FAQ

FAQ 2018-04-06T21:26:22+00:00

Updated 4/6/18

WHO IS N3B?

N3B was awarded the legacy cleanup contract at Los Alamos by the DOE. N3B is a new company created by two long-standing DOE-EM contractors with decades of mission-completion records:  Stoller Newport News Nuclear (SN3) and BWXT Technical Services Group (BWXT). SN3 and BWXT are joined in the contract with two critical subcontractors, Tech 2 Solutions (T2S) and Longenecker & Associates (L&A).

You can read more about N3B on our Executive Summary

WHAT IS THE WORK N3B WILL BE DOING?

N3B is taking over the work currently being performed under the LANS Bridge Contract. You can read about the scope of work here.

WHAT TYPES OF JOBS ARE YOU HIRING FOR?

N3B will need a wide variety of jobs to execute the contract successfully. We will staff the entire company as a stand-alone enterprise, from the business services to the cleanup work. N3B will use a few services from the Lab, and those services will be delineated by specific agreements between LANS & N3B. But generally speaking, there will be a wide variety of job opportunities with N3B.

WHEN WILL WE KNOW MORE ABOUT THE SPECIFIC JOBS THAT WILL BE OPEN?

Job listings will be posted in March. Please check our website for updates.

WHEN WILL YOU BE HIRING? WHEN WILL I START WORK?

We expect to start making offers in March. The transition is expected to last 90 days, until late April, and we may be hiring throughout that time frame. Our new employees will start work the first day of the N3B Base Period for the contract.  (There will be no break in service; the LANS Bridge Contract will end one day and the N3B contract will start the next day.)

HOW WILL N3B WORK WITH LANS TO MOVE EMPLOYEES FROM THE BRIDGE CONTRACT TO THE NEW CONTRACT?

N3B is working closely with LANS, as well as with EM-LA and NA-LA, to execute a smooth transition. LANS has provided N3B with a list of all LANS employees who have charged some portion of their time in the last fifteen months to cleanup work.  We reached out to those LANS employees in February via email, and conducted nine N3B Employee Information Meetings for them.

We realize there are other employees, both inside and outside LANS, who may have worked on cleanup in the past, or who may be interested in working for N3B, and we welcome you to consider us!

HOW MANY CURRENT LANS LEGACY CLEANUP EMPLOYEES DO YOU EXPECT TO GET, AND HOW MANY DO YOU THINK YOU’LL HIRE FROM THE OUTSIDE?

We do not know the specific answer to this question, yet. We expect to build a work environment, and offer a compensation package, such that the vast majority of LANS Bridge Contract employees will be interested in working for N3B.

However, we understand that everyone has individual circumstances, and not everyone will be able to or willing to move over. We will be filling our job postings with the most qualified and experienced workforce that we can.

We have a number of LANS-employee specific questions in this FAQ, please see below.

IF I AM NOT A LEGACY CLEANUP EMPLOYEE, OR AM NOT A CURRENT LANS EMPLOYEE, CAN I BE CONSIDERED FOR A JOB WITH N3B?

Yes! We will need to fill a wide variety of new positions at N3B, and will be looking for a highly qualified staff to fill those positions.

WHAT ABOUT SUBCONTRACTORS?

We know that a lot of important cleanup is being performed by subcontractors working for LANS. We will be meeting with the subcontracting companies during transition to discuss the continuation of work. If you are working on cleanup through a subcontractor, please know that we are aware of that work, and will be working with the subcontracting companies.

I AM A CURRENT LANS LEGACY CLEANUP EMPLOYEE – WILL I GET A FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL LETTER?

Per the contract that N3B has with the DOE, there are a number of current LANS employees who will receive a First Right of Refusal letter for their jobs.

There are very specific requirements around the First Right of Refusal. The requirements include whether or not the current position tracks to a position at N3B such that the work for the job position is  “substantially equivalent”, and is not a management position. We expect that a great many positions will receive a First Right of Refusal letter.

However, regardless of whether a position receives a First Right of Refusal, N3B is interested in hiring the most qualified and experienced work force that we can. As reiterated elsewhere in this FAQ, we expect to build a work environment, and offer a compensation package, such that the vast majority of cleanup employees will be interested in working for N3B.

WHEN WILL FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL LETTERS GO OUT?

Letters will go out by the end of this week.

I RECEIVED A LETTER FOR RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL TO A JOB THAT IS NOT MY JOB. I WANT TO WORK FOR N3B BUT THE POSITION DOES NOT MAKE SENSE TO ME. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

We are pleased that you are joining N3B and look forward to having you on the team.  Some position descriptions are not aligned with the Lab position descriptions (or your current description), but the functions that we want you to perform for the N3B team are the same or similar to what you have performed on Bridge Contract in the past.  We will work to ensure that your organizational alignment, roles and responsibilities achieve this.  It is our intention through the right of first refusal to assign you to familiar duties.  You are also eligible to apply for other positions and this will not affect your right of first refusal opportunity.

WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SALARIES, BENEFITS, SENIORITY, SERVICE CREDIT, ETC?

We recognize these are extremely important questions, and our human resources plan calls for offering a highly competitive compensation package and benefit package.

We look forward to sharing the details of that package with potential employees during the employment process.

WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR GETTING ON WITH N3B?

All jobs will be posted online, and the process includes applying for those positions online.

We encourage everyone to apply for whichever positions are of interest to you.

Please see the website for updates.

WHAT IF I AM A LANS LEGACY CLEANUP EMPLOYEE, AND I THINK I WILL GET A FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL, DO I STILL NEED TO APPLY FOR A JOB?

We are asking that you apply for whichever jobs are of interest to you.

There are three reasons for this from N3B’s perspective: first, it will help our future employees hire in to the job they are most interested in; second, it will help us to be able to fully staff our new company, for those people who do not get a First Right of Refusal letter; third, multiple people may have a substantially equivalent position for a job, but First Rights of Refusal letters will be sent to only one person at a time in order of most substantially equivalent.

It is important to note that even if you apply for another job than the one you are currently doing – that does NOT affect whether or not you would receive a First Right of Refusal letter.  If the job you are currently doing as a LANS legacy cleanup employee is substantially equivalent to a job we are creating, and you are not a manager, then you will receive a First Right of Refusal letter. You would receive this letter in that case regardless of whether you applied for another job, and even regardless of whether you applied for the same job.

WHAT IS A “CRITICAL SUBCONTRACTOR”, AND WHY WOULD I BE HIRED BY ONE OF THEM INSTEAD OF BY N3B?

N3B chose to involve two highly specialized small businesses within the LLCC team as integrated critical subcontractors. While the inclusion of the small businesses is responsive to the subcontracting and small business targets established by DOE in the LLCC RFP, these two companies were selected because of their recognized technical expertise — Tech2Solutions includes the #1 water company in the world, and L&A, the widely recognized leader in Quality Assurance and Contractor Assurance throughout the DOE complex — which complement N3B’s capabilities, objectives and vision. While not members of the N3B LLC, these small businesses are part of the the integrated team assembled to address the legacy cleanup at Los Alamos and will be involved throughout N3B’s contract term.

Each of the critical subcontractors have a defined share of the LLCC scope, which was detailed in N3B’s technical proposal.  T2S is responsible for the water program, including the remediation of the chromium and RDX plumes, including drilling and other associated activities.  L&A is responsible for the independent contractor assurance system and for support to quality assurance.   Therefore, incumbent LANS employees that currently perform these functions will map to positions with the small businesses, rather than with N3B.

  • Employment with the subcontractors is no less secure than employment with N3B.
  • Employees of the subcontractors will work with and among N3B employees as peers and equals to achieve LLCC success.
  • Subcontractors are directly accountable to the N3B leadership team, each reporting directly to an N3B Direct Report to the Program Manager.
  • While actual hiring and on-boarding may be conducted by the subcontractors using their corporate programs and processes, the mapping and hiring activities are fully coordinated with N3B.
  • The subcontractors intend to provide competitive salaries and benefits programs, with the goal of total compensation packages that are comparable to incumbent employees current pay and benefit values.

The Critical Subcontractors, T2S and L&A, are part of the 10-year contract with the DOE.

WHAT IS THE DIVISION OF WORK AMONGST N3B, T2S AND L&A?

Please see the FAQ section above, “What is a “Critical Subcontractor,” and why would I be hired by one of them instead of N3B?” for a high-level breakdown of the different work scope owned by each entity.

HOW LONG IS THE EM WORK AT LOS ALAMOS?

The current lifecycle baseline for cleanup work at Los Alamos estimates that cleanup work will continue through 2035.  That timeline is dependent, of course, on funding levels, and on whether or not additional contamination is found and more remediation is needed.

The N3B contract is for ten years: an initial five years, with two extensions for an additional five years, for a total of ten years.

WHAT ABOUT N3B WOULD MAKE ME WANT TO LEAVE LANS TO WORK FOR YOU?

The leadership team will develop an atmosphere that will make N3B a highly attractive place to work for those who wish to continue supporting the EM mission at the site. Our salaries and benefits will be competitive, but we think the differentiator will be opportunity and growth for employees, and achievement of important cleanup work for the community. Our approach is to be open, honest, accurate, and timely with all our contract activities and communications.  Also, we’ll be building a new company from the ground up, so there is a lot of opportunity for new ideas to make a meaningful difference.

WHAT OPPORTUNITIES FOR ADVANCEMENT CAN I EXPECT?

Advancement opportunities will depend on each position and where it is located in the organization.  However, one of the exciting things about this contract is that we will be building a new company from the ground up, so we think there will be ample opportunity for advancement, or to do something different.

Also, the N3B parent companies as well as the critical subcontractors, T2S and L&A, each have contracts and opportunities at multiple DOE and NNSA sites, which may be of interest to those who later may want to explore career opportunities around the DOE complex.

WILL MY CLEARANCE TRANSFER OVER, AND IF I’M CURRENTLY IN THE PROCESS OF GETTING A CLEARANCE, WILL THAT PROCESS CONTINUE?

Generally speaking, yes; clearances will transfer, and the process for those awaiting clearances will not change. However, clearances are job-dependent, and not all clearances may be maintained though the life of the contract.

HOW DO I FOLLOW THE HIRING PROCESS?

You can check our website, where we will post updates.  Also, you can sign up for email updates by emailing info@hii-n3b.com.

I HEAR YOU SPECIFICALLY INVITED SOME LANS EMPLOYEES TO EMPLOYEE INFO MEETINGS, BUT I DID NOT GET AN INVITATION. DOES THAT MEAN YOU’RE NOT INTERESTED IN EMPLOYING ME?

It definitely does not mean we are not interested! N3B is interested in hiring the most qualified and experienced workforce we can.

We were provided a list of LANS legacy cleanup employees by LANS based on time charged to cleanup in the last 15 months, and those employees were invited to a LANS-focused N3B Employee Meeting.

We are having additional meetings open to everyone interested in working for N3B, whether or not you have ever worked on cleanup, or even if you do not currently work at the Lab. Please check our website for details.

WHERE WILL YOUR OFFICE BE LOCATED, AND WILL MY WORK LOCATION CHANGE?

N3B employees will work in several different locations depending on their specific organization and duties.  Some N3B employees will be co-located with the EM-LA Office in the Pueblo School Complex.  Most CH-TRU workers will be located in trailers near Area G and TA-54.  Other trailers located on LANL property and office spaces in the Los Alamos area will be determined during transition.  Bridge Contract workers located in TA-3 should expect to have a different office under N3B, as we do not expect to retain any TA-3 offices.

HOW IS THE COMPANY BE ORGANIZED?

See the org chart below, which includes the integration of T2S and L&A:

FAQs specific to current LANS legacy cleanup employees:

During several LANS-focused N3B Employee Meetings, a number of questions came up that are mostly relevant to LANS employees. Answers are below:

WHEN WILL THE ORGANIZATION CHARTS BE POSTED?

Our goal is to have the organization charts and jobs posted at the same time. We are planning for early March.  Update: the organization chart is posted in this FAQ.

HOW DOES THE FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL WORK?

If your current position is non-management, and the job description and duties match that of what N3B needs for support and is considered “substantially equivalent,”then you will receive a “First Right of Refusal” letter.

WHAT WILL THE HOURS AND DUTY STATIONS BE?  WILL THEY CHANGE?

Work hours and duty stations are being determined as part of the transition process.

WHAT TYPE OF INTERFACE WITH EXISTING ACCESS WILL THERE BE, I.E., APOLLO READERS?

We are working to keep most access procedures the same initially, subject to agreements with LANS.

WILL CRITICAL SUBCONTRACTOR CARRY OVER SERVICE CREDIT AND ACCRUALS FOR PTO/VACATION/SICK?

N3B and our Critical Subcontractors will address service credits from a team perspective.

HOW IS N3B GOING TO STAND UP PROGRAMS? ARE THEY GOING TO “BLUE SHEET” LANS PROGRAMS OR START FRESH?

We will Blue Sheet initially and then ask the incumbent staff to help with on-going improvement to procedures.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR A JOB WITH A CRITICAL SUBCONTRACTOR?

All jobs will be posted on Careers.

WHEN CAN WE EXPECT MORE COMMUNICATION?

Please continue to check our website under Careers.

WHO FROM THE TRANSITIONAL TEAM IS STAYING ON THE CONTRACT?

The persons identified on the organization chart on the Executive Summary will be part of the N3B team after transition.

HOW MANY FTE’S PER CONTRACTOR WILL THERE BE?

L&A – @20 – Quality Assurance

T2S – @70 – Water Programs

N3B – the remainder

Note: N3B is likely to subcontract for some of the contract scope.

WILL I GET A FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL LETTER NO MATTER WHAT?

Not necessarily. You will receive a letter if you are in a position that is a “First Right of Refusal” position, which is a non-management position, and one which is considered a “substantially equivalent position” to an N3B position. However, the N3B organization will not match directly to the current LANS organization.  Also, if more than one LANS incumbent maps as a substantially equivalent position to an N3B position, only one First Right of Refusal letter will be issued at a time. A second (or third) First Right of Refusal letter will only be issued if the preceding offers are not accepted.  So it is possible you could be evaluated as having a substantially equivalent position, but NOT get a First Right of Refusal letter.

However, it is worth noting again that whether or not a position receives a First Right of Refusal, N3B is interested in hiring the most qualified and experienced work force we can.

Benefit Transition Frequently Asked Questions

Will my benefits be changing?

N3B has made every effort to keep the benefits you are familiar with. That includes using the same vendors (BCBS NM, Delta Dental, VSP, the Hartford, Connect Your Care, HSA Bank, ARAG). As with any transition of this nature, it was not possible to keep all benefits exactly the same and there will likely be a few specific services that are handled a little differently. During new hire orientation, we will review all benefit plan designs with you.

Can I add, or remove, dependents to/from my plans?

Yes. As a new hire to N3B, this is your opportunity to add/remove dependents. The next opportunity you will have to add/remove dependents will be the next open enrollment period (March/April 2019).

Outside of open enrollment, you may only make these changes with a qualifying life event. Please contact Human Resources for details regarding qualifying life events.

Can I change medical plans?

Yes. As a new hire to N3B, you can change medical plans. The next opportunity you will have to change medical plans will be the next open enrollment period (March/April 2019). Outside of open enrollment, you may only make these changes with a qualifying life event. Please contact Human Resources for details regarding qualifying life events.

Will the deductible that I’ve already met count toward my new plan?

Yes. BCBS will transfer any deductible amounts met between 1/1/2018 and the effective date of your new plan (05/06/2018). This typically occurs after the 2nd month of the new plan (in this case about mid- July) in order to capture all deductibles met up through the new effective date.

Will my current medical contributions increase?

No. Your current medical premiums will remain unchanged.

Will I get new ID cards?

Yes. New ID cards will be issued by BCBS NM and Delta Dental and should arrive in the mail around the second to third week of May. VSP does not provide printed ID cards, nor are you required to have one when you receive services. You will also be able to access your ID cards, and benefits information, online by registering with each vendor’s website.

Do I have to change my doctor/dentist/vision provider?

N3B is utilizing the same provider networks and facilities (medical, dental, vision) as you’ve had in the past. It is always a good idea to confirm provider or facility status within a network regularly throughout the year, particularly before scheduling appointments or procedures. The best way to confirm if your provider, or facility, is in-network is to contact the vendor directly.

Are the prescription benefits changing?

Prescription drugs may fall into a different copay tier. It is always a good idea to request prescription refills, on your current plan, ahead of the new benefits effective date, so that you do not experience any delays while transitioning.

Please note: CVS Pharmacies will not be in-network pharmacies as of 5/6/2018. BCBS NM contracts with many alternative pharmacies including, Smith’s Pharmacy, Walgreens, and Walmart. Please review your in-network pharmacy options by visiting the BCBS NM website.

What about my Health Savings Account (HSA)?

If you currently have an HSA through HSA Bank, your account number will not change. All of your available fund balances will remain; you do not have any additional actions to take. PLEASE NOTE: HSA Bank will provide new debit cards reflecting the change to your new employer, N3B.

You will also need to make a new contribution election, if you wish to make pre-tax contributions to your HSA. Keep in mind that the IRS limits the amount your can contribute each calendar year to:

  • $3,400 if enrolled in the HDHP by yourself
  • $6,850 if enrolled with any dependents
  • There is an additional $1,000 catch-up contribution if you’re age 50 or above

What about my Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?

You will need to make a new annual election for the medical and/or dependent care FSA. Keep in mind, the annual maximums listed below:

  • Medical FSA – $2,650
  • Dependent Care FSA – $5,000 (or $2,500 if two family members have elected this FSA)

Will my supplemental Life and STD benefits be changing?

Your current voluntary life insurance election will be automatically rolled into our new benefit plan. However, if you’d like to make a new election to enroll/increase/decrease your benefit amount, you have the opportunity to do so at this time. The only exception to this is for those currently electing a supplemental life amount that is higher than the new maximums. Your current election will be grandfathered in. In this case, you would only be allowed to decrease your elected amount.

You current supplemental STD election will be automatically rolled into our new benefit plan. However, if you’d like to change your election, you have the opportunity to do so at this time.

Will my current voluntary contributions for STD, LTD, Life insurance increase?

There are new rates for the supplemental STD, LTD, and Life/AD&D benefits. How the costs change is dependent on the type of benefit, and your age. Please review the new rate information carefully to make sure you know what will be changing.

Will N3B continue the wellness program through Virgin Pulse?

We know your health and wellbeing are very important. As we work to develop a new wellness program, the online access to the Virgin Pulse website will be disabled. You are able to continue self-directed wellness programs through the new BCBS NM website. On this site you’ll be able to access online courses, talk to a health coach, and track your fitness using popular mobile devices and apps. Additionally, you can look up fitness centers, and obtain BluePoints for engaging in healthy activities.

When will N3B provide the employer contribution to my Health Savings Account (i.e. $250/single and $500/family)?

N3B will deposit the employer health savings account contribution the second payroll in June 2018.

What if I am currently seeing a doctor for a medical condition? How does this work?

You should see no disruption in the care you are currently receiving. As discussed above, N3B is utilizing the same provider network that you currently have. It is still important to regularly verify that your provider continues to participate in the BCBS NM network by either looking it up at the BCBS NM website or contacting their member services department.

 What about my vacation, will I be allowed to cash out my vacation prior to transitioning to N3B?

Yes, you will be allowed to cash out your vacation. In order to do that, you will need to complete the Vacation Cash Out Election form and submit it to the LANS payroll office by April 20, 2018.

 What retiree medical benefits are being offered by N3B?

N3B will offer retiree medical benefits through BCBS of NM. Eligibility for retiree medical and employer premium subsidy levels will be the same as the LANS provisions. Your eligibility and service credit will transfer from LANS to N3B. See tables below:

What 401(k) match will N3B offer?

N3B will be providing the same match that LANS provides to employees that do not participate in the TCP1 defined benefit plan. If you are currently eligible to receive a matching contribution from LANS, you will continue to be eligible under the N3B plan and receive the same level of match from N3B.

Will I still earn 401(k) benefits based on my length of service?

N3B will be providing the same non-elective contribution that is based on years of service that LANS provides to employees that do not participate in the TCP1 defined benefit plan. If you are currently eligible to receive a non-elective contribution from LANS, you will continue to be eligible under the N3B plan and receive the same level of non-elective contribution from N3B. Your service from LANS will transfer to N3B for purposes of determining the non-elective contribution that you will receive.

How can I transfer my 401(k) account balance into this new plan?

Your 401(k) account balance can be transferred (known as a roll-over) to the N3B plan at any time after the new plan is effective. Fidelity will be the record-keeper for the N3B plan and will provide information regarding how to roll-over your balance in early May.

You can also transfer other 401(k) balances from any other plans. Fidelity will be able to assist you with your roll-over once the new N3B plan is effective.

Will I be able to roll-over my current outstanding loan balances in the LANS 401(k)?

N3B is currently working with Fidelity to ensure that you will be able to roll-over loan balances if you elect to roll-over your LANS account balance.

Do I have to transfer my LANS 401(k) account balance to the N3B 401(k) plan?

No. You are not required to transfer for LANS 401(k) balance to the N3B plan. However, you may find it helpful to have all your 401(k) account balances in one plan.

If you have an outstanding loan in the LANS 401(k) plan and do not choose to roll-over your account balance your loan will be considered a deemed distribution and will become a taxable event to You should seek professional assistance in order to determine the timing of the taxability of the deemed distribution.

What happens to my loan in the LANS 401(k) if I do not choose to roll-over my current LANS account balance?

If you do not elect to roll-over your LANS 401(k) account balance your loan will be considered a deemed distribution and will become a taxable event to you. You should seek professional assistance in order to determine the timing of the taxability of the deemed distribution.

What investments will be available for me in the 401(k) plan?

N3B is currently working with Fidelity and our investment consultant to determine the investments that will be available under the new N3B plan. We will share the available investments as soon as that information is available.

What are the fees that I will have to pay for the 401(k) plan?

N3B is currently working with Fidelity and our investment consultant to determine the fee structure that will apply to the new N3B plan. We will share the fee structure at the same time that we are able to provide information on the available investments. As soon as this information is available we will share it.

If I am in TCP1, can I retire from LANS and commence receiving retirement benefits while working for N3B?

No. Because LANS and N3B will be sponsors of the same TCP-1 Multiple Employer Pension Plan, you may not work for N3B and receive a retirement check from the TCP-1 plan at the same time. If you work for N3B, you will continue to be an active participant accruing benefits under the Plan.

What is a highly-compensated employee?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) defines high-compensated employees as earning more than $120,000 (in 2018) or the Top 20% of employees when ranked by compensation. N3B intends to utilize the Top 20% of the employees when ranked by compensation to determine highly-compensated employees. The dollar amount for determining the highly-compensated employees will vary based on N3B’s workforce and will change each year. We expect that employees that earn N3B compensation of more than approximately $97,000 in 2018 may be designated as highly-compensated employees in 2019. Employees that earn N3B compensation of more than approximately $146,000 in 2019 may be designated as highly- compensated employees in 2020. Since the rules are based on the prior year of compensation received with N3B, there will not be any highly-compensated employees in 2018.

 I am a TCP1 employee. Will I still be able to be part of the Pension Plan (MEPP) if N3B does not meet the 50 employee threshold?

For non-highly compensated employees (see highly-compensated definition above):

  • Your pension benefits will remain unchanged.

For highly compensated employees (see highly-compensated definition above):

  • N3B will take action necessary to maintain the qualified status of the MEPP. The most common action would be to freeze the benefits of HCEs in the N3B segment (meaning you will not lose or gain any more benefits in the TCP1 program).
  • If N3B TCP1 benefits are frozen for highly-compensated employee, N3B would then provide an enhanced 401(k) retirement plan that would provide future benefits at a level comparable to the MEPP for impacted employees.

I am a TCP1 employee, when will I be notified if N3B does not meet the 50-employee threshold?

N3B and LANS will be developing administrative processes to monitor the number of N3B TCP1 employees. N3B will notify impacted N3B TCP1 highly compensated employees as soon as possible before any retirement plan changes are required due to IRS plan qualification.

I am currently taking courses and receiving tuition reimbursement. Will this transfer to N3B or will this start over?

  • If you are in the middle of course work that has been approved under the LANS tuition reimbursement program; this will transfer over to N3B.

Will N3B have a holiday closure?

N3B will not close during the holidays.

How do I enroll in my new benefits?

You will enroll in your benefits during new hire orientation, which is scheduled for the first week of May 2018.

Who do I contact if I have additional questions?

Please direct questions to hr@n3b-la.com