HR417 - Employee Conduct and Conflict of Interest
Section: Human Resources
Conflict of Interest: A situation in which a person, because of their position or employment with the College, derives personal benefit from the choices, actions or decisions within their purview.
Employee Conduct: College employees shall be expected to act ethically, disclose potential conflicts of interest, behave in an orderly, courteous and dignified manner, refrain from insubordination, and fulfill assigned job responsibilities.
Conflicts of Interest:
Employees have access to College information and a captive College audience that could provide the employee personal or financial gain if used inappropriately. As a College employee, there is an expectation that employees be cognizant of conflicts of interest that arise during employment at the College. These may be bona fide or perceived conflicts of interests and the employee may need assistance in determining the appropriate course of action. If employees do not recognize those conflicts and/or choose to act despite the conflict then it may be considered unethical behavior. Unethical behavior does have consequences for the employee.
There are categories of conflicts of interest. Those include but are not limited to: outside employment, use or sale of College facilities and equipment, use of position to influence contracting, and acceptance of gifts.
Outside employment or activities:
Generally, excluding charitable fundraising activities, employees will not participate in outside activities or employment wherein the employee uses their position to sell goods or services to students or College employees. Specifically prohibited is an employee accepting money for the sale of textbooks garnered in their employment capacity at the College, or acting as an agent or dealer of textbooks or other supply companies doing business with the College.
There are certain limited and specific situations, where the President may agree to provide approval for solicitations within specific conditions, but may at any time require the solicitations to cease.
The outside employment or activity involves the use of the College’s time, facilities, equipment and supplies, or the use of the College’s badge, uniform, business card, or other evidences of office to give the employee or the employee’s immediate family an advantage or pecuniary benefit, that is not available to the general public.
The outside employment or activity involves the receipt of, or promise of more or other consideration by the employee or a member of the employee’s immediate family from anyone, other than the College for the performance of any act considered part of the employee’s regular duties or during hours which the employee performs service or work for the College.
If a conflict exists then the activity or employment must immediately cease.
Use of position to influence contracting or procurement:
If the outside employment or activity is subject to the official control, inspection, review, audit, or enforcement authority of the employee during the performance of the employee’s duties then the employee must:
- Cease the outside employment or activity; or,
- Publicly disclose the existence of the conflict and refrain from taking any official action or performing any official duty that would detrimentally affect or create a benefit for the outside employment or activity. Official action or official duty includes, but is not limited to, participating in any vote, taking affirmative action to influence any vote, or providing any other official service or thing that is not available generally to members of the public in order to further the interests of the outside employment or activity.
Additionally, if the employee has the ability to influence procurement, employees will not participate in the selection, award, or administration of a contract if there is a real or apparent conflict of interest in the contract. Contract, for purposes of this paragraph, includes a contract where the employee, employee’s immediate family, partner, or a non-College employer of these individuals is a party to the contract.
Acceptance of Gifts:
College employees are subject to the gift law. It is unethical to accept gifts. For exceptions to the gift law policy review Policy MC313 .
Responsibility and Consequences:
It is the responsibility of each employee to disclose any and all potential or bona fide conflicts of interest to their supervisor. Failure to identify, disclose, or act in accordance with this policy may lead to discipline, up to and including termination.
For purposes of this policy the term “immediate family” includes those listed in Policy HR403 - Nepotism .
Iowa Code Section 260C.14(5)
Iowa Code 68B
Procedure HR3320 - Employee Conduct, Appearance and Attendance
Procedure HR3325 - Secondary Employment
Procedure HR3335 - Personal Use of College Property by Employees
Policy MC314 - Intellectual Property
Adopted: July 13, 2020
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