3.60 – Employee Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures

A.    Purpose

To establish standards for employee conduct and to outline disciplinary procedures that will be utilized when it has been alleged that an employee’s conduct fails to meet such standards.

B.    Policy

All employees are required to follow the college’s code of conduct. When in violation, employees are subject to discipline, up to and including termination.

C.    Procedures

The college commits itself to high ethical standards with an established employee code of conduct as a standard for appropriate professional behavior and to support compliance with all legal, social and institutional expectations.

Compliance, Risk Management, and Institutional Effectiveness

Employees should conduct business in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and college policies and procedures. Examples include, but are not limited to, ethical conduct, donor gift restrictions, fraud, health and safety, human resources, intellectual property, privacy, purchasing, research, workers’ compensation, overall internal control and risk management and general institutional effectiveness.

The college expects employees to adhere to the code of conduct/ethics specific to their profession or trade. They should comply with this code in addition to college policies and procedures.

Only individuals who have designated authority by the Chancellor may enter into agreements on behalf of the college.

Confidentiality and Privacy

Employees should respect and protect college information both externally and internally.

The Communications and Marketing department facilitates and distributes news releases, statements and images to news organizations. Only the College Director of Communications and Marketing, the Chancellor and/or their designees should release public information.

The internal or external release of personal information throughout the college should only be in those instances that are “need to know.” There are applicable laws and regulations that establish the guidelines for what constitutes “need to know.” Relevant legislation includes but is not limited to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Graham Leach Bliley Act (GLBA), and the Missouri Revised Statutes.

For the safety of the college community, institutional surveillance may take place, but only in areas where there is not an expectation of privacy. Examples of institutional surveillance include, but are not limited to, use of security cameras, monitoring of college computers and network, and patrols by safety and security personnel.

Conflict of Interest

College personnel have a clear obligation to conduct all affairs of the institution in a manner consistent with the college’s interest. All decisions are made solely to promote the best interests of the institution and the benefit of the college community.

Employees may not transact business or approve the transaction of business on behalf of the college with any immediate family member unless failure to do so impedes college business, in which case the employee must disclose the information to the chancellor and recuse themselves from the process.

Employees shall not benefit personally from purchase of goods or services by the college, derive personal gain from actions taken as a representative of the college, nor use their college position to influence personal gain.

Employees should make an appropriate disclosure in instances where conflicts of interest (or the appearance of) may occur by alerting their supervisor. Failing to report such activity immediately is grounds for disciplinary action, including up to and including termination of employment.

Fraudulent Acts

All entries into college records should accurately reflect on each transaction.

Fraud is a willful or deliberate act or failure to act with the intention of obtaining an unauthorized benefit. The college expressly prohibits fraudulent acts of any kind by any college employee. Fraudulent acts may include, but are not limited to:

The forgery, making or altering of documents, monetary payments or computer files with the intent to defraud.

Authorizing and/or receiving benefit for claim of goods not received or services not performed.

Concealment, destruction, misappropriation, misuse or removal of college resources such as monetary funds, proprietary information, supplies, equipment or other assets.

Purposely inaccurate or fraudulent financial reporting, including intentional, improper representation or valuation of transactions, assets, liabilities or income.

Misrepresentation of facts.

Prohibited business activities that violate government statutes, rules, regulations or contracts.

Providing or accepting material benefits that are intended to unduly influence business decisions.

Authorizing or receiving compensation for hours not worked.

Integrity

In those instances where business activities and other conduct of community members are not governed by specific laws or regulation, general standards of fairness, integrity and respect for the rights of others should govern conduct. Decision making should reflect a commitment to the long-term benefit and sustainability of the college, as opposed to making decisions designed to provide the unrealistic appearance of immediate gain.

Business conduct should not be damaging to the reputation of the institution.

Use of College Resources

Resources should be used for business purposes on behalf of the college and should not be used for personal use except in a manner that is incidental and reasonable. College resources include but are not limited to equipment, supplies, facilities, the labor of college personnel, and college information technology. The unauthorized use these resources is prohibited. Abuse of this policy is subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination. Any questions regarding incidental or reasonable usage should be referred to the employee’s supervisor or the Office of Human Resources.

Violations

Adherence to the employee code of conduct involves communicating suspected violations of applicable standards, policies or laws. Reporting concerns about adverse behavior is a service to the college, and the reporting of activities shall not jeopardize employment.

An employee’s first option for reporting a potential violation is their direct supervisor. If they are not comfortable addressing a concern with their supervisor, they should contact the internal auditor directly by phone, email, or by filling out the anonymous online form. For reporting emergencies, Title IX violations or personnel matters, please contact the appropriate department.

Confirmed instances of violation are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

College Review of Alleged Conduct Violations

When there is an alleged conduct violation by an employee, the matter will be reviewed by the office of human resources and the employee’s supervisor. The review may result in disciplinary measures and/or a referral to law enforcement, if necessary. The scope of the review may vary depending on the circumstances, with the purpose being to gather and understand the facts of the situation. Depending on the violation, the review may also include the department vice chancellor and/or the chancellor.

Discipline of employees typically takes the form of an oral or written warning, suspension (with or without pay), demotion, or termination. An employee’s disciplinary record is kept on file with the Office of Human Resources.

This procedure is not intended to replace any other college procedure prescribed for a particular type of conduct (e.g., complaints of discrimination and harassment based on a protected status are investigated and resolved pursuant to the college’s anti-harassment, anti-discrimination grievance procedures). This procedure is also not intended to replace the employee’s annual performance evaluation or the job performance coaching which should be provided by the employee’s supervisor.

An employee will not typically be suspended or terminated without having first received at least one written warning. However, the college reserves the right to immediately suspend or terminate an employee for a serious conduct issue or violation of college policies and procedures upon approval by

(1) the employee’s immediate supervisor, (2) the Office of Human Resources, (3) the department vice chancellor, and (4) the Chancellor.

Appeal Process

An employee may appeal disciplinary actions pursuant to policy 3.36 –Employee Grievances and Appeal.

D.    Definitions

E.    Authority

This policy is maintained under the authority of the chief human resources officer.

F.    Related Policies

3.36 Employee Grievances and Appeal

3.39 Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination

3.47 Drug Free Workplace

3.52 Personal Relationships

4.02(f) Falsification of Official Records

4.02(g) Protection of College Property

4.02(h) Care of College Property and Documents

4.02(p) Conflict of Interest.

4.06 Information Technology Acceptable Usage

6.06 Loan of Equipment

6.07 Personal Use of District Property and District Employees by Other District Employees.

G.    Implementation

Purpose, Procedures, Definitions, Authority and Related Policies sections approved and adopted by the Chancellor’s Cabinet on 6/25/20.

Policy approved and adopted by the Board of Trustees on 11/11/2019 and 08/10/20. Set for review in fiscal year 2023-2024.