1.44 Employee Code of Conduct Policy
I. General Guidelines
All employees are required to maintain a high sense of ethics, maturity, professionalism, integrity, morality, and responsibility. They must be skilled in the performance of their assigned duties, committed to the concept of individual worth, show respect for others, and possess a dedicated concern for the problems and needs of students. Employees must demonstrate a cooperative willingness to support the values, mission, and goals of the College, share responsibility in evaluating policies and programs, and participate constructively in departmental, committee, and other College activities. These requirements remain in effect at all times of employment by the College and may extend outside of the College, such as on social media.
II. Professionalism and Respect
Employees should act in a professional and respectful manner through all interactions with other employees, students, and/or contacts of the College, whether verbally or electronically, including, but not limited to, email, text, inter-office chat spaces, etc. This includes avoiding communication that:
- is harassing, threatening, abusive or knowingly false;
- promotes hate or hate speech;
- is indecent, obscene, offensive, or profane, including without limitation, sexual comments or images, racial or ethnic slurs, off-color or discriminatory jokes or cartoons, or communications that are otherwise unlawful or inappropriate;
- could be construed as defamatory, false, fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive, or intended to embarrass, coerce, disparage, or intimidate an individual, group, or entity;
- that otherwise violates any College policy, procedure, guideline, or standard.
Further, employees are prohibited from using electronic platforms, including, but not limited to, email and inter-office chat spaces, etc., to engage in political activities, making political or legislative endorsements, or promoting candidates for public office. (Please note that individual employees can pursue political activities outside the College on non-work time).
III. Confidentiality and Privacy
All employees may be confronted with confidential and private information that relates to the College, students, employees, and/or the general public. Employees are prohibited from disclosing confidential and private information, except where mandated or otherwise allowed by law. Such information may include proprietary, medical, personnel, organizational, or other confidential and private information. If there is a question about what information is confidential and private, employees should contact Human Resources and/or their supervisor.
IV. Legal Compliance
Employees must comply with all laws, including, but not limited to, criminal, civil, employment, environmental, safety, and all other applicable laws. If an employee believes they have witnessed another individual violate any laws, they must report this to their supervisor and/or Human Resources immediately. Failure to report may result in discipline, up to and including termination.
V. Absenteeism and Tardiness
Employees must follow the schedules established by their supervisor and the College and be punctual when coming to and leaving from work. Work schedules may fluctuate for the needs of the College, and employees are required to abide by those fluctuations. Employees shall report all absences and obtain substitutes in accordance with the Employee Code of Conduct Policy.
VI. Dress Code
All employees must be clean and well-groomed. Clothes must be work-appropriate, and what is appropriate may differ across roles and departments. Therefore, departments may establish a dress code for their department. All clothes must project professionalism and must be clean and in good shape. Clothes that are too revealing, inappropriate, or are in disrepair are prohibited.
Any requests to allow clothing that may be outside an established rule or practice, such as for religious purposes, must be made to the employee’s supervisor and/or Human Resources.
VII. Conflicts of Interest
A. The College expects its employees to discharge their duties in the best interest of the College and the public, avoiding conflict of interest. To that end, no employee shall have any interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect, or engage in any business transaction or professional activity, or incur any obligation of any nature that is, as determined by the College, in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his/her official College responsibilities. An employee’s failure to comply with this policy or failing to disclose a possible conflict of interest to their unit Vice President will be grounds for discipline, up to and including termination.
B. The following conflict of interest standards shall apply to all employees of the College:
- An employee shall not accept or solicit any gift, favor, service, or other benefit that could reasonably be construed to influence the employee's discharge of assigned duties and responsibilities, or that could reasonably be construed as being offered with the intent to influence the employee's official conduct; or that has a value in excess of $50.
- An employee charged with the duty of preparing plans, specifications, or estimates for contracts; awarding or administering contracts; or inspecting or supervising construction shall not solicit or accept any gift, favor, service, or benefit, regardless of its value, from any contractor, subcontractor, or supplier who has a contract with the College; who has performed under a contract with the College during the past year; or who anticipates bidding on such a contract in the future. The preceding sentence is not intended to prevent the acceptance of honorariums for participating in meetings, advertising items, souvenirs of nominal value, or meals furnished at banquets.
- Nothing in these policies shall not prohibit the acceptance of customary gifts or favors from friends and relatives where it is clear that it is the relationship rather than the business of the donor or the position of the employee which is the motivating factor for the gift or favor. However, all such gifts are required to be reported to the President or designee by the employee if the gifts are made by a contractor, subcontractor, or supplier doing business directly or indirectly with the College.
- An employee shall not accept employment or compensation or engage in any business or professional activity that could or does impair the employee's independence of judgment in the performance of assigned duties and responsibilities, or that could require the disclosure of confidential information acquired by reason of the employee's College position.
- An employee shall not make an investment or maintain a financial, business, or professional interest that creates a conflict with the proper discharge of assigned duties and responsibilities or otherwise creates a conflict with the best interest of the College. The preceding sentence shall not prohibit the ownership by an employee of five percent or less of the securities of any publicly traded company.
VIII. Reporting Fraud, Theft, and Property Damage
In compliance with North Carolina General Statute 143B-920, any employee who receives information or evidence of an attempted arson, or arson, damage of, theft from, or theft of, or embezzlement from, or embezzlement of, or misuse of any State-owned, College-owned, grant-funded, donated, or loaned personal property, buildings, or other real property must report this information or evidence as soon as possible, but not later than three days from its receipt, to the reporting employee's immediate supervisor and Central Piedmont Community College Security.
Employees are also required to report possible fraudulent or corrupt activity, and they must cooperate with investigations initiated under these regulations. Failure to report information or evidence within this three-day time period may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Additional information regarding these reporting obligations and procedures may be found in the Reporting Fraud, Damage, or Theft of College Property Procedures.
IX. Notification of Convictions
A. In compliance with the Central Piedmont Employment Postings and Background Checks Procedures, part-time and full-time employees are required to notify their immediate supervisors and the Chief Human Resources Officer (or designee) within five calendar days after any felony criminal conviction, guilty plea, or plea of no contest.
B. In compliance with the Central Piedmont Employment Postings and Background Checks Procedures, any employee who is aware of any felony criminal conviction, guilty plea, or plea of no contest of another part-time or full-time employee shall notify the Chief Human Resources Officer (or designee).
X. Failure to Abide by the Code of Conduct
Failure to abide by the Code of Conduct may result in discipline, up to and including termination.
Approved by the Board of Trustees on May 6, 2020, July 15, 2021