The JPL Ethics Office

Speaking Engagements and Honorariums

An honorarium is a payment for services on which custom or propriety forbids a price to be set. The term honorarium includes a payment of money or anything of value (excluding any costs incurred that are paid or reimbursed by any other person) for an appearance, speech or article.


Laboratory personnel are encouraged to accept invitations to speak on subjects relevant to JPL or its programs when such engagements are in the best interests of JPL and Caltech. Employees that actively solicit opportunities to speak for remuneration shall be subject to this requirement and the Outside Employment, Consulting and Other Activities (JPL Rules! DocID 58718) requirement.


Any time spent in support of the engagement (including travel time), that occurs during the employee's scheduled work hours shall, at the employee's option, be treated in one of two ways:


      1.   The employee shall use vacation or take leave without pay in accordance with the JPL             Requirement Paid Time Off. In this case the employee is not considered to be on JPL             travel status for insurance or any other purposes during the leave time. The employee is             allowed to retain any honorarium payment and travel expense reimbursement received             for supporting the engagement.


      2.   If the speaking engagement either adds value to, or is in support of, the employee's             current work assignment, the employee with management approval may support the             engagement during the employee's scheduled work hours. If travel is required, the employee             is considered to be on JPL travel status and all allowable expenses shall be reimbursed by JPL             in accordance with the JPL Travel Requirement (JPL Rules! DocID 57654).


For additional information, please refer to JPL Rules! Doc ID 58719 Speaking Engagements and Honorariums, Rev. 1.