IV.F. Employee Rights and Privileges
IV.F.1. Employee Core Hours
College employees are responsible for work attendance during core hours.
IV.F.1.2. Core Hours by Position
The College’s core work hours are 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The summer core hours may differ. All non-faculty employees, which includes non-teaching faculty for this section’s purposes, are expected to work during the College’s core hours. Non-exempt employees are expected to work 40 hours per week. Supervisors must give advance written approval for excess hours worked by non-exempt employees above 40 in a week, and all such excess hours must be recorded and compensated in accordance with Board Policy. Exempt employees, including non-teaching faculty, are expected to generally follow the 40-hour workweek consistent with non-exempt employees, but hours may vary depending upon assignment. Exempt employees do not receive additional compensation for hours worked above 40.
(b) Faculty Members
Faculty members are expected to meet the contact hour requirements for each course assigned to them. These requirements include both synchronous and asynchronous instruction. To maximize faculty accessibility to students, the College expects teaching faculty to be on campus at least four days per week—preferably five. Scheduled office hours should be reasonably convenient for students. Office hours must be posted and included in course syllabi. Teaching faculty may accomplish certain aspects of their teaching responsibilities off-campus, e.g., course preparation, evaluation of student work, and computer-based instruction. No specific hourly requirement is assigned to teaching faculty. To facilitate calculations of negotiated workloads, a 35-hour faculty workweek is the general guideline. Teaching faculty allot sufficient time within their workweek to fulfill other duties, e.g., institutional service, committee work, and professional development. This policy applies to each term a faculty member is contracted to teach.
IV.F.2. Full-Time Faculty Workload
College faculty are responsible for learning facilitation, institutional service, and professional development.
(a) Annual Assignment means workload assignments that include the fall and spring semesters and, if contracted, the summer session(s). The average number of hours per week may vary if the total meets the annual standard.
(b) Discipline Profile means standard guidelines for learning facilitation assignments that identify by discipline the number of hours and usual number of sections that faculty members teach in each academic year.
(c) Institutional Service means one of three faculty workload components that contemplates collateral responsibilities to support the College in achieving its goals, such as serving on committees, mentoring faculty, recruiting, developing curriculum, and supporting administrative functions.
(d) Learning Facilitation means one of three faculty workload components that includes responsibilities associated with serving students such as: teaching, planning, evaluating, advising, and counseling.
(e) Negotiated Workload means an individualized workload assignment based on Division/College goals.
(f) Professional Development means one of three faculty workload components that may include responsibilities associated with addressing growth and change such as participating in the evaluation process, attending workshops, enrolling in programs of study, and contributing to one’s profession.
(g) Traditional Workload means a workload assignment consisting of responsibilities in all three workload components of the faculty position at the identified percentage of time, and a teaching assignment according to the discipline profile, including a minimum of 24 hours per week devoted to serving students.
IV.F.2.3. Faculty Workload Responsibilities
Workload consists of faculty responsibilities identified in three job components with a recommended (traditional) percentage. They are:
(a) Learning Facilitation - 70%
(b) Institutional Service - 20%
(c) Professional Development - 10%
With permission from the vice president of instruction, Faculty may choose a traditional or negotiated workload with at least 24 hours per week devoted to learning facilitation. Workload calculation is based on a general guideline of a 35-hour week.
IV.F.2.4. Teaching Assignments
The teaching component of the faculty workload follows the applicable discipline profile. Teaching hours may be adjusted for faculty on a negotiated workload with permission from the vice president of instruction.
Competent employee performance is key to the College’s mission of serving students and the community. Employees and supervisors should discuss performance expectations and requirements and should promptly address issues.
(a) Administrative Review means an employee’s request for administrative review of a performance evaluation because the employee disagrees with the evaluation or believes the performance evaluation was conducted in a manner that violates this policy.
(b) Performance Evaluation Form means an electronic or physical form used to give and request employee performance feedback. The employee and supervisor should acknowledge receipt. The employee keeps a copy and a copy is placed in the employee’s personnel file.
IV.F.3.3. Professional and Support Staff Performance Evaluations
Supervisors conduct periodic performance evaluations of each full-time employee under their direct supervision. This evaluation focuses on whether an employee has met the evaluation period’s goals, documents achievements, difficulties, and sets goals for the next evaluation period. The evaluation is conducted in a face-to-face meeting using the Performance Evaluation Form. The evaluated employee is encouraged to provide feedback and offer clarification on strengths and shortcomings discussed in the Performance Evaluation Form. An employee who disagrees with their evaluation may request Administrative Review.
IV.F.3.4. Administrator Performance Review
Each Administrator self-evaluates their performance annually. The Administrator’s supervisor accepts or rejects the Administrator’s self-evaluation. If the supervisor rejects any part of the Administrator’s self-evaluation, the supervisor must provide constructive feedback on how the Administrator can meet the supervisor’s expectations. The College may also periodically solicit employee feedback regarding their experience with various Administrators, for purposes of encouraging more effective self-evaluation and professional development planning. An Administrator who disagrees with their evaluation may request Administrative Review.
IV.F.3.5. Faculty Assessment
Faculty member assessment is a collaborative process between the faculty member and their supervisor. Faculty members self-assess their performance, goals, and effectiveness. Supervisors assess faculty members by reviewing instruction, curriculum development, continuing professional development, and institutional and community service. Supervisors use the information gathered in this assessment process to: (1) share information with the faculty member regarding professional development; (2) improve communication between faculty members and supervisors; (3) encourage excelling faculty members and provide guidance to faculty members needing improvement; and (4) collect information regarding continuing employment and contract renewals. A faculty member who disagrees with their assessment may request Administrative Review.
IV.F.3.6. Addressing Employee Performance
Promptly addressing performance issues fosters individual responsibility and accountability. Employees must know expectations and meet those expectations. Supervisors must efficiently communicate each job’s expectations and address performance issues in a reasonable and timely manner. Performance issues include, but are not limited to, attendance, behavior or conduct, and meeting job required standards. Employees receive opportunities to correct performance issues before discipline is imposed. The College uses a progressive discipline model, developed and maintained by the Office of Human Resources, to address performance issues. Continued performance deficiencies can result in employment termination.
IV.F.4. Additional Employment
The College’s mission requires its employees’ professional endeavors to be focused on their primary jobs at the College. The College may permit additional employment outside of an employee’s primary job if the additional employment does not negatively impact the College’s mission.
Additional Employment means any paid employment or contract work outside of an employee’s primary job at the College.
IV.F.4.3. Additional Employment Restricted
As determined by the employee’s supervisor (college dean for faculty), a full-time employee may not undertake additional employment that (1) directly or indirectly interferes with the employee’s primary job; (2) has been offered because of the employee’s official connection to the College; (3) uses College resources—including but not limited to computers, copiers, materials, equipment, or offices; (4) was not approved in advance and in writing by both the employee’s supervisor and the respective college president, vice chancellor, or other operational officer reporting directly to the Chancellor (“chief area officer”); (5) is expressly limited by the employee’s employment contract (if any) with the College; or (6) violates any principle established in this Board Policy.
When a full-time College employee wishes to engage in additional employment, including self-employment or an additional position within the College, the employee must report the nature and scope of the outside employment to the employee’s immediate supervisor. The employee may not engage in the employment unless and until it is approved in writing by the employee’s supervisor and the applicable college president, vice chancellor, or chief area officer.
IV.F.4.4. Commissioned Peace Officers
College peace officers seeking to work additional jobs are subject to the additional procedures and guidelines prepared by the administrator serving as Police Commissioner or designee.
IV.F.5. College Resources
Resources provided by the College are for the College’s benefit and should be used to advance the College’s mission. No employee shall entrust College property to anyone, including other College employees, to be used for anything other than College purposes.
College property means any object, thing, real estate, vehicle, furniture, equipment, fixture, donation, contract, chattel, or other item belonging to the College or which the College received or spent funds to acquire.
IV.F.5.3. No Personal Use of College Property
(a) Employees shall not use College property for their own benefit or pleasure unless:
Arrangements have been made in advance with the cost center manager for the employee to pay the value of the property’s use; or
(b) The property consists of library books, recreational facilities, or other items generally available to College community members.
Employees may, from time to time, use College telephones, email, and internet for appropriate personal purposes during working hours. Incidental use of the telephone, email, and internet is permissible if the use does not interfere with the employee’s performance of his or her responsibilities and does not incur any cost to the College. If additional costs are incurred by such use, the employee must promptly identify the additional cost and promptly reimburse the College. The College reserves the right to monitor all employee email communication. Employees have no expectation of privacy when using the College’s electronic resources.
IV.F.6. Ethical Standards
All employees must adhere to the highest ethical and professional standards, always conducting official College duties with integrity and honesty and in conformance with applicable law, governing regulations, Board Policy, and the Chancellor’s Procedures. Employees must immediately disclose actual or potential conflicts of interest to the College.
(a) Confidential Information means confidential and or proprietary College information, including but not limited to personally identifiable information of students or employees, to which access is restricted by state or federal law, Board Policy, the Chancellor’s Procedures, or College contracts.
(b) Conflict of Interest means any real or reasonably apparent incompatibility between an employee’s private interests and his or her duty to the College, independent of whether any impropriety has occurred or may occur.
(c) Public Servants means the Chancellor, Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, Presidents, Vice Presidents, Associate Vice Chancellors, and any other College employees of that rank.
IV.F.6.3. Ethical Standards
All employees must:
(a) Protect all confidential information to which they have access. Employees must refuse to engage in any employment, sales, or commercial activity that might reasonably be expected to require or induce the disclosure of confidential information.
(b) Refuse to accept any significant gift, favor, or service that might reasonably tend to, or appear to, influence the discharge of official duties or official conduct. This is especially important for employees who exercise discretion in connection with contracts, purchases, payments, claims, and other College pecuniary transactions; such employees may not solicit, accept, or agree to accept any benefit from any person the employee knows is interested in or likely to become interested in any contract, purchase, payment, claim, or transaction involving the employee’s discretion. Except for cash or negotiable instruments, this prohibition does not apply to items with a fair market value under $50. An employee who receives an unsolicited gift or benefit that he or she may not accept under this policy may donate the gift or benefit to the Lone Star College Foundation. Notwithstanding this prohibition, an employee may attend a vendor-provided or -sponsored seminar or training program under the conditions specified in the Board Policy section on Reporting and Investigating Dishonesty and Fraud.
(c) Avoid any personal business arrangements that might impair independent judgment in the performance of official duties.
(d) Avoid personal investments that could reasonably be expected to create a conflict of interest.
(e) Perform all official duties and exercise all official powers in an impartial manner, free from any solicitation, acceptance, or agreement to accept or give any personal benefit, including a benefit for or to one’s family.
(f) Contribute to creating a positive and constructive environment, which is essential for the success and effectiveness of the workplace and the teaching/learning process, including the responsibility for each employee to:
(1) Subscribe to the judicious use of power vested in his or her position and exercise particular care in relationships of unequal authority, such as that of a supervisor/subordinate or a faculty/student, in which he or she has responsibility for evaluation and decision-making.
(2) Ensure that each employee/student under his or her direction has the opportunity to work/learn in an environment that reflects concern for each individual and respect for each person and is free from harassment or discrimination.
(3) Refuse to permit a family member to enroll in a class or other instructional activity for which the employee has responsibility to evaluate performance.
(4) Take reasonable actions to ensure that appropriate rules regarding plagiarism and/or cheating are in place and are impartially enforced to protect academic integrity.
(5) Treat others with dignity and respect.
(g) Keep accurate and reliable records of all matters for which he or she has responsibility, and maintain all records and funds in an accurate and straightforward manner consistent with the law and the College’s accounting processes.
(h) Provide full and accurate information, and true records of all required documentation, including employee applications, employment verification documents, transcripts, certifications and credentials, criminal history, information regarding prior employment, and any other information which materially relates to the employee’s employment or application for employment with the College.
(i) Sexually intimate or physical relationships between an instructor and a student enrolled in the instructor’s course are prohibited.
Violating this policy may result in employee discipline—including termination.
IV.F.6.4. Disclosure of Interest in Property to be Acquired
Public Servants must disclose any personal legal or equitable interest in real property to be acquired by the College with public funds. Such disclosures are made by filing with the county clerk of the county or counties in which the property is located and the county in which the Public Servant resides, an affidavit containing the following information within ten calendar days before the date on which the property is to be acquired.
(a) Name and title;
(b) A full description of the property;
(c) Nature, type, and amount of interest in the property;
(d) The date when the officer acquired the interest;
(e) A verification swearing to the correctness of the information in the affidavit; and
(f) An acknowledgement of the type required for recording a deed in the records of the county.
A copy of the affidavit must be provided to the College’s General Counsel within ten calendar days before the filing.
IV.F.7. Employee Participation in Political Activity
The College supports employees’ rights of freedom of association and political participation except as limited by law. Employee association and political participation activities may not interfere with an employee’s duties and responsibilities.
Political advertising means any communication that advocates a particular outcome in an election related to either a measure or a candidate. Such communication may be in any written or broadcast form, such as a billboard, a flier, a newsletter, a poster, a television or radio ad, or an internet site. Political advertising does not include communications that factually describe the purposes of a measure if the communication does not advocate passage or defeat of the measure.
IV.F.7.3. Prohibited Acts
(a) College employees may not use any College funds or other resources to finance or otherwise support the candidacy of a person for an office in the legislative, executive, or judicial branch of state or federal government. College money or resources include employee time while working and College-owned or -leased motor vehicles. This prohibition extends to the direct or indirect employment of a person to support the candidacy of a person for an office of state or federal government.
(b) A College employee may not use official authority or influence or permit the use of a program administered by the College to interfere with or affect the result of an election or nomination of a candidate or to achieve any other political purpose. An employee does not interfere with or affect the results of an election or nomination if the employee’s conduct is permitted by a law relating to the employee’s office or employment and is not otherwise unlawful.
(c) A College employee may not coerce, attempt to coerce, command, restrict, attempt to restrict, or prevent private payments, loans, or contributions of anything of value to a person or political organization for a political purpose.
(d) No College employee or Trustee may spend or authorize the spending of public funds, or use of public resources, for political advertising or campaigning. This prohibition does not prevent any official or employee from furnishing to any elected or appointed official factual information describing operations or issues affecting the College or its students, nor does it prevent any official or employee from complying with the Texas Public Information Act.
(e) No College employee or Trustee may knowingly use or authorize the use of an internal mail system for the distribution of political advertising.
IV.F.7.4. Information Resource
An employee may serve as a resource for information or facts as they relate to the impact on the College of any pending legislation or referendum, provided that such service is approved by the Chancellor or designee.
IV.F.7.5. Candidacy for Public Office
College employees may run for election and serve as members of the governing bodies of school districts, cities, towns, or other local governing districts. No employee may conduct campaign activities during business hours unless the employee has requested and received permission to use paid leave. Employees elected to public office may serve in that office as long as 1) no conflict of interest exists, 2) the office does not compensate the employee, and 3) is not otherwise prohibited by law.
IV.F.7.6. Non-Elective State or Federal Office
College employees may hold non-elective offices with boards, commissions, and other state, federal, or nonprofit entities if the holding of such office 1) benefits the College, 2) does not conflict with the employee’s position, and 3) the position is not compensated except reimbursing direct expenses associated with the participation in the meetings.
IV.F.8. Employee Safety and Health
It is the College’s goal to provide a safe and healthy working environment. Employees must participate in safety programs and observe all College health and safety rules, regulations, and instructions.
(a) College Buildings means buildings the College owns or controls.
(b) On-the-job means on College premises, in a College vehicle, or as part of any College activity.
IV.F.8.3. Responsibility for Safety
Employees must perform their work activities safely. Supervisors must ensure that each employee is trained and understands all health and safety requirements relevant to that employee’s particular job.
Each department must satisfy all applicable safety rules and standards imposed by law and must develop safety rules, policies, and regulations for its particular operations. In accordance with appropriate state and federal requirements, the College provides health and safety training programs, including but not limited to facilities inspection, emergency evacuation, hazard classification, and environmental protection.
All on-the-job illnesses, injuries, property damage, and unsafe conditions must be reported immediately to one’s supervisor or to another individual responsible for and capable of addressing the matter reported. Supervisors receiving such a report must immediately contact Office of Human Resources.
Each employee required to drive a College vehicle must possess a valid and appropriate driver’s license. Supervisors must certify that employees under their direction are capable of operating all motorized, self-propelled equipment required in the employees’ work.
IV.F.8.4. Smoking Prohibited
The College prohibits smoking anywhere inside College buildings, including but not limited to offices, classrooms, restrooms, hallways, and elevators.
The College will post no-smoking signs on each College building at each public entrance and at other strategic locations. The College will designate smoking areas at least 25 feet away from College buildings’ entrances.
The College strives to provide an alcohol- and drug-free workplace and learning environment. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance or unauthorized drug, and the unauthorized possession and use of alcohol are prohibited on College premises.
(a) College Premises means buildings or grounds the College owns or controls.
(b) In the workplace or On-the-job means on College premises, in a college vehicle, or as part of any College activity.
(c) Reasonable Suspicion means a conclusion based on personal observation of a specific objective instance or instances of employee conduct. Observation must be corroborated and documented in writing that an employee is unable to satisfactorily perform his or her job duties due to the use of drugs or alcohol. Such inability to perform may include, but is not limited to, a drop in the employee’s performance level or an indication of impaired judgment, reasoning, and level of attention or behavioral change or decreased ability of the senses.
(d) Unauthorized Drugs refers to any drug that cannot be obtained legally or has been illegally obtained, including prescription drugs obtained without a prescription, over-the-counter drugs not used as instructed, and drugs represented to be illegal.
(e) Under the Influence or Impaired means abnormal behavior in the workplace resulting from consuming alcohol or any controlled substance or other drug which may limit an employee’s ability to safely and efficiently perform his or her duties or poses a threat to the safety of the employee, other employees, the public, or property.
IV.F.9.3. Alcoholic Beverages at College Events and Activities
The following guidelines are provided for all College employees:
(a) Employees who serve as student or employee organization sponsors must ensure that any organizational activities conducted on- or off-campus that include alcoholic beverages are conducted in compliance with Texas law, ensuring that:
(1) Persons 20 or under are not served or sold alcoholic beverages;
(2) Excessive and/or rapid consumption of alcoholic beverages is discouraged; and
(3) Alcoholic beverages are not used as prizes or awards in connection with sponsored events or activities.
(b) The public display of alcoholic-beverage advertising or promotion in College buildings or any other College premises is prohibited.
(c) Alcoholic-beverage advertisements or promotions shall not appear in College-controlled or -affiliated publications, including the College’s affiliated websites.
(d) Advertising of establishments that sell alcohol (e.g., grocery stores, breweries, etc.) may appear in various College publications if the advertisements:
(1) Exclude brand names, logos, prices, visual images, or verbal phrases that promote or encourage alcoholic beverage consumption;
(2) Do not encourage any form of alcohol abuse, such as ads that encourage rapid and excessive alcohol consumption; and
(3) Includes a statement about responsible drinking.
IV.F.9.4. Employee Who Appears to be Under the Influence on the Job
Any employee whose on-the-job conduct provides a reasonable suspicion that the employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol may be questioned by the employee’s supervisor about the influence of drugs or alcohol on the employee’s conduct. A supervisor should contact the Office of Human Resources when the supervisor has a reasonable suspicion that an employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol before requiring the employee to leave the College or taking other disciplinary action.
A College employee may be required to leave the workplace if the employee admits to being under the influence of drugs or alcohol and the College community’s safety is threatened, the effects are disruptive to the work or learning environment, or the employee’s ability to perform his or her job is impacted. The supervisor must take reasonable action to prevent the employee from driving.
If the employee denies that he or she is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, yet the conduct provides reasonable suspicion to believe that he or she is, the employee may be required by the supervisor, after consultation with an administrator and the Office of Human Resources, to report to a designated medical facility for drug or alcohol testing. Refusal to consent to a required medical test or a drug or alcohol screening violates this policy.
An employee is subject to discipline, up to and including termination, for violating this policy. Discipline may include an opportunity to complete an appropriate rehabilitation or therapy program, at the employee’s sole expense, before returning to work or before disciplinary action is imposed.
IV.F.9.5. Report of Conviction for Drug-Related Offense
An employee shall notify their supervisor of any conviction for a drug-related offense no later than five days after such conviction. Employees who drive College-owned or -leased vehicles must notify their supervisor of any alcohol-related driving convictions no later than five days after such conviction. Failure to give this notification may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. A supervisor so notified by an employee should seek advice from the Office of Human Resources before responding to the information.
Within ten days of receiving notice that an employee engaged in the performance of a federal contract was convicted for a drug-related offense occurring in the workplace, the College must provide conviction information to any relevant federal contracting agency.
Within 30 days of receiving notice of an employee conviction for any drug-related offense occurring in the workplace, the College shall either (1) take appropriate personnel action against the employee, up to and including termination; or (2) require the employee to participate satisfactorily in a drug and alcohol abuse assistance or rehabilitation program.
IV.F.9.6. Assistance to Employees Regarding Drug or Alcohol Abuse
Sick leave, vacation leave, and compensatory time may be used during the time that an employee participates in a drug and alcohol abuse assistance or rehabilitation program. Leave without pay may be allowed, at the College’s discretion, for employees with insufficient accrued paid leave.
IV.F.9.7. Possession by Police
Any police personnel required to be in possession of alcohol or drugs in the course and scope of their employment are exempt from provisions of this policy pertaining to possession of alcohol or drugs in the workplace. The College’s Police Department has procedures for these circumstances.
IV.F.9.8. Off-Duty Conduct
A College employee may be disciplined, up to and including termination, for conduct outside the workplace if that conduct has a significant negative impact on College operations or on the employee’s ability to perform his or her job duties.