4-1: Workplace Ethics and Code of Conduct – Policy

Associated Procedures

  • Workplace Ethics and Code of Conduct Procedures
  • Policy Overview

    Santa Fe Community College holds all its employees to the highest standards of ethics and conduct. SFCC has established this Code of Conduct which sets forth expectations for all employees.

    Scope and Applicability

    This policy sets forth expectations for all employees. It establishes standards of conduct that the College requires all employees to follow in dealing with other employees, including staff and faculty, students and the greater community.

    Policy Statement

    A. Contributing to a quality learning and working environment and maintaining SFCC’s positive reputation and upholding the college values is the responsibility of every employee. Maintaining a high level of honesty, integrity, civility and respect greatly enhances the College’s opportunity to help students succeed and serve the community. The College appreciates the contributions of each employee as it fulfills its mission.
    B. Anyone who reports a suspected policy violation in good faith will be protected from retaliation.
    C. If an employee violates any provision of this Code of Conduct, disciplinary action may be taken as outlined in Policy 4-2 Corrective Action and Disciplinary Action.


    1. Adverse action: An action taken to try to keep someone from opposing an alleged SFCC policy violation, or from participating in a proceeding related to an alleged policy violation. Adverse actions are prohibited regardless of means, such as social media, email, and in person. Examples of adverse actions include:

    • Employment actions such as termination, refusal to hire, or and denial of promotion.
    • Other actions affecting employment such as threats, unjustified negative evaluations, unjustified negative references, or increased surveillance, and
    • Any other action such as an assault or unfounded civil or criminal charges that are likely to deter reasonable people from pursuing their rights

    Adverse actions do NOT include petty slights and annoyances, such as a negative comment in an otherwise positive or neutral evaluation, “snubbing” a colleague, or negative comments that are justified by an employee’s poor work performance or history.

    2. Civility: Behavior or speech appropriate to civil interactions; politeness, courtesy, consideration; absence of rudeness.
    3. Honesty: The quality or condition of having or displaying strong moral principles, especially with regard to lying, cheating, or stealing; fair dealing; truthfulness; integrity.
    4. Integrity: Strict adherence to a standard of values and conduct.

    5. Protected Activity: For purposes of this policy, means opposing or reporting alleged violations of SFCC policies, participating in proceedings related to claimed policy violations, or requesting accommodations permitted under SFCC policies. Protected activity includes opposition to a practice believed to be in violation of SFCC policies, such as informing a manager or supervisor that an SFCC policy is being violated. Such opposition is protected from retaliation as long as it is based on a reasonable, good-faith belief that the complained of practice violates SFCC policies and the manner of the opposition is reasonable. Examples of protected activity include:

    • Complaining to anyone about alleged SFCC policy violations against oneself or others;
    • Filing or threatening to file a complaint under Policy 4-3 Employee Concerns and Complaints;
    • Requesting a reasonable accommodation allowed under SFCC policy;
    • Refusing to obey an order reasonably believed to be contrary to SFCC policy; or
    • Participation in a proceeding relating to policy violations, which includes filing a complaint under Policy 4-3, cooperating with an internal investigation of an alleged policy violation, or serving as a witness in an investigation or litigation related to a claimed policy violation.

    Examples of activities that are NOT protected activities include actions that interfere with job performances so as to render the employee ineffective or unlawful activities such as threats of violence.

    6. Reputation: The condition, quality, or fact of being highly regarded or esteemed; credit, fame, distinction; respectability, good report.
    7. Retaliation: When an employer takes an adverse action against an employee for participating in a protected activity.
    8. Protection from retaliation: Prohibiting retaliation, intervening early in sensitive areas where retaliation is a particular concern, promptly investigating claims of alleged retaliation, training managers and employees in expectations for not engaging in retaliation, pursuing discipline as needed if retaliation is confirmed.
    9. Respect: Deferential regard or esteem felt or shown towards a person, thing, or quality.
    10. SFCC Values: Student learning, Excellence, People, Social responsibility, and Integrity

    Policy Process

    A. All employees are required to perform their duties in a professional, honest, ethical, and civil manner and behave in a manner that upholds the integrity and reputation of the College. This includes obeying all policies and procedures established by the College and all laws.
    B. It is every employee’s responsibility to be familiar with the policies of the College and related procedures and to ensure compliance with all SFCC policies and procedures.
    C. Questions or concerns about the interpretation of this Code of Conduct, should be discussed with the employee’s supervisor, then with the next level manager if applicable, then with the Office of Human Resources for assistance.
    D. If an employee witnesses any violation of this Policy it is their responsibility to report the incident to their supervisor and the Office of Human Resources. Anyone who reports a suspected policy violation in good faith will be protected from retaliation.
    E. Each section of this Code of Conduct sets out general expectations for all employees. Faculty and contractors may be subject to additional terms according to their contract.
    F. Cross reference information: Specific policies and procedures, and College Values, are available on the college Intranet. They provide details on the expectations in focused areas such as, but not limited to, Violence in the Workplace, Discrimination and Harassment, Dress Code and other areas.

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