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Employee Handbook

As you begin work at the California Institute of Technology, you are joining a remarkable community. Caltech is founded upon the principle of the pursuit of excellence. Every day, more than 7,000 people—staff, faculty, and students—work on the Institute's behalf on the campus, at our observatories, and at JPL. Working together, these individuals make possible cutting-edge research, exploration of the solar system, and the first-class education of our talented students. You can take justifiable pride in the role you will play as part of the team that sustains the Institute's diverse and challenging endeavors. 

As you settle into your new responsibilities, we encourage you to explore the many programs and activities available to you as a Caltech employee. The information in this handbook will guide you through this process, as will your supervisor and your co-workers. We are pleased that you have decided to join us, and hope you enjoy your relationship with the California Institute of Technology.

The Employee handbook is designed to acquaint employees with some of the California Institute of Technology's policies and benefits. It is not a contract and should not be construed as creating contractual obligations. The Institute reserves the right to amend, supplement, or rescind any provisions of this handbook as it deems appropriate, in its sole and absolute discretion. As policies and benefits are revised, updated pages will be distributed. Please keep your printed copy of the handbook readily available and insert the updated material promptly so that it is current at all times.  

NOTE: The Employee Handbook links below are PDF files.


Section 1: The California Institute of Technology

  • A Brief History of the Institute
  • The Structure of the Institute
  • The Academic Program
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Student Affairs
  • Business and Finance
  • Development & Institute Relations
  • Investment Office
  • General Counsel

Section 2: Your Job at the Institute

  • The Caltech Honor System
  • Identification Cards
  • Probation Period
  • Attendance
  • Lunch Breaks and Rest Periods
  • Telephones
  • Payday
  • Working Hours and Overtime
  • Wages and Salaries
  • Shift Premiums
  • Career and Personal Growth
  • Career Opportunities
  • Job Transfer Procedures
  • Personnel Records
  • Service Awards

Section 3: Working Safely at the Institute

  • Campus Security
  • Workplace Safety
  • Injuries
  • Personal Safety
  • Violence Prevention

Section 4: Paid Leave and Time Away

  • Holidays
  • Jury/Witness Duty
  • Military Training Annual Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Vacation
  • Bereavement Leave

Section 5: Institute Policies

Section 6: Personnel Memoranda

  • Conflict of Interest and Outside Employment
  • Gifts and Gratuities
  • Problem Resolution Policy & Process
  • Leaves of Absence: Personal Leave
  • Leaves of Absence: Disability & Pregnancy Related
  • Disability Leaves
  • Terminations

Section 7: Mandatory Insurance Plans

  • Social Security and Medicare Taxes
  • State Disability Insurance
  • Workers' Compensation Insurance
  • Unemployment Insurance

Section 8: Services, Conveniences, and Activities

  • Bookstore
  • Bus Service Between the Campus and JPL
  • Caltech Management Association
  • Caltech Ticket Office
  • Tuition Exemption for Children of Employees
  • Caltech Women's Center
  • Caltech Y
  • Campus Parking
  • Children's Centers
  • Credit Union
  • Discount Recreation Tickets
  • Dining Services
  • Graphic Resources
  • Libraries
  • Mail Services
  • New Car Discounts
  • Recreational & Fitness Activities
  • Rideshare Programs
  • Staff and Faculty Consultation Center (An Employee Assistance Program)
  • Tuition Reimbursement Plan
  • United Way

Section 9: Time and Attendance Instructions