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Code of Conduct (policy)

Office of Origin:  Human Resources
Responsibility:  Executive Director, Human Resources 
Original Date Adopted:  03-07-2023
Date Reviewed:  03-07-2023
Last Date Approved:  03-07-2023 

This Code of Conduct establishes expectations for work conduct by those acting on behalf of Lake Michigan College (the “College”), including all employees, contracted employees, volunteers, and representatives acting as agents of the College. Employees under a collective bargaining agreement, vendors, and contractors may be subject to additional terms according to their contract.

This is not an attempt to define specifically what one should and should not do, but to communicate expectations of proper work conduct and what conduct the College values. 

It is an expectation that this Code of Conduct serves as the basis on which employees make decisions related to the best interests of themselves, their co-workers, and the College. Those acting on behalf of the College have a general duty to conduct themselves in a manner that will maintain and strengthen student, co-worker, and public respect, trust, and confidence in the integrity of the College and take no actions incompatible with their obligations to the College.

This policy requires that all employees to follow the Code of Conduct in dealing with the other employees, students, guests, vendors, contractors, and while conducting College business, regardless of work location.

Questions or concerns about interpretation of this Code of Conduct should be discussed the Human Resources Department (“HR”.).

The Code of Conduct

  • Behavior must uphold the College’s GUIDING PRINCIPLES.
  • Duties are to be performed with common sense, skill, and good judgment and in a reliable, trustworthy, and ethical manner while treating others with respect, civility, and decency.
  • College policies and local, State, and Federal laws must be adhered to. It is every employee’s responsibility to be familiar with College policies and to comply. 

Examples of Unacceptable Conduct

The following are examples of conduct that is generally considered unacceptable. This list is not all-inclusive as, obviously, not every type of misconduct can be listed. There are additional types of conduct serious enough to warrant immediate corrective discipline up to and including termination of employment.    

  • Violating a Guiding Principle
  • Violating a criminal law on College premises
  • Violating a law that results in negative publicity for the College or that could reasonably be construed to indicate that the employee no longer has the credibility to successfully perform the job duties of their position
  • Conduct, behavior, or a misdemeanor or felony conviction that could be reasonably construed to indicate that continued employment would constitute a threat or hazard to others, the College, its property, or its reputation
  • Dishonest, unprofessional, or otherwise inappropriate behavior 
  • Failure to perform reasonable duties as assigned 
  • Falsely stating or misrepresenting affiliation with a person or entity 
  • Falsification of any claim of inappropriate conduct 
  • Illegal activity while conducting College business, regardless of location 
  • Impersonation of a person or entity, including a College employee
  • Insubordination, refusal, or repeated failure to follow lawful instructions of a supervisor
  • Intentional falsification of College documentation (e.g., employment application, payroll or time reporting records, check requests, expense reports, student or employee files or related paperwork, contracts, etc.)
  • Interfering with the performance of another employee
  • Negligence, carelessness, or recklessness that results in financial loss to the College, including contributing to injury of a person or damage to property
  • Performing work of a personal nature during working time
  • Physical violence, fighting, or verbal or physical intimidation or harassment of another while at a College location or while conducting College business, regardless of location
  • Providing unauthorized information to outside parties
  • Purporting to represent the College without explicit authorization 
  • Release of confidential College information or personal information of a student, volunteer, applicant, or employee 
  • Reporting to work in an unsafe condition, including being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
  • Representation of personal opinions as those of the College
  • Rudeness to another while at a College location or while conducting College business, regardless of location
  • Theft or fraud (attempted or actual) or complicity in theft or fraud (attempted or actual)
  • Unauthorized copying or accessing of information 
  • Vandalism (attempted or actual) or unauthorized removal or destruction of property from College premises (attempted or actual)
  • Willful or careless destruction of or damage to College property or to property of another while at a College location or while conducting College business, regardless of location

Seeking Guidance

Those acting on behalf of the College must seek appropriate guidance when faced with ethical dilemmas. For information related to ethical dilemmas, contact HR.

Reporting a Suspected Violation

If an employee witnesses any violation of this policy, it is their responsibility to report the incident to their supervisor and HR.

Protection from Retaliation

Anyone who reports a suspected policy violation in good faith will be protected from retaliation. 
“Retaliation” is defined as when an adverse action is taken against an employee for participating in a protected activity.

An “adverse action” is defined as an action taken to try to keep someone from opposing an alleged College policy violation, or from participating in a proceeding related to an alleged policy violation. 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.

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

To protect against retaliation, the College will intervene early in sensitive areas where retaliation may be a particular concern, promptly investigate claims of alleged retaliation, train managers and employees in expectations for not engaging in retaliation, and pursue discipline as needed if retaliation is confirmed.

Violations of the Code of Conduct

If an employee violates a provision of this Code of Conduct, disciplinary action may be taken, up to and including termination, in the College's sole discretion. The College, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to determine when an employee’s behavior is unacceptable and when and what type of disciplinary action is necessary under a given circumstance, subject to policy and collective bargaining agreements. Similarly, employees may be subject to discipline for poor performance and violation of other policies and procedures. The type of disciplinary action that may be imposed may vary depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding each case. The College may skip or repeat certain disciplinary steps depending on the circumstances of each situation. Violation of any College policy or procedure may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. This policy in no way creates a contract of employment, alters the at-will relationship, or otherwise obligates the College to follow any particular disciplinary procedure.


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