Conduct and Performance

HR handbook conduct FULLUnacceptable Conduct

Fairleigh Dickinson University is committed to providing a safe and pleasant work environment for all employees, an effort that requires the cooperation of all members of the University Community. Employees are expected to accept responsibility for maintaining a high degree of personal integrity and conduct. The unacceptable behaviors listed below are a guideline and are not all-inclusive. Employees who engage in any of the behaviors listed below will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

  • Dishonesty of any kind including theft or misappropriation of money, supplies, or merchandise. Falsification of time records.
  • Misappropriation or misuse of University assets or funds.
  • Unauthorized use and/or distribution of University financial data.
  • Unauthorized use of University facilities and/or vehicles for storage and/or movement of personal belongings.
  • Violation of University safety and security procedures.
  • Failure to report work-related accidents and injuries immediately.
  • Violation of University Drug and Alcohol Policy.
  • Reporting to work under the influence of intoxicants, illegal substances or non-prescription drugs.
  • Violation of Harassment and/or Discrimination Policies.
  • Willful destruction, defacement or the removal of University property and/or that of other employees.
  • Discourtesy or rudeness towards University constituencies or the general public.
  • Conduct or behavior that would bring discredit to the University, or discredit to the reputation of another employee.
  • Violation of timekeeping procedures.
  • Insubordination or refusal, without justifiable cause, to comply with instructions from a supervisor.
  • Disorderly conduct, abusive language, fighting or gambling on University premises (including parking lots) or at University sponsored events off campus.
  • Smoking in any place other than an authorized area.
  • Falsifying or knowingly misrepresenting University paperwork/documents.
  • Possession of firearms or other dangerous weapons on University premises (including parking lots).
  • Violation of University policies and or procedures.

Smoking

Smoking is not permitted in any University Office or Academic Building.

Drugs and Alcohol

Fairleigh Dickinson University is committed to providing an alcohol-and drug-free workplace. Workplace is defined as University property (including parking lots) and any other location where University employees are working (e.g., those where University Teams go to play their away games.) Given the student-centered environment in which we work, the University has a "no tolerance" policy on alcohol and drug abuse by our employees. Fairleigh Dickinson University supports and complies with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations in this regard.

The unlawful possession, manufacturing, use or distribution of illegal substances or drugs (not prescribed by a physician) is prohibited on University property (including parking lots) and any other sites where employees are working. Reporting to work while under the influence of alcohol, illegal substances or drugs is prohibited. Based on reasonable suspicion, an employee who is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or any illegal drug may be directed to submit to a drug screen and/or breath test for alcohol.

Fairleigh Dickinson University reserves the right to drug test an employee if a work- related accident and/or injury occurs.

Fairleigh Dickinson University reserves the right to search and inspect its facilities and properties to ensure compliance with an alcohol, and drug-free workplace.

Information about drug and alcohol counseling and network treatment centers is available through our health care insurance carrier.

Workplace Violence

Fairleigh Dickinson University will not tolerate any workplace acts or threats of physical violence, including but not limited to intimidation, harassment and/or coercion that involve or affect the University or its employees.

Employees who are aware of any acts of physical violence or threats are encouraged to report this information to their supervisor or the Human Resources Department.

Sexual Harassment

Fairleigh Dickinson University condemns any acts that create the potential for sexual harassment. Sexual harassment in the workplace or in any other work-related setting is unlawful and will not be tolerated.

Definition of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is defined as "unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment."

Fairleigh Dickinson University is committed to maintaining a discrimination-free academic and work environment and no act of sexual harassment by any student, faculty, administrator or staff will be tolerated. Sexual harassment undermines the integrity of academic and employment relationships, undermines morale and can be destructive to its victims and their associates. The University views such behavior as unprofessional and unacceptable, and all employees, students or associates of this University are strictly prohibited from engaging in conduct that violates the Sexual Harassment Policy. This policy applies to behavior on University campuses and at University-controlled events off University property. This Policy is available in the Human Resources Department or on the Fairleigh Dickinson University Web site.

Claims of sexual harassment should be brought immediately to the attention of the supervisor, the intake officer on the campus, or to the sexual harassment investigating officer in the Human Resources Department. Names and work locations of the intake officers and the sexual harassment investigating officer appear in the Sexual Harassment Policy.

Fairleigh Dickinson University takes all allegations of sexual harassment seriously, and will investigate all complaints in a fair and expeditious manner. The investigation will be conducted thoroughly and discreetly. Violations of this policy will not be tolerated and may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Consensual Relations Policy

The object of this policy is to ensure that the University is kept free of bias or favoritism, or their perception. All members of the University community should be aware that when two employees or an employee and a student engage in a consensual sexual or a romantic relationship that coexists with supervisory or academic authority as defined in the policy, there is created an actual or apparent conflict of interest as well as an opportunity for exploitation, favoritism or bias. In this manner, those relationships can undermine such important values as respect and trust among members of the University community and the integrity of the institution. Furthermore, the power potential inhering in the supervisory or evaluative role makes suspect any claim that the relationship is voluntary.

Consensual sexual or romantic relationships that undermine the values described above are therefore inconsistent with University policy. When such a relationship develops between members of the University community that is accompanied by a supervisory or evaluative role, the persons in the relationships

  • should themselves terminate the sexual/romantic or the supervisory/evaluative aspects of the relationship forthwith or
  • if they find that impossible, they must immediately notify the supervisor of the involved employee so that appropriate and effective action can be taken to resolve the inconsistency with this policy.

All employees are directed to the full Consensual Relations Policy that is in the Human Resources Department and on the Fairleigh Dickinson University Web site. (www.fdu.edu)

Performance Reviews

Every non-faculty employee receives a formal, periodic Performance Review from his or her supervisor. The purpose of the review is to have a discussion between employee and supervisor on job performance. The performance review is not automatically linked to wage/salary changes.

This is an opportunity to discuss privately with your supervisor any areas of your performance where you have been successful and areas that need improvement. If it is mutually agreed that additional training is required in some job requirements, both individuals will develop a plan during the review process.

Performance Improvements

Coaching and Feedback

In some instances, a performance problem can be resolved informally between the employee and supervisor by the latter providing feedback and coaching in order to give the employee guidance on how to improve performance. After providing feedback and coaching, if there is no significant improvement, the supervisor will contact the Human Resources Department to discuss the best approach to address the problem. One approach that the Human Resources Department has found to be useful is described below.

Written Warning and Performance Plan

If after coaching and feedback, performance does not improve to acceptable standards, or if there are additional violations of University practices, rules, or standards of conduct, the supervisor and affected employee will meet again to discuss the problem and attempt to arrive at a workable solution. The supervisor will once again clearly explain the problem, make it clear to the employee what he or she must do to correct the problem and agree to provide reasonable help the employee requests. At or shortly after the meeting, the supervisor will issue a Written Warning documenting the discussion that took place at the meeting and the agreed-upon, workable solution. Another meeting will be scheduled allowing a reasonable period of time for the affected employee to correct the problem.

Final Warning

At the time of the meeting if the problem has not been solved, the supervisor will once again outline the problem and the course of action the employee must follow to correct the problem and agree to provide the reasonable help requested. The supervisor will also inform the employee that if the problem is not solved by the time the final meeting takes place, he or she will be terminated. The supervisor allowing a reasonable period of time for the affected employee to correct the problem schedules a final meeting time.

Suspension Pending Final Investigation

The purpose of progressive discipline is to provide an opportunity for employees to take corrective action, which eliminates undesirable performance. However, in the event of serious violations or misconduct, the University reserves the rights to discipline, terminate or suspend the employee pending an investigation of the situation.

The University is an at-will employer and in circumstances deemed appropriate by the employer, progressive disciplinary steps may not always be appropriate or provided.

Termination

Non-union, non-faculty employees whose employment has been involuntarily terminated and who believe that the termination was unjust may follow the procedures of the Resolution Process.

Resignation

Should you decide to leave Fairleigh Dickinson University, please talk it over with your supervisor first. It is an important decision, and there may be factors you may not have considered.

We request that you give us a minimum of two weeks notice and a letter of resignation. You are expected to work as scheduled during the advance notice period. This is a courtesy that will allow your supervisor time to adjust departmental work schedules and secure a replacement.

Job Elimination

For good business reasons, it may become necessary to restructure a department or a division and this action may result in the elimination of one or more jobs. Affected employees whose jobs are eliminated will receive the University's Job Elimination Benefits:

  1. Thirty calendar days paid notice. Employee may or may not be required to work during the notice period.
  2. Two weeks salary continuation pay for every full year of continuous service to a maximum of twelve weeks will be offered to the employee in addition to the further benefits described below, in exchange for a release of all claims the employee could assert against the University.
  3. Continued benefits except short, and long-term disability during the salary continuation period.
  4. Pay for University observed holidays that occur during the salary continuation period.
  5. Continuation of Employee Tuition Grant for enrolled and attending employee and eligible family members through the current academic year and three more academic years or graduation from the program, whichever comes first. Enrollment must be continuous.
  6. Consideration for any posted job vacancy.

Jobs that are moved to another University location are not considered to have been eliminated. Individuals who choose not to work at the new location will be considered to have voluntarily resigned and are not eligible to receive Job Elimination Benefits.

Exit Interview

After submitting your resignation, a voluntary exit interview may be conducted. If notification of your termination does not reach the Human Resources Department in advance of your last day of work and you wish to have an exit interview, contact the Human Resources Department. This is your opportunity to discuss any problems you may have experienced during your employment and to discuss those areas that worked well. This interview is confidential and allows you to make suggestions for improvement in your department and/or the University. You also will have the opportunity to discuss your rights to continue medical coverage according to COBRA law and life insurance conversion and to ask any questions regarding your retirement account.

Termination of Health Care Coverage

In accordance with COBRA legislation, within one month of the termination date, employees who have previously been covered by group health care plans will receive a letter from the human resources staff informing them of their right to continue coverage for themselves and their covered dependents

Return of University Property

Any University property issued to you, such as but not limited to computer equipment, cellular telephones, keys, credit card, employee identification cards, parking decals and uniforms, must be returned to your supervisor at the time of termination. You are responsible for payment for any property lost, damaged or not returned. In most cases this amount will be deducted from your last paycheck or job elimination benefits, as permitted by law.

Re-employment

Former full-time employees who were employed in a regular position for two or more years and who resigned in good standing, may be considered for re-employment provided their qualifications are suitable for a vacant position. Former University employees are subject to all pre-employment policies and procedures. The University does not bridge service. In certain instances, union members who are rehired will retain their original date of hire (see agreement).  

Re-instatement of Benefits

Re-instatement of benefits will occur if re-employment occurs within six months of the termination date. A reinstatement means the individual will be eligible to enroll in the following benefits on the first day of the month following re-instatement:

  • medical/dental/vision plan
  • University Retirement Plan (individual who worked 23 months or less may not be eligible)
  • Vacation entitlement will be established based on the re-instatement date, adjusted by the full months of the absence.

A rehire will occur if re-employment occurs after six months from the date of termination. For union members, the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, if any, will apply.

  • the person returns to work with a new date of hire and new effective dates for all University Benefit Programs. All waiting periods must be re-satisfied for benefits and entitlements, except for the retirement plan.
  • rules regarding a break-in-service are contained in the University’s Retirement Plan document.

Former employees who are re-employed by the University, who have not terminated their retirement accounts with T.I.A.A., are eligible to resume participation in the plan immediately. For all other benefits, former employees are required to fulfill the same waiting periods as new employees.

Post employment Inquiries

Fairleigh Dickinson University will only respond to written requests to verify employment. The only information that will be provided is date of hire, date of termination, and position held while employed. All verifications are to be referred to the Human Resources Department.