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 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]
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 procedures and guidelines and shall 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, is provided to all new employees and is available on the College District's human resources website.
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; or
- 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.
The College President is authorized by the Board to permit the serving and consumption of alcohol at appropriate College District functions.
In addition to a copy of this policy, each employee shall 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 shall report violations of law to his or her supervisor, a human resources representative, the appropriate vice president or provost, or the College President as soon as he or she may become aware of the same. Failure to make such a report 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 must exhaust all administrative remedies to correct an alleged injustice to include filing a resolution of employee concern form [see DGBA(LOCAL)] and following the appropriate procedures thereafter.
Arrests and Convictions
An employee who is arrested for any felony or offense involving moral turpitude must report the arrest to his or her immediate supervisor within three calendar days of the arrest. An employee who is convicted of or received deferred adjudication for such an offense must also report the event to his or her immediate supervisor within three calendar days of the event.
Tobacco and E-cigarettes
An employee shall not use tobacco products or e-cigarettes on College District property, in College District vehicles, or at College District-related activities, unless authorized by the College President or designee.
"E-cigarette" means an electronic cigarette or any other device that simulates smoking by using a mechanical heating element, battery, or electronic circuit to deliver nicotine or other substances to the individual inhaling from the device. The term does not include a prescription medical device unrelated to the cessation of smoking. The term includes:
- A device described by this definition regardless of whether the device is manufactured, distributed, or sold as an e-cigarette, e-cigar, or e-pipe or under another product name or description; and
- A component, part, or accessory for the device, regardless of whether the component, part, or accessory is sold separately from the device.
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 may 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.
Consensual Relationships Prohibited
Consensual relationships of an amorous or sexual nature between staff members in positions of authority and their subordinates or between faculty members and their students are prohibited. Sanctions for prohibited consensual relationships may include:
- Instruction to the parties to terminate the relationship;
- Transfer of one of the parties to a new department or job responsibility; or
- Other disciplinary actions, up to and including termination.
Interactions between employees or between employees and students that involve allegations of sexual harassment shall be addressed in accordance with the applicable sexual harassment policy. [See DIAA for employees and FFDA for students]