DH(LOCAL) - EMPLOYEE STANDARDS OF CONDUCT
All College District employees shall perform their duties in accordance with state and federal law, College District policy, and ethical standards.
All College District personnel shall recognize and respect the rights of students, other employees, and members of the community and shall work cooperatively with others to serve the best interests of the College District.
Employees wishing to express concern, complaints, or criticism shall do so through appropriate channels. [See DGBA]
The College District holds all employees to the ethical standards expressed in the Texas Community College Teachers Association Code of Professional Ethics (PDF).
Employees shall comply with the standards of conduct set out in this policy and with any other policies, regulations, and guidelines that impose duties, requirements, or standards attendant to their status as College District employees. Violation of any policies, regulations, or guidelines may result in disciplinary action, including termination of employment. [See DCC, DIAA, and DM series]
Electronic media includes all forms of social media, such as text messaging, instant messaging, electronic mail (email), web logs (blogs), electronic forums (chat rooms), video-sharing websites, editorial comments posted on the internet, and social network sites. Electronic media also includes all forms of telecommunication, such as landlines, cell phones, and web-based applications.
An employee shall comply with the College District's requirements for records retention and destruction to the extent those requirements apply to electronic media. [See CIA and GCB]
Employees shall be held to the same professional standards in their public use of electronic media as they are for any other public conduct. If an employee's use of electronic media violates state or federal law or College District policy, or interferes with the employee's ability to effectively perform his or her job duties, the employee is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
All employees shall adhere to College District safety rules and regulations and shall report unsafe conditions or practices to the appropriate supervisor.
Smoke- and Tobacco-Free Environment
The College District maintains a smoke- and tobacco-free environment at all College District facilities. The College District prohibits the use, distribution, and/or sale of tobacco, smoke, and nicotine vapor products and devices, including but not limited to: cigarettes, cigars, pipes, water pipes, hookahs, electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, or any other related products and devices, by any person on all premises owned, rented, leased, or supervised by the College District, including all College District facilities, buildings, and grounds. This prohibition applies to all College District vehicles and to personal vehicles while on College District premises. [See FLBD]
An employee shall not give or sell tobacco products or e-cigarettes to a person in violation of law.
The only exception to this total prohibition shall be in those circumstances where the College District is party to a contract or other agreement relating to the property that limits its authority in this regard.
The enforcement methods for noncompliance with the College District's smoke- and tobacco-free environment policy are as follows:
- The violator may be fined $25.
- The violator may be escorted off campus/property.
- The violator may be charged with criminal trespass.
Alcohol and Drugs
A copy of this policy, the purpose of which is to eliminate drug abuse from the workplace, shall be provided to each employee at the beginning of each year or upon employment.
Employees shall not manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, use, or be under the influence of any of the following substances during working hours while on College District property or at College District-related activities during or outside of usual working hours:
- Any controlled substance or dangerous drug as defined by law, including but not limited to marijuana, any narcotic drug, hallucinogen, stimulant, depressant, amphetamine, or barbiturate.
- Alcohol or any alcoholic beverage.
- Any abusable glue, aerosol paint, or any other chemical substance for inhalation.
- Any other intoxicant, or mood-changing, mind-altering, or behavior-altering drugs.
An employee need not be legally intoxicated to be considered "under the influence" of a controlled substance.
It shall not be considered a violation of this policy if the employee:
- Manufactures, possesses, or dispenses a substance listed above as part of the employee's job responsibilities;
- Uses or possesses a controlled substance or drug authorized by a licensed physician prescribed for the employee's personal use;
- Possesses a controlled substance or drug that a licensed physician has prescribed for the employee's child or other individual for whom the employee is a legal guardian;
- Cultivates, possesses, transports, or sells hemp as authorized by law; or
- Possesses, sells, or distributes Dextromethorphan.
Each employee shall be given a copy of the College District's notice regarding a drug-free workplace. [See DI(EXHIBIT)]
Arrests, Indictments, Convictions, and Other Adjudications
An employee shall notify his or her immediate supervisor within three calendar days of any arrest, indictment, conviction, no contest or guilty plea, or other adjudication of the employee for any felony or offense involving moral turpitude.
Moral turpitude includes but is not limited to:
- Dishonesty, fraud, deceit, theft, or misrepresentation;
- Deliberate violence;
- Base, vile, or depraved acts that are intended to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of the actor;
- Felony possession, transfer, sale, distribution, or conspiracy to possess, transfer, sell, or distribute any controlled substance defined in Chapter 481 of the Health and Safety Code;
- Acts constituting public intoxication, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, or disorderly conduct, if any two or more acts are committed within any 12-month period; or
- Acts constituting abuse under the Texas Family Code.
Consensual Relationships Prohibited
All employees have a responsibility to avoid any apparent or actual conflict of interest. A conflict of interest arises when:
- An employee currently has or formerly had a consensual, intimate relationship with his or her subordinate or with a student; and
- The employee's professional responsibilities give him or her the power or authority to influence or affect the subordinate's or student's status, assessment, opportunities, or benefits.
Consensual, intimate relationships between employees and their subordinates or between employees and students may lead to complaints of harassment by the subordinate or student and may lead to the perception that the subordinate or student is receiving special access, advantage, or favoritism or that others are receiving restricted opportunities or unfavorable treatment. These concerns may be damaging to all participants whether the favoritism is real or perceived.
Accordingly, all consensual, intimate relationships between employees and their subordinates are prohibited. Likewise, this policy prohibits all consensual, intimate relationships between an employee and a student who is under the jurisdiction of the employee, who is subject to the employee's influence or decision-making authority, who is taking or has taken classes in the same division as the employee, or who is enrolled in a program in the same division as the employee. If a relationship of this nature occurs, or has occurred in the past, the employee must disclose the relationship to his or her supervisor so that the conflict of interest may be resolved.
This policy applies to all employees, including faculty members, and employees who are also enrolled as students in the College District.
Violations of this policy shall constitute employee misconduct and may subject affected employees to institutional sanctions, including termination. Additionally, regardless of whether the participants are disciplined, the College District may transfer one or both parties to a new division or job responsibility, if available, alter reporting lines, or take other necessary action to resolve the conflict.
Allegations of sexual harassment shall be addressed in accordance with the applicable sexual harassment policy. [See DIA series for employees and FFD series for students]