility requirement?

(Amended March 20, 2023) The requirement to qualify remains 32 hours of work per week performed on site. References to the telework policy of 2021 are out of date.

(Updated Sept. 20, 2021) To meet the La Canada Unified School District (LCUSD) requirements, an employee, if Voluntarily Teleworking, can only select a General Telework Agreement with 1 day teleworking so that 32 hours of work will be performed on site at JPL during each work week. Each work week is based on a 40 hour payroll week for employees working either 5/40 or 9/80 schedules. Any other Telework choice: General Telework 2 days, Primary Telework, or Remote Telework would not qualify for LCUSD requirements. For employees on either 5/40 or 9/80 schedules, the 40 hour work week is based on payroll hours per week. Employees who wish to change their telework agreements in Workday should inform their supervisors.

Dual Setups and Office Space

I no longer have a chair on Lab, and I may want to keep my office chair for teleworking from home. Can I order a second chair?

(Added Feb. 18, 2022) Discuss with your supervisor and BAM. The Lab has a limited supply of surplus chairs. We expect that the existing supply of surplus chairs, augmented by chairs returned by remote teleworkers, will be sufficient to satisfy most requests. Once the existing supply is depleted, supervisors should work with their BAMs and Facilities to order additional chairs as needed.

Will I be allowed to order extra computer equipment to support working in both locations?

(Added Feb. 18, 2022) These decisions will be made by your supervisor and depend on factors including your ultimate telework agreement level and the nature of your work. In general, priority will be given to personnel with the greater number of on-Lab days and the most immediate need.

If I order additional equipment, how long will it take to arrive?

(Added Feb. 18, 2022) Supply chain issues are impacting deliveries of IT equipment worldwide. Your BAM will be able to update you on the status of your orders.

My job requires specialized IT equipment that is not easily moved back and forth. How should I manage where and how I work during this transition?

(Added Feb. 18, 2022) In general, employees will need to choose a primary location for IT equipment that is not easily moved, while using a laptop and dual peripherals at the location where they spend the lesser part of the week.

How do I request assistance with bringing my equipment back to Lab?

(Updated Aug. 18, 2021) If you need assistance with moving equipment, including your chair, from your vehicle back to your office, you will need to submit a Move Request and select “Return to On-Site Work” as the move type. This will generate an email that will be sent to Corovan to help facilitate the move. ManTech will follow-up to see if assistance with set-up is needed. Personnel planning to participate in the voluntary reopening during the summer and who plan to continue to routinely telework should consider whether they will need to order additional IT equipment needed to enable them to work efficiently from home or the office (e.g., additional monitor, keyboard, peripheral). However, we strongly encourage personnel to wait to order until they have returned to Lab for a period of time and determined what is needed for optimal work.

Access to Lab and Parking

Do we still have to fill out the daily health screening questionnaire?

(Updated July 6, 2022) Effective July 11, personnel coming on site no longer will be required to fill out and submit a daily health screening survey, but will continue to be required to conduct a self-assessment of their health before coming to work. All personnel will receive an email at the start of each work week until further notice, as a reminder to monitor one’s health and to stay away from JPL facilities if experiencing possible Covid symptoms.

(Added Feb. 18, 2022) The daily health screening remains a requirement of California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health until further notice.

What are JPL’s plans for parking when the West Lot and parking structure are full? Can we still park in the East Lot?

(Added Feb. 18, 2022) The East Lot is no longer available for parking. Adequate parking should be available on Lab and in the West Lot during the transition, but demand will vary according to the distribution of on-site days. Everyone should park in the areas designated on their hangtags.

How will the Lab verify vaccination and testing status upon entrance to Lab?

(Updated June 5, 2023) In a Lab-wide message June 1, JPL announced that the Lab’s mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policy would expire June 19, 2023. Other protocols, including on reporting positive tests and on return to on-site work after exposure, were unchanged. Please refer to the “Key Policies” sidebar on this page.

(Updated March 17, 2023) Effective today, unvaccinated personnel are no longer required to provide evidence of a negative Covid test in order to access JPL facilities. This change aligns JPL with Caltech, which also has lifted the test requirement.

What is the status of visitors to Lab?

(Updated Aug. 23, 2022) In accordance with NASA guidance and effective immediately, unbadged business visitors to JPL will no longer be required to complete a vaccination attestation form or provide proof of a negative Covid test. JPL’s vaccination policy remains in effect for all badged employees and contractors.

When will ridesharing services resume?

(Updated May 26, 2022) Schedules are posted for the Gold Line shuttle and the Caltech-Woodbury shuttle. Both shuttles pick up and drop off at the bus stop just outside the Oak Grove checkpoint. Please contact the Rideshare office at ext. 4-7433 or visit the Rideshare site for information on subsidies and vanpools. Additionally, personnel can use the Lab’s new parking app, JPL Park, to find out real-time parking situations and view recent parking trends. Learn more on JPL Space.

(Updated May 5, 2022) The schedule effective May 9 is posted for the Caltech-Woodbury shuttle. The schedule for the Gold Line shuttle will be posted shortly on the same site. Both shuttles will pick up and drop off at the bus stop just outside the Oak Grove checkpoint.

(Updated April 14, 2022) The Caltech shuttle and the Gold Line shuttle from the Del Mar Metro station in Pasadena will resume service on May 9. Vanpools operate from cities throughout the region. Contact a coordinator or the Rideshare Office to join an existing group, or email for information on starting a vanpool.

Safety Protocols

Are masks required on Lab?

(Updated Dec. 9, 2022) In compliance with local public health guidance, masks are required indoors and when near others outdoors for individuals with a recent exposure to Covid-19. See the updated Return to On-Site Work Guidelines, also accessible from the Key JPL Resources sidebar on this page.

Will I be able to know which of my co-workers are vaccinated and which have an exemption or accommodation?

(Added Feb. 18, 2022) Out of respect for their privacy, no.

How should I report possible exposure while on Lab?

If you test positive, or if you develop symptoms suggestive of Covid-19, or if you believe you may have been in close contact to an individual who is exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms or has tested positive, inform your supervisor or HR business partner immediately. The Lab’s response team will evaluate your circumstances and err on the side of caution in protecting you and your colleagues.

Facilities and Logistics

When will the gyms reopen?

(Updated May 16, 2022) The 321 and 180 gyms are now open without restrictions. Badge reader access and the completion of a Wellness Program - General Release form are required to use the gym. The gyms are open 24 hours per day and open to JPL Employees only. Request gym access through the JPL Physical Access Management System (JPAMS).

How will JPL handle cleaning and sanitation on Lab?

(Restored from FAQ published June 23, 2021) All buildings at JPL have been deep-cleaned and sanitized to ensure they are ready for occupancy. All restrooms now have touchless faucets, flush valves, hand soap dispensers, and paper towel dispensers. 800 motion-activated sanitization stations were added throughout the Lab. Janitorial staff has been increased to manage all janitorial and pest control issues, including daily sanitization of high-touch points.

How is the Lab ensuring adequate ventilation in buildings?

(Restored from FAQ published June 23, 2021) Where possible, buildings have been retrofitted with air filters upgraded to MERV 13 standard to improve air filtration, and/or with ION Needlepoint Systems as part of a plan to reduce pathogens and particles in HVAC systems.


What is the latest travel guidance?

(Updated July 28, 2022) Effective immediately, JPL business travelers no longer need to complete the “Covid Prevention for Travelers Safe Work Practice” training.

(Updated April 4, 2022) In alignment with NASA protocols, the travel team is removing the Director For approval requirement for international travel, effective immediately. Authorization for international travel will revert back to the pre-Covid-19 process. With this change, all travel, both domestic and international, will now return to the Lab’s pre-pandemic approval process.

The travel team will continue to ensure travelers have completed the “Covid Prevention for Travelers Safe Work Practice” training prior to the start of their domestic or international trip.

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