DH(LOCAL) - EMPLOYEE STANDARDS OF CONDUCT
Employees will comply with the Code of Ethics set out in DH(EXHIBIT), the standards set out in this policy, and with any other policies, regulations, and guidelines that impose duties or requirements attendant to their status as College District employees. Violation of any policies, core values, regulations, or guidelines may result in disciplinary action, including termination of employment. [See DCC, DIAA, and DM series]
An employee will 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]
All employees will adhere to College District safety procedures and guidelines and will report unsafe conditions or practices to the appropriate supervisor.
Alcohol and Drugs
A copy of this policy, the purpose of which is to eliminate drug abuse from the workplace, will be provided to all new employees and will be available on the College District human resources' website.
Employees will not unlawfully 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 while engaged in 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.
- Any drug paraphernalia used for controlled substances as defined under Health and Safety Code Section 481.002.
An employee need not be legally intoxicated to be considered "under the influence" of a controlled substance.
It will not be considered a violation of this policy if the employee:
- 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
- Lawfully possesses, sells, or distributes Dextromethorphan.
The District President is authorized by the Board to permit the serving and consumption of alcohol at special fundraising functions for the College District, at specially designated events in College District facilities, and as a part of specifically defined and approved academic curricular programs/classes (e.g., culinary arts).
In addition to a copy of this policy, each employee will be given a copy of the College District's statement regarding a drug-free workplace and drug-free schools and a description of the health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol.
Reporting Violations of the Law
Each employee will report violations of law to his or her supervisor, a human resources representative, the appropriate vice president or provost, or the District President as soon as he or she may become aware of the same. Failure to make such a report and/or failure to report as required by Board policies may compromise the integrity of the College District depending upon the severity of any concealment and may subject the employee to disciplinary action, including termination of employment with the College District.
In instances in which an employee asserts that he or she is being suspended, terminated, or discriminated against on account of the good faith reporting of a violation of law, the employee has all rights and protections afforded by law and in particular under Government Code 554.001, et seq., whereby such action is a form of unlawful retaliation. Employees claiming retaliation under this section will exhaust all administrative remedies to correct an alleged injustice, including filing a resolution of employee concern form [see DGBA(LOCAL)] and following the appropriate procedures thereafter.
Weapons on Campus
The College District prohibits the use, possession, or display of any illegal knife, club, or prohibited weapon, in violation of the law or College District policies and procedures, on College District property or at a College District-sponsored or -related activity, unless written authorization is granted in advance by the District President or designee. [See CHF]
Arrests, Indictments, Convictions, and Other Adjudications
An employee (or designee, if the employee is incarcerated) will notify his or her immediate supervisor through a written letter via certified (verifiable) email or certified mail and sent/postmarked within three calendar days of any arrest, indictment, conviction, no contest or guilty plea, or other adjudication of the employee for any felony or any 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.
Smoke and Tobacco Free Workplace
The College District prohibits smoking and the use of tobacco products or other electronic smoking devices on all College District property. Violators of this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, including, but not limited to, termination of employment. [See FLBD]
An employee will not give or sell tobacco products or e-cigarettes to a person in violation of law.
Employees seeking assistance or related educational materials should contact the human resources office.
Use of College District Equipment at an Off-Campus Location
College District employees may use College District equipment for College District-related purposes at off-campus locations, including a personal residence, by completing an equipment check-out form and by following the related procedures. Failure to comply with the published guidelines may result in disciplinary action. An employee will not use College District facilities, secretarial assistance, office supplies and equipment, or other College District resources for personal gain or benefit; such use of College District resources for personal gain or benefit is a violation of College District policy and state law.
Fraternization / Consensual Relationships
Employees with direct teaching, supervisory, advisory, or evaluative responsibility over other employees, students, or student employees are expected to recognize and respect the ethical and professional boundaries that must exist in such situations. Employees must also avoid putting themselves in a compromising position, such as meeting alone with a student in a private residence or non-public place.
While personal relationships between consenting adults are a personal matter, they can create potential conflicts in the workplace and in the educational setting. Such relationships also have the potential for exploitation of an employee, student, or student employee and can possibly create professional or academic disadvantages for third parties.
Consensual Relationship – a mutually acceptable, dating, romantic, or sexual relationship.
Consensual Relationship in the Workplace – a mutually acceptable, dating, romantic, or sexual relationship between a College District employee (including a student employee) with teaching, supervising, advising, evaluating, or grading authority, and an employee, student, or student employee who is, directly or indirectly, taught, supervised, advised, evaluated, or graded by that College District employee.
Conflict of Interest – Even when there is no actual conflict of interest, a potential conflict of interest or an appearance of impropriety may arise when individuals with the authority and the responsibility to evaluate the work or performance of an employee, student, or student employee initiate, acquiesce to, or engage in an intimate, dating, romantic, or sexual relationship with that employee, student, or student employee.
Employees are prohibited from having a consensual relationship in the workplace that is not reported in accordance with this policy.
This policy applies to all College District faculty, staff, and students. As used in this document, the terms "faculty, staff, and students" include individuals serving as interns or as volunteers, such as volunteer coaches.
When a consensual relationship in the workplace exists, the individual in the position of authority must immediately (and no later than within five days of commencing such a relationship) notify his or her immediate supervisor of the relationship. Failure of the individual in the position of authority to report the consensual relationship in the workplace immediately may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
If a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest exists as a result of the consensual relationship in the workplace, the individual reporting the relationship will cooperate with his or her supervisor in making all the necessary arrangements to resolve the conflict of interest. If the conflict of interest cannot be resolved by the supervisor, the supervisor will refer the issue to the Human Resources Department for further resolution, including the removal of the reporting relationship, the reassignment of the reporting employee, other resolution of the conflict of interest, and/or termination of employment. If a consensual relationship in the workplace does not result in a conflict of interest or the conflict of interest is resolved, the relationship will be allowed by the supervisor.
If an allowed consensual relationship in the workplace ends and as a result has a negative impact on either employee's work, it is the employees' responsibility to inform their supervisor(s) and to take appropriate steps to mitigate any conflicts at work. If employees are unable to resolve conflicts at work, the employees will be asked to mutually agree which employee will be reassigned or resign from the College District's employment. If employees are unable to agree on that decision, the College District may elect to terminate the employment of one or both employees at the same time.
Immediate Supervisor Responsibility
A supervisor who is notified, or becomes aware, of a consensual relationship in the workplace will inform Human Resources. Human Resources will take steps to confirm that the consensual relationship in the workplace exists by meeting with the parties involved and advising that this type of relationship must conform to the guidelines of this policy. Human Resources will work with all parties to alter the conditions that create an actual or potential conflict of interest or the appearance of impropriety caused by the relationship. In most instances, providing alternative arrangements for either party will alter the conditions. In providing alternative arrangements, the College District must ensure no harm comes to the person in the relationship who holds less power or authority. These alternative arrangements must be documented, kept in the employee's personnel file, and reported to the vice president in the reporting line of the employee in the position of authority in the relationship.
Procedures for Failure to Cooperate
Employees in positions of authority in consensual relationships in the workplace must fully cooperate in efforts to eliminate any conflict of interest or appearance of impropriety and are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination for failure to do so. The College District will presume that the relationship was not consensual if the subordinate party complains of sexual harassment related to an undisclosed consensual relationships in the workplace. Allegations of sexual misconduct will be investigated in accordance with College District policy and procedures.
Procedure for Grievances of Disciplinary Actions
An individual who is disciplined under this policy may grieve or appeal through DGBA.