1.1 The Board of Trustees (BOT) authorizes the Chancellor, in consultation with the Administrative Board, to establish employee relations policies (exclusive of labor relations) that comply with state and federal legislation and that seek to maximize the effectiveness of USNH Human Resources.
2.1 Goal. USNH views alcoholism and drug addiction as highly complex diseases that, once they have been diagnosed, can be addressed by appropriate treatment, and require the same consideration given to employees in cases of other illnesses. Because USNH values its employees, its only purpose in involving itself in the complex areas of alcoholism and drug addiction is to assist the employee in seeking treatment and returning to a state of effectiveness and productivity. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to assist with such illnesses. Every case is handled with the utmost confidentiality.
2.2 Commitment & Responsibilities. USNH institutions shall establish guidelines for the use of alcohol and controlled substances during work hours in conformance with the following general policy: using, possessing, or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages, amphetamine-type drugs, barbiturate-type drugs, cannabis-type drugs, Phencyclidine, Methaqualone, Benzodiazepines, cocaine-type drugs, morphine-type drugs, hallucinogenic drugs, or any controlled drugs as provided in RSA 318-B during work hours by USNH employees is prohibited.
2.2.1 The use of prescription drugs will be permitted by policy in strict accordance with the prescription of a licensed health care professional.
2.2.2 Where the use of alcohol is permitted by policy, safety considerations and concern for the image of the institution require that discretion be exercised in the use of alcoholic beverages either on or away from USNH property.
2.2.3 In situations where the use of certain types of prescription and non-prescription medication may negatively affect mental concentration or coordination (such as antihistamines or "mood altering" drugs), safety considerations may require temporary reassignment of duties and responsibilities.
2.2.4 Supervisors who have documented an employee’s deficient or deteriorating performance and believe such performance to be related to the use of alcohol or drugs must discuss options for handling the problem with HR or other official designated by the campus Chief Executive Officer. Supervisors shall not engage in diagnosis or establishing treatment plans for employees. The supervisor may meet with the employee and make a referral to the EAP (see USY V.D.5.2).
2.2.5 The decision to undertake treatment through qualified sources is the responsibility of the individual employee. The individual's employment status will in no way be affected by the decision to seek treatment. They will continue to be covered by applicable policies. If work performance continues to be deficient, a performance review will be conducted within the framework of USNH policy to allow for appropriate determination concerning the individual's future employment status. Such performance reviews will consider evidence of poor work performance, frequent absences, neglect of duties and responsibilities, drastically altered moods, physical or verbal abuse, and deterioration of working relationships.
2.3 Legal Requirements. In accordance with the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 (Pub. L. No. 100-690, Title V, Subtitle D) employees are prohibited from the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of any controlled substance in the workplace. Each USNH institution will: (a) make a good faith effort to maintain a drug free workplace, (b) conduct a biennial review of its program to determine effectiveness, (c) implement changes to the program if needed, and (d) ensure that disciplinary sanctions are enforced. Each USNH institution will take the following actions within 30 days upon notification of an employee conviction: (1) take appropriate personnel action against a convicted employee up to and including termination; (2) place a notice of the drug conviction in the employee's personnel file in accordance with normal disciplinary policy procedures; (3) require the convicted employee to utilize the services of the EAP and, (4) require the convicted employee to successfully complete an approved drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program recommended by the EAP as a condition of continued employment.
2.3.1 USNH institutions will notify, in writing, employees working on a grant that as a condition of employment they will:
22.214.171.124 Abide by the terms of the USNH policy, and
126.96.36.199 Notify HR of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five days after the conviction.
2.3.2 USNH institutions will notify the granting agency within ten days after receiving notice from the employee or otherwise receiving notice of the conviction.
2.3.3 Violations. In the event that an employee is found to be acting against policy as stated above, they will be subject to appropriate action, which may include a warning, reprimand, suspension, referral to counseling or EAP, or discharge.
2.4 USNH institutions may establish an ongoing drug/alcohol free awareness that informs employees of:
2.4.1 The dangers of drug/alcohol abuse and the health risks associated with that abuse,
2.4.2 The policy of maintaining a drug/alcohol free workplace,
2.4.3 Any available drug counseling, rehabilitation program or an EAP, and
2.5 Employee Alcohol and Controlled Substance Testing under U.S. Department of Transportation Agency Regulations Implementing the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, 49 CFR Part 40, Part 382, and Part 655 as amended.
2.5.1 Purpose. USNH institutions shall comply with all applicable regulations of agencies of the U.S. Department of Transportation as they relate to alcohol and controlled substance testing. Such testing is mandated for employees required to have a commercial driver's license and/or perform safety sensitive function as defined by 49 CFR Part 40 and Part 655 as amended. For reference see:
188.8.131.52 49 CFR § 40 - Office of the Secretary of Transportation: "Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs".
184.108.40.206 49 CFR § 655 – Federal Transit Administration: "Prevention of Alcohol Misuse and Prohibited Drug Use in Transit Operations".
220.127.116.11 49 CFR § 382 – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations: "Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing".
18.104.22.168 USNH institutions will contract with external agencies to conduct all testing as mandated by and in accordance with the federal regulations referenced in USY V.D.2.5.
2.5.3 Penalties for Violations of Regulations. USNH institutions shall impose such penalties as required by the regulations referenced in USY V.D.2.5 on employees whose test results indicate prohibited alcohol and/or controlled substance concentrations. Any disciplinary actions taken under this section shall be in conformance with USY V.C.8.
2.5.4 Compliance. USNH institutions shall appoint an officer responsible for compliance with the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 and regulations promulgated for its implementation unless the USNH institution does not employ personnel required to have a commercial driver's license. These officers shall be responsible for:
22.214.171.124 Developing policy and procedures to assure compliance;
126.96.36.199 Generating and making available materials explaining the federal regulations and the USNH policies and procedures designed to achieve compliance; and
3.1 A safe and secure environment is a fundamental prerequisite for fulfilling USNH’s mission of teaching, research and public service. Every employee is a member of the USNH community and an integral participant in the mission of teaching and research. As such, each employee is expected to exhibit a high degree of professionalism and personal integrity at all times. No member of the USNH community may discriminate against any employee or student (see USY V.D.3.5) or engage in conduct that is harmful or inhibits an employee from performing job responsibilities or fully participating in the workplace. The role of prevention is to be proactive, so employees feel safe. Various components of prevention include hiring practices, interpersonal relations, safety training, and training in issues and recognition of safety, the workplace environment, workplace violence, effective policies and disciplinary procedures (see USY V.C.8.2). Employees have a right to work in safe surroundings, and the institutions of the USNH are strongly committed to providing a safe work environment. Institutional responsibilities include the following:
3.1.1 Communicate safety policy, programs and reporting structure to all employees.
3.1.2 Encourage employee awareness of safety and health risks.
3.1.3 Encourage employees to report observed hazards, violations of policy or risks of potential workplace violence or harmful work environment they observe.
3.1.4 Comply with N.H. Workers' Compensation Law, RSA 281-A.
3.2 Toxic Substances. In accordance with RSA 277-A, the Worker's Right-to-Know Act, employees have the right to know details concerning any toxic substance to which they are exposed in the workplace, and USNH has the duty to keep on file and make available material safety data sheets for each toxic substance to which its employees may be exposed. If such information is not made available within five working days from the date of request, an employee who has requested information about toxic substances may refuse to work with or in proximity to that substance. Until the information is available the employee's supervisor will assign other duties.
3.2.1 USNH institutions have the responsibility to post notices warning employees of the toxic substances to which they may be exposed and to reference the availability of material safety data sheets. RSA 277-A also requires USNH institutions to conduct education and training for all employees routinely exposed to toxic substances.
3.2.2 No employee, prospective employee, or employee representative may be disciplined or discriminated against for filing a complaint or instituting any proceedings relating to their rights under the Worker's Right-to-Know Act. Any employee who perceives that such action has been taken may use the grievance procedure (USY V.D.12) to seek redress and/or file a complaint with the NH Commission of Labor.
3.3 Occupational Accidents/Injuries/Illness.
3.3.1 Employment Related. Employees who are injured or develop an occupational related illness in the course of employment with USNH must report the incident and should be examined and/or treated by a health care facility unless immediate hospitalization is required. It is the responsibility of the employee’s department head to see that such examinations and/or treatment take place. An Employer's First Report of Injury/Illness form must be completed and filed with the proper department responsible for Workers' Compensation (see USY V.A.3.2).
188.8.131.52 USNH institutions will designate a department or individual to develop, implement and maintain policies and procedures to ensure compliance with this policy and other applicable federal and state statutes.
184.108.40.206 Reporting. Within 24 hours the department head, supervisor or campus official specifically designated to investigate the cause and extent of an accident/illness must make a written report to the office responsible for Workers' Compensation. Written statements by any witnesses are also required.
220.127.116.11 Medical Attention. Any employee consulting an outside physician or entering a hospital for treatment of a condition resulting from an injury/illness received while doing work for USNH must notify in writing the designated campus official responsible for complying with the Workers' Compensation policy. Medical evaluation information received by the employee must be provided for the purpose of determining eligibility for Workers' Compensation and the provisions of the Americans with Disability Act.
18.104.22.168 Return to Work. An employee who has been absent from work due to an injury received in the course of their work for USNH must be examined by a medical care professional and must submit a written report from such medical care professional before their return to work. USNH institutions will make reasonable accommodations in accordance with the guidelines set forth in the Americans with Disability Act, if requested.
3.4 Injuries to students, guests and visitors. Students, guests, and visitors who are injured on USNH property should seek appropriate medical attention and inform the designated official responsible for safety and/or the campus security office of an accident, illness/injury as soon as possible.
3.4.1 Reporting. A written report of the accident, illness/injury should be submitted within 24 hours to the appropriate official. The report should be completed and filed before leaving the grounds unless the illness/injury required immediate hospitalization. Also, within 24 hours the official specifically designated to investigate the cause and extent of the accident, illness/injury should make a written report. Written statements by any witnesses should also be included.
3.5 Discriminatory Harassment.
3.5.1 Intent. All employees and students have a right to learn and work in a safe environment free of discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment. It is the policy of USNH that no member of the USNH community may sexually harass another. The intent of this policy is to foster behavior that results in a learning and working environment free of discrimination and harassment.
3.5.2 Definition of discriminatory harassment. (See USY V.D.5.3 for specific sexual harassment definitions.) In accordance with applicable USNH policy, State and Federal regulations, discriminatory harassment is any severe or pervasive conduct directed to an individual or group of individuals because of sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, religion, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, personal appearance, veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected characteristic such that:
22.214.171.124 The conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual's work performance or creating a hostile, intimidating, or offensive working and/or academic environment.
126.96.36.199 Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment and/or academic decisions affecting that individual.
188.8.131.52 Submission to the conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment and/or academic work.
184.108.40.206 Such conduct interferes with an individual's ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity.
220.127.116.11 Examples of conduct which may, if continued or repeated, constitute discriminatory harassment may include, but are not limited to: unwanted physical contact; use of epithets, inappropriate jokes, or comments, or innuendos, obscene or harassing telephone calls, emails, letters, or other forms of communication; or any form of conduct that creates a hostile learning and/or working environment, such as those that affect promotion, demotion, wage and salary increases, and/or work assignments.
3.5.3 Definition of sexual harassment. Whether intended or not, sexual harassment is illegal under both state and Federal law. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
18.104.22.168 Such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual's work performance or creating a hostile or offensive working or academic environment.
22.214.171.124 Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting that individual.
126.96.36.199 Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or academic work. (Section 1604.11 of the EEOC's Guidelines on Sex Discrimination.)
188.8.131.52 Examples of conduct which may, if continued or repeated, constitute sexual harassment are: unwelcome sexual propositions; graphic comments about a person's body; sexually suggestive objects or pictures in the workplace; derogatory or sexually explicit statements about an actual or supposed sexual relationship; unwelcome touching, patting, pinching or leering or derogatory gender-based humor or any form of conduct that creates a hostile learning and/or working environment, such as those that affect promotion, demotion, wage and salary increases, and/or work assignments.
3.5.4 Procedure for implementation of policy. The component institutions of USNH shall establish a process for implementation of discriminatory harassment policy including sexual harassment. The process should be similar to the process for implementation of any other policy and shall include the following provisions:
184.108.40.206 Dissemination. The institutional process shall provide for the dissemination of information regarding USNH policy on discriminatory harassment including how to obtain more information and how to file a complaint.
220.127.116.11 Training. The institutional process shall provide for periodic training for supervisors and others in positions of academic or administrative responsibility regarding the existence and interpretation of discriminatory harassment policy.
18.104.22.168 Records and reports. The institutional process shall provide a methodology for recording and reporting on discriminatory harassment complaints. Sexual harassment complaints and the identity of individuals involved will be kept confidential where and to the extent legally appropriate (see also USY V.D.5.5.4).
3.5.5 Establishment of review of policy violations/complaints. Each institution shall maintain a process for review of accusations and complaints of policy violation. Such review shall be similar to the process for any other policy violation review with the following additions:
22.214.171.124 The process for review shall include multiple "in-take" points so that the complainant may bring a complaint and/or discussion about the issue with a person other than the alleged harasser. Normally, the employee will be able to select from one of several offices or individuals for assistance.
126.96.36.199 The process for review shall include a full and fair investigation procedure. The breadth and depth of the investigation may be as simple as a single interview or may include multiple interviews and written reports as appropriate to the case and the nature of the complaint. Care will be given to both a thorough review and to protection of the rights of the parties involved.
188.8.131.52 After an investigation, the process shall include a written determination by the appropriate administrative authority that (a) the policy was not violated, or (b) that the issue was resolved to the satisfaction of the parties involved, or (c) that there is sufficient evidence of a policy violation to warrant further action, or (d) that there was insufficient evidence to conclude that a policy was violated.
184.108.40.206 Confidentiality shall be maintained where legally and reasonably appropriate. Confidentiality cannot be unconditionally guaranteed under any circumstances. The institution has a responsibility to act where it has reason to know of a policy violation.
220.127.116.11 USNH institutions shall be responsible for enforcement of sexual harassment policy and to make a determination of appropriate corrective action where violations have occurred.
18.104.22.168 USNH employees shall comply with institutional, USNH and Board of Trustees' policy.
22.214.171.124 Appropriate discipline or corrective actions shall include discipline and dismissal as described in policies USY V.C.8 and 9 as well as corrective actions such as attendance at sexual harassment training, assignment of reading material, written statements or apology and/or acknowledgement of policy violation.
3.5.7 Appeal. If the respondent employee alleges that the decision regarding a sexual harassment policy violation violates BOT or USNH policy, they may grieve the action using the campus grievance procedure. The grievance must conform to the criteria outlined in USY V.D.12.
3.5.8 External Resources. At any time, a complainant may choose to consult with one or more of the following external agencies, which also have processes for filing a charge of discrimination:
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
John F. Kennedy Federal Building
475 Government Center
Boston, MA 02203
126.96.36.199 Retaliation against an individual who complains of discriminatory harassment or cooperates in an investigation under this policy is strictly prohibited.
3.6 Amorous Relationship Policy
3.6.1 Purpose. For the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) it is necessary to acknowledge and establish relationship boundaries in our living, learning and working environment, especially where there are existing hierarchies and power dynamics. This policy provides clarifications and guidelines to prevent conflicts of interest that can occur when members of the USNH community engage in amorous relationships, and especially those whose institutional roles place them in an uneven power dynamic.
The power difference inherent in the faculty-student or staff-student relationship means that any amorous relationship between a faculty or staff member with a student is potentially exploitative and either should be avoided or is prohibited as indicated in 188.8.131.52 below. In the event of a charge of Sexual Harassment arising from such circumstances, the institution will in general be unsympathetic to a “consent” defense when facts establish that a faculty-student or staff-student power differential existed within the relationship.
3.6.2 Scope. This policy is applicable at all locations and to all persons employed or who hold a volunteer status by USNH. This includes, but is not limited to, adjunct and status faculty and staff. This policy also informs actions that relate to third party contractors who provide outsourced services to USNH. This policy does not regulate amorous relationships between students, except to the extent that a student is also a USNH employee and then only with respect to relationships that are specifically addressed in section 184.108.40.206.
220.127.116.11 Faculty includes tenured, tenure-track, or non-tenure-track faculty appointments (includes ranks of instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, professor, clinical, research, lecturer, extension, ROTC, visiting, adjunct, post-doc, emeritus, and affiliate faculty).
18.104.22.168 Staff includes employees and volunteers not classified as faculty (includes but is not limited to exempt and non-exempt staff, adjunct staff, casual staff, Extension Educator (EE), Executive Officers, Academic Administrators, volunteer coaches and other volunteers, and emeritus staff).
22.214.171.124 Locations include but are not limited to, any USNH property, any USNH sponsored activity outside USNH property (including but not limited to USNH sanctioned internships, study abroad programs, and online learning), or other education or employment context.
126.96.36.199 This policy does not address non-consensual interpersonal behaviors not countenanced by USNH under any circumstances (see USNH Discriminatory Harassment Policy USY.V.D.3.5 and applicable Discrimination and Discriminatory Harassment (including Sexual Harassment) Policies at each institution).
188.8.131.52 Amorous Relationship: Any interpersonal relationship that involves sexual and/or romantic intimacy. Amorous relationships covered by this policy might exist between Faculty members, Staff members, Faculty and Staff, Staff and Students or Faculty and Students at USNH. Amorous relationships between students that are included in section 184.108.40.206 are also covered by this policy.
220.127.116.11 Student: All persons taking courses at USNH, full-time or part-time, and including undergraduate, graduate, certificate or non-degree students; residential, commuter and online.
18.104.22.168 Relationship Conflict of Interest: A circumstance where the parties’ amorous relationship creates a real or perceived conflict with the unbiased performance of their work responsibilities. Of particular concern are circumstances where there is an “uneven power dynamic”: where one party has the professional responsibility to evaluate the other party's academic and/or work performance and/or the responsibility to perform in a "check and balance" role relative to the other (e.g., signing off on timesheet or expense payment), or where there is a reasonably foreseeable possibility that one party could be called upon to participate in decisions affecting the other party's employment or academic standing or prospects. This dynamic exists in the context of grading, promotion and tenure decisions, salary-setting, hiring, termination, provision of references or reference letters, or any other category of action or influence relevant to academic and/or professional advancement or demotion.
Even in circumstances without an uneven power dynamic, a relationship conflict of interest exists when there is a relationship between peers where both parties are members of a work or academic group and the relationship impacts group dynamics or unfairly shapes decision-making. Employees should consult with their supervisor in any situation where their professional responsibilities call for them to work or collaborate with someone with whom they have an amorous relationship (e.g., members of the same department, business unit, committee, or project working group).
3.6.4 Statement of Policy and Process
22.214.171.124 The parties involved in any amorous relationship with a relationship conflict of interest are required to immediately disclose the relationship to the proper supervisory authorities and Equal Employment Opportunity Officer as applicable at each institution and cooperate fully in steps necessary to eliminate the dynamic. Where an amorous relationship is suspected but the parties do not report, the supervisor is required to report to the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer.
Steps to eliminate the relationship conflict of interest may include, but are not limited to, reassignment of supervisory and/or check and balance oversight duties in which decisions affect the other party's academic and/or professional standing or prospects , or recusal of one party from all institutional decisions related to the other, or reassignment of duties to avoid impact of the amorous relationship on the work environment. When the relationship conflict of interest cannot be eliminated, one or both parties may be moved to a different role, or if no other role is available or appropriate, leave the institution. Parties who find themselves in a relationship conflict of interest with someone from a past amorous relationship are also subject to the disclosure and recusal requirements. All relationship management plans must be approved in writing by the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer as applicable at each institution, Human Resources and the employee(s)’ supervisor.
126.96.36.199 Amorous Relationships With Students. All members of the faculty and staff are prohibited from pursuing or engaging in an amorous relationship with any undergraduate student. With respect to graduate students, all faculty and staff are prohibited from pursuing or engaging in an amorous relationship with a graduate student under that individual’s authority or who might reasonably be perceived as having influence over employment or academic advancement/opportunities. Situations of authority include, but are not limited to, teaching, mentoring or advising, supervision of research or employment, supervision of internships, exercising substantial responsibility for grades, honors, or degrees, and/or involvement in disciplinary action related to the student. The Equal Employment Opportunity Officer and Human Resources may make exception to these prohibitions for past amorous relationships, relationships between spouses, or other exceptional circumstances, subject to a relationship management plan where necessary. This Policy shall not be construed to preclude employees from utilizing educational benefits for their spouse, and there is no obligation to report an amorous relationship or obtain an exception to Policy based solely on a spouse enrolling in USNH courses; provided, that a spouse may not participate in academic programs where the employee/spouse has authority or might reasonably be perceived as having influence over academic advancement/opportunities.
188.8.131.52 Amorous Relationships Involving Student Employees. Students who are USNH employees are prohibited from pursuing or engaging in an amorous relationship with another student where there is an uneven power dynamic. For example, Resident Assistants are prohibited from pursuing or engaging in an amorous relationship with a student who is a resident in their hall, and Teaching/Research Assistants are prohibited from pursuing or engaging in an amorous relationship with a student who is in their class or program. The Equal Employment Opportunity Officer and Human Resources may make exception to these prohibitions for past amorous relationships, relationships between spouses, or other exceptional circumstances, subject to a relationship management plan where necessary.
4.3 These restrictions and prohibitions do not apply to designated smoking areas in each building, or non-public workplace occupied exclusively by smokers, or to effectively segregated single occupant offices (RSA 155:66).
4.4 Complaints and the appropriate constructive discipline will be handled by the component institution's "designated Administrator" in conjunction with HR. A person who smokes in a non-smoking area is in violation of the criminal code, (RSA 155:76).
5.1 The USNH recognizes that programs designed to increase health-related knowledge and self-awareness contribute to the improved wellbeing of its employees, reduce medical costs, absenteeism and stress and help to promote positive morale and good employee relations. Each USNH institution is responsible for monitoring, assessment, publicizing and promoting of health education program activities throughout its institution.
5.2 Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP strives to provide an effective program to assist employees and their families in resolving problems such as alcoholism, drug abuse, marital conflicts and job performance issues. The EAP provides counseling, assessments and referrals to outside professional resources for employees and their eligible family members. (See also USY V.A.3.4)
5.2.1 Eligibility. All employees, their spouses and dependent children are eligible to participate in the USNH-EAP.
5.2.2 Confidentiality. Information regarding individual participation will not be disclosed without the written consent of the employee.
5.2.3 Coverage. The employee, their spouse, and dependent children will receive a number of free visits to the EAP for each situation.
5.2.4 Supervisory Referrals. Supervisory referrals may be made on behalf of an employee whose job performance is deteriorating. Although supervisors may recommend the EAP, the decision to seek assistance through the EAP is the responsibility of the employee. Supervisors shall not engage in diagnosis or in establishing treatment plans for employees.
5.2.5 Employment Status. Employment status will in no way be affected by the decision to seek assistance. The services of the EAP must be used on the employee’s personal time (i.e., accrued leave or Earned Time).
6.2 No employee, department chairperson, dean, supervisor, or other administrative officer may participate in decisions affecting the appointment, tenure, promotion or other personnel status of a relative. In situations where direct supervision by a relative is involved, the immediate senior to such a supervisor will be responsible for establishing special procedures as may be required to provide equitable treatment, including performance evaluations.
6.2.1 For all purposes involving the application of this rule concerning the employment of relatives of existing personnel, a "relative" is defined as parent, spouse, child, brother, sister (or the foregoing as in-laws), and other close relative by birth or marriage (such as aunt, uncle, nephew, or niece).
7.1 Employees are encouraged to participate in professional activities as a means of improving not only their own competence and prestige, but the prestige of USNH as well. While engaging in these activities employees have an obligation to avoid ethical, legal, financial and other conflicts of interest to insure that their outside activities and interests do not conflict with their primary employment responsibilities at the institution. In addition to the general reference to Conflict of Interest in this policy, this also applies to any misuse of USNH facilities, equipment or services as well as any employment or community service that interferes significantly with scheduled work.
7.3 Professional consulting activities of faculty. This policy is intended to establish guidelines for faculty who receive compensation during the appointment period other than that paid by USNH for either teaching or a professional expertise in the areas of consulting, research or service.
7.3.1 It is understood that faculty regularly engage in normally unpaid activities such as holding office in a scholarly or professional organization or editorial office, or duties for a learned journal, writing books or articles, attending professional meetings, colloquia, symposia, site visits and similar gatherings, and the ad hoc refereeing of manuscripts. These scholarly activities further the mission of USNH by facilitating the development and dissemination of knowledge. Within reasonable limits, faculty are encouraged to undertake such duties, which are not specifically governed by this policy.
7.3.2 To the extent that compensated consulting activities involve faculty members' professional expertise, further the status of their profession, and contribute to their own professional competence, these activities are also encouraged. All such activities (including uncompensated ones), however, should meet the criteria of balance, appropriateness, and the avoidance of conflict of interest.
7.4 Compensated professional activities for faculty. Any full-time faculty member may engage in such compensated professional activities, and is encouraged to do so, subject to the following conditions:
7.4.1 The activities should sustain or improve their own professional prestige.
7.4.2 The activities should be within the professional competence of the faculty member.
7.4.3 On average, the total commitment to the activities should not exceed a time equivalent of one day during each five-day academic week during the appointment period.
7.4.4 The academic administrator of the college, through the chairperson of the faculty member's department, should be informed of the activities. Agreement should be reached between the chairperson and faculty member that the activities satisfy (USY V.D.7.4.1 and USY V.D.7.4.3 above). When required, the confidentiality of a client will be honored.
7.6 Professional activities of part-time faculty and lecturers. Either the chairperson or the equivalent unit administrator must be informed of any change in the status of the following activities. At the time of and during employment in USNH, part-time faculty must not: engage in activities that interfere with their USNH responsibilities, have conflict of interest with either USNH or campus policies, abuse the association with USNH for personal financial gain, or bring discredit on USNH.
7.7 Cooperative Extension. There are six areas of possible concern for Cooperative Extension employees: outside consulting, private sector support; ownership of a business; commodity transportation; holding an elected office; and, providing expert witness testimony in court. For specifics regarding these concerns see UNH V.D.7.4.2.
7.8 Professional activities of Exempt Employees. This policy is intended to establish guidelines for professional activity by full-time Exempt Employees.
7.8.1 Professional activities include work for a non-USNH entity for which employees receive remuneration other than their USNH salary.
7.8.2 Normally, unpaid activities, such as holding office in a scholarly or professional organization, editorial office or duties for a learned journal, writing books or articles, attendance at professional meetings, colloquia, symposia, site visits and similar gatherings, or the ad hoc refereeing of manuscripts are covered by this policy.
7.8.3 When the above activities involve an employee’s professional expertise, further and contribute to the development of their own profession and contribute to the development of their own professional competence, these activities are permitted.
7.8.4 The employee’s immediate supervisor should be made aware of such activities, and the activities must not interfere with the employee’s other USNH obligations and must not involve duplication of payment by USNH for duties of the employee.
7.8.5 If employees wish to engage in outside activity to such an extent that they cannot fulfill their USNH obligations to the satisfaction of their supervisor, they shall request a reduction in their percentage of appointment. Such requests will be considered in relation to the demands of the employee’s position. Other alternatives such as professional development leaves, etc., may also be appropriate.
7.9 Professional Activities of Non-Exempt Employees. This policy is intended to establish guidelines for professional activity by Non-Exempt Employees. Such activity includes:
7.9.1 Work for a non-USNH entity for which employees receive remuneration other than their USNH salary.
7.9.2 Normally unpaid activities, such as holding office in a professional organization, attending professional meetings and conferences, or serving as a representative of the institution.
7.10 Use of University System facilities, supplies, equipment, services, letterhead or name. Employees shall not use USNH facilities, supplies, materials, equipment or services for professional activities, without first obtaining approval of the appropriate department chairperson, dean, or director and arranging for the payment of the total cost for such use. Such prior approval is not necessary, however, when the facilities, supplies, materials, equipment and services are generally available to USNH employees upon the payment of an established fee.
7.10.1 The name of USNH or the institutions may be used in connection with professional activities where necessary to identify the employee but may not be used to imply that USNH officially supports, endorses, insures or guarantees the results of the professional activity. When the potential for confusion about official endorsement exists, an appropriate disclaimer should be used, such as "This report was written by ______________________ in his/her private capacity. No official support or endorsement by USNH or (name of institution) is intended or should be inferred."
7.11 Employees who would benefit financially from the supplying of goods or services to USNH by any prospective supplier may not participate in the decision process leading to the choice of supplier.
7.11.1 Employees who have or who reasonably anticipate having either an ownership interest, a significant executive position in, or a consulting or other remunerative relationship with a prospective supplier may not participate in the recommendation of, drafting of specifications for, or the decision to purchase the goods or services involved.
7.11.2 Employees who know that a member of their family (or any person with whom they have a personal or financial relationship) has an ownership interest or a significant executive position in a prospective supplier are also disqualified from participating in the process of the purchasing of goods and services.
7.11.3 Employees whose sole ownership interest in a potential supplier is held by a fiduciary that has the power to acquire or dispose of the interest without consultation with the employee are not disqualified from participation in the purchase decision.
7.11.4 When an employee is disqualified from participating in a procurement decision, the fact of the disqualification and the reason for it must be reported to others involved in the decision. If necessary, a substitute may take the employee’s place under procedures established by the appropriate administrative official.
7.12 Appropriation of Institutional Services or Business Opportunities. As part of its mission of public education, USNH becomes involved in activities that may be competitive in nature. In areas where USNH is providing goods or services that are also available outside USNH, employees are prohibited from appropriating business opportunities from USNH.
7.12.1 Appropriation in this context means: to take or make use of without authority or right and is intended to prohibit the taking, through use of the USNH name, equipment, facilities or supplies, or by action of an employee, of those service or business opportunities that ordinarily would have been contracted or supplied by USNH, except in areas of business or service where no specific advantage is gained by virtue of one's employment duties or responsibilities.
8.1 This policy is intended to express USNH’s desire to facilitate free discussion of all points of view to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States and of the State of New Hampshire.
8.2 The rights of assembly and freedom of speech within USNH shall be limited only to the extent applied to other citizens for the purpose of preventing assembly for illegal purposes or the advocacy of overthrow of government by force. Such rights shall be respected according to their meaning and application under law and within the function and program of the USNH.
8.6 Participation of Faculty members in political action is governed by paragraph 1 (B) of the 1940 Statement of Principles of the American Association of University Professors that reads:
8.6.1 "College and university teachers are citizens, members of a learned profession, and officers of an educational institution. When they speak or write as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. As scholars and educational officers, they should remember that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances. Hence they should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the institution."
8.8 Holding Political Office. The BOT will not object to any employee running as a candidate for political office. However, should the amount of time required by the office or the candidacy for the office be such as to materially affect the time the employee is expected to spend on their USNH position, they may be required to take a leave of absence or the terms and conditions of their appointment may be amended.
9.1 Holding elected or appointed public office.
9.1.1 Partisan Politics.
Extension employees are strongly discouraged from engaging in "partisan politics", (i.e., candidate for public office in a partisan election), and must minimize the risk or perception that Extension is associated with or endorses the "platform" of a particular political party.
9.1.2 Non-Partisan Politics.
Holding public office requires the advance approval of the Director or their designee.
The time required to carry out the public office assignment must be done on the employee's personal time (approved absence or leave without pay).
9.2 Providing expert witness testimony in courts, etc. Due to expertise and position of Extension employees, they are frequently sought after in courts of law to provide expert opinions that may assist in resolving various claims, cases, suits, etc. Expert witness testimony usually benefits one party and is detrimental to the other. It is important that UNH Cooperative Extension not violate its public trust in that it maintains impartiality during any dispute, especially when the dispute involves litigation.
9.2.1 Expert Testimony. Expert testimony usually involves supporting one or the other of the litigants with a professional opinion. While partiality may not be intended, it easily can be construed. For this reason, Extension employees, acting in their official capacities must refuse any request to provide expert testimony. This would include requests to estimate damages for insurance claims. However, employees should suggest other institutions or individuals which could provide the same information whenever possible. Extension employees, acting in their personal capacity and on their own time, may provide expert witness services. In such cases, Extension employees must make clear they are not representing, or acting on behalf of, Cooperative Extension.
9.2.2 Witness to the Fact. A witness to the fact will testify to factual matters within personal knowledge and observation. A factual witness may be compelled to testify by subpoena. If an Extension employee is subpoenaed, the employee should indicate that due to their position in Extension, it is important to maintain public trust and to remain impartial. If an employee is subpoenaed to be a witness in their official capacity, they should notify the Director of Cooperative Extension who will consult with the General Counsel for the USNH and render advice on how to proceed. When testifying in an official capacity, an employee is eligible for full pay for the time they are required to be in court; thus, the employee is not penalized for good citizenship. In such cases, witness fees and expense reimbursement received by the employee are the property of, and must be paid to, Cooperative Extension.
9.3 Review (Appeal) Process. In the event an Extension employee disagrees with Extension Administration decision, the employee may request the decision be reviewed by a board of peers which should include Extension employees who are similarly affected by these guidelines.
10. Communicable Diseases. USNH recognizes the need to establish procedures for implementing infection control policies and procedures that help limit the spread of communicable diseases within its institutions and will comply with all federal and state laws applicable to students and employees with communicable diseases. In cases of communicable diseases, it is the employee's responsibility to follow their medical care provider's judgment concerning the advisability of working while ill (see USY V.C.8.2). The Fitness for Duty policy will apply to those who are ill when they report to work (see USY V.C.12). See also the Emergency Response policy (USY V.D.14).
10.1 Definition. The Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control define diseases considered communicable. Such diseases include, but are not limited to hepatitis, meningitis, mumps, AIDS, whooping cough, measles, diphtheria, chicken pox, tuberculosis, avian influenza, and any other disease that could result in a pandemic.
10.2 Commitment & Responsibilities. USNH is committed to maintaining a safe work environment for employees and students. Each institution shall have policies and procedures to identify a serious health situation due to communicable disease. Universal precautions must be observed.
10.2.1 Institutional policy will reflect universal precautions as defined by The Center for Disease Control. These precautions are infection control guidelines designed to protect workers from exposure to diseases. Examples of these precautions are washing hands, wearing gloves, and procedures for handling infectious wastes.
10.2.2 Each institution will establish policy concerning authority, conditions, and procedures for medical assessments of employees in relation to communicable diseases (see also HIPAA policy, USY V.C.15).
10.3 Confidentiality. USNH is committed to maintaining a safe work environment for employees and students. All medical information concerning employees and students infected with a communicable disease or its related conditions will be treated confidentially as required by law (see HIPAA policy, USY V.C.15).
10.4 Non-Discrimination. USNH institutions will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires that federal protection in housing and employment be granted to employees and students who are infected with a designated communicable disease. Retaliation against an infected employee is prohibited.
10.5 Authority. The BOT has delegated to the Administrative Board the responsibility to establish procedures to manage outbreaks of communicable disease within the USNH. Such procedures should be based on CDC recommendations. Each USNH institution's CEO has the authority, in consultation with health professionals, to determine the need to:
- Close part or all of a USNH institution
- Determine essential services
- Declare curtailed operations
- Implement alternative work schedules
- Address security issues
- Identify a key spokesperson and information data base
- Implement the lay-off policy (USY V.C.10)
10.5.1 The Chancellor's Office will provide consultation to the component institutions regarding financial, human resources, and/or any legal requirements related to campus procedures beyond those listed in policy.
10.6 Preparedness. Each component institution will develop a written communicable disease plan which defines internal authority and processes for decision-making and includes specific information regarding roles, responsibilities, and procedures related to ensuring continuity of instruction and protection of students/employees and a communication plan for use at the onset of a communicable disease. (See also USY VI.F.184.108.40.206.2.6 and Curtailed Operations policy, USY V.F.5.3 and USY V.F.6.3.)
10.7 Education. USNH encourages the development and implementation of educational programs concerning the transmission of communicable diseases. Such education should include topics such as routine infection control (such as hand hygiene, coughing and sneezing etiquette, etc.).
11. Uniforms, Equipment and Other Special Clothing. When, because of the nature of the work performed, uniforms, protective clothing, or equipment are required, they will be furnished by the institution. The normal costs of furnished clothing may be supported in total or in part by the institution. If the employee is required to share these costs, their portion may be handled as a payroll deduction. The institution will bear all maintenance costs for uniforms and other special clothing that it rents. For more information regarding taxability of uniforms and/or special clothing, please see Procedure 8-012, Apparel Benefits.
11.1 A list of the required uniforms, protective clothing, and equipment that is furnished by the institution will be available at both the office of the appropriate department head and the campus Human Resources or other campus designated office.
11.2 Exceptions to this policy may be made with the approval of the institution's Human Resources Office when the usual practice is for employees to furnish their own work clothes (i.e., nurses' uniforms). Also, even if required for work, clothing and footwear that can be readily worn outside of work (i.e., white shirts or blouses, dress slacks, hosiery, regular shoes, accessories, etc.). Academic robes are supplied by individuals.
12.1.1 The Chancellor, in consultation with the Administrative Board, is authorized by BOT V.C.2.2, 3.1, and 3.2 to adopt employment policies which will maximize the efficient and effective use of USNH Human Resources, ensure compliance with all applicable federal and state laws, and provide for a well-coordinated system of public higher education.
12.2 Standard of Conduct.
12.2.1 Every person working for USNH - including employees, student employees, and volunteers has a basic responsibility to cooperate in complaint and grievance procedures, including investigations, in an ethical and professional manner (BOT III.K.1.2).
12.3.1 Each component institution shall establish a procedure for the resolution of employee grievances that shall be consistent with the requirements of this policy. The initial adoption and any subsequent amendment of an institutional grievance procedure shall be effective only after review and approval by the USNH General Counsel and USNH Chief Human Resources Officer.
12.3.2 Each component institution may also establish a mechanism for considering employee complaints. Complaint procedures may not be used to address termination of employment. The definition of issues to be considered under the complaint mechanism may be broader than that of a grievance complaint. Such non grievance complaint resolution mechanisms shall not, and shall not be construed to, provide employees any rights other than the right to have a complaint heard and considered. They also shall not bind the institution to a particular outcome or course of action or in any other way limit the institution's discretion to determine an appropriate outcome or course of action.
220.127.116.11 A complaint may be filed with Human Resources to address inappropriate workplace behavior, whether by verbal or physical behavior or electronic means, which is conducted by one or more persons against another or others that is harmful or inhibits their accomplishment of work or inclusion as members of the college/university community. It may include abuse of power. These behaviors may result in disciplinary actions, including termination. Examples of such conduct, which may, if continued or repeated constitute inappropriate workplace behavior may include, but are not limited to:
- Spreading rumors, hurtful gossip or innuendo
- Yelling, public reprimands, name-calling, mocking, insulting or ridiculing
- Unwanted physical contact or physical gestures that intimidate or threaten
- Taking credit for another's work
- Withholding information and/or resources essential to perform one's job
- Ignoring a coworker such that the coworker is unable to perform their job
- Ostracism, isolation, humiliation, dissociation or exclusion from others
18.104.22.168.1 Human Resources shall acknowledge receipt of the complaint within 5 workdays.
12.4 Institutional Grievance Procedures.
12.4.1 The employee grievance procedure adopted by any component institution shall provide for the following:
22.214.171.124 The definition of a grievance shall be "A written statement alleging a violation of a Board of Trustees, University System, or institutional policy." The grievance procedure shall not be used to review the substantive merits of an administrative judgment, evaluation, or other discretionary act or decision, except as may be necessary when a violation of a nondiscrimination policy is alleged.
126.96.36.199 Status employees, excluding members of a certified collective bargaining unit, are eligible to file grievances under an institutional grievance procedure.
188.8.131.52.1 Employees in the Initial Introductory Period (see USY V.C.184.108.40.206) of employment are excluded from using the Grievance Procedure to appeal termination for inability to meet the requirements of the position.
220.127.116.11 The deadline for the filing of a grievance shall be ten (10) calendar days from the day on which the aggrieved employee becomes aware of the action that is alleged to violate policy and within one year of its occurrence.
18.104.22.168 A grievant may bring an advocate to any meeting or hearing held pursuant to a grievance procedure. The advocate may act in an advisory capacity to the grievant or, at the grievant's request, may speak on the grievant's behalf. The third party must be a status USNH employee and shall not be an attorney.
22.214.171.124 The campus procedure shall provide some appropriate opportunity for the parties to the grievance to present material and relevant testimony including documents from one or more witnesses. Such opportunity need not be present at each step of a campus procedure that provides for more than one step.
126.96.36.199 The remedies available under a grievance procedure shall be limited to that necessary to bring the grieved action into conformance with policy or policies which were violated.
188.8.131.52 Subject to the provisions of USY V.D.184.108.40.206.1, below, the CEO of the institution shall retain the authority to either: (a) make the final decision on an employee grievance or (b) modify or reverse the final decision (if made by some other person or committee) under the following circumstances: (i) the final decision maker exceeded their authority or (ii) implementation of the remedy would cause grave harm to the institution. The CEO’s determination shall be final.
220.127.116.11.1 Exception. If the CEO is named as a party in a grievance, the grievant may request review by the USNH Chancellor if campus procedures do not result in resolution. In such cases, the grievance must be received by the Chancellor’s office no later than 10 calendar days after the final campus review. The Chancellor or their designee shall review the record of the grievance, hold a hearing, and/or make any such further inquiry as may be deemed necessary or expedient. The Chancellor or their designee shall then decide the grievance and so notify the grievant and CEO of the institution. Any such decisions shall be final.
12.4.2 The filing of a grievance shall not affect the rights of an employee to seek any remedy that may be available in an external forum. However, the filing of a grievance does not postpone any deadlines for pursuing remedies in any external forum.
12.4.3 An employee who is grieving a termination may be placed on leave of absence without pay during the time involved in processing the grievance. Under such circumstances, USNH shall continue its benefits contributions for up to ninety (90) days for anon-exempt employee and for up to one hundred and twenty (120) days for an exempt employee unless otherwise stated by collective bargaining contract or faculty handbook. If the ninety (90) days or one hundred and twenty (120) days expire while a Chancellor level review is still underway, the USNH benefit contributions for the grievant shall continue until the Chancellor's decision is made. Normal notice periods shall apply in cases of termination (see USY V.C.9.8.5).
12.5 Record Keeping and Reporting.
12.5.1 All materials generated in a grievance proceeding, including recordings, exhibits, minutes, and affidavits, shall be the property of the institution. At the conclusion of the grievance, all such materials shall be held in a confidential file in an appropriate institutional office. This shall be separate from the official personnel file.
12.5.2 All grievance materials will be held at least three years after the termination or retirement of the grievant. In cases where an employee lawsuit is involved, records shall be retained at least three years after conclusion of the suit.
18.104.22.168 At the time of destruction of grievance files, a permanent record will be maintained of the facts of a grievance, the outcome, the records to be destroyed, and date of destruction.
22.214.171.124 Nothing in the above policy shall preclude expunging records from the personnel file or the official record of an employee.
12.5.3 Each component institution shall maintain the following information regarding the operation of its grievance procedure:
126.96.36.199 The number of written grievances received by the institution annually.
188.8.131.52 The number of grievances resolved prior to formal hearing steps.
184.108.40.206 The broad section of policy upon which grievances are alleged.
12.5.4 Each component institution shall report annually to the USNH Chief Human Resources Officer the information enumerated in section USY V.D.12.5.3 along with any other information he or she may from time to time request.
13.1 USNH strives to provide a work environment free of non-work related interruptions. Employees are expected to engage in the work of USNH or USNH-sponsored activities during work time and in the work place, free from interruption, disruption, or distraction from sources unrelated to their work.
13.1.1 As such, solicitation of or by employees on behalf of non-USNH entities during work hours and in the workplace is restricted to non-working hours and non-work space, such as a designated web site. Institutional level policy may permit the use of lunchrooms and/or other appropriate common areas for solicitation by, or on behalf of, appropriate non-USNH organizations so long as that activity does not interfere with the ability of employees and supervisors to maintain a work environment appropriate to the conduct of USNH’s work.
14. Emergency Response. In the event of an emergency situation, which is expected to last more than a week (7 calendar days) in length and declared by the institution's CEO, all normal USNH and campus policies for the safety rights of employees and management rights to direct work will remain in effect. (See also USY.V.D.10, USY.V.C.12, USY V.F.5.3, USY V.F.6.3, and USY VI.F.220.127.116.11.2.6.) The institution's CEO may declare either partial or full Emergency Operations for an extended period of time.
14.1 Staffing. All employees are expected to report to work, unless notified otherwise. The institution and its managers will assess the safety of working conditions and will account for that in assigning work. They may also apply the Fitness for Duty policy (USY V.C.12). In addition, each employee is expected to assess their personal safety and respond accordingly.
14.2 Monetary Payment.
14.2.1 In addition to their normal rate of pay plus any applicable additional pay, such as shift and overtime, employees who work during an Emergency Operations may receive an emergency work stipend as determined by the instituion's CEO, in conjunction with Human Resources, based on circumstances of the emergency, the nature of the emergency, and institutional needs.
14.2.2 Those status employees and fiscal year faculty not required to report to work and not assigned to work will be paid for the first 5 emergency leave days of time where offices are closed. After the first 5 emergency leave days, it is expected that employees will use accrued Earned Time/Vacation Leave, or be on leave without pay, unless they are already using paid Sick Leave or other appropriate paid leave.
14.2.3 If there is no communication with an employee after the first week (7 calendar days), the employee’s paid Earned Time or Leave Time will be used until there is notification from the employee not to use Leave Time, curtailed operations end, or the leave time is exhausted, whichever comes first. (See USY V.F.10.4.7 if there is an overpayment.)
14.2.4 When an employee exhausts paid leave time, they have a choice of taking a leave of absence without pay with benefits for up to 90 days or terminating employment in order to seek eligibility for unemployment compensation. (For leave of absence, see USY V.C.16). If an employee fails to return after a leave of absence during curtailed operations, the institution may make an exception and not require repayment of benefits paid on the employee’s behalf during the first 90 days of the leave without pay if it is determined that the circumstances of the emergency are the main reason that the employee chose not to return to work.
14.2.5 It is expected that active status and adjunct faculty hired on an academic year or semester/term basis (i.e. with no accumulated leave) will continue in a paid status for the remainder of the semester in which the institution is closed with the expectation that work to complete a semester may be made up at a later date (e.g. semester dates are extended into the summer). Any decision to continue pay beyond the end of the semester in which the emergency occurred will be made by the institution's CEO based on the conditions at the time of the decision.
14.3 Benefit Continuation. Medical, Dental, and Life Insurance benefits will continue for the first 90 days of a declared emergency status regardless of the employees active work status. Retirement benefits will continue if an employee is in a paid status. Conditions for continuation of benefits for a period more than 90 days will be determined by the institution's CEO before the end of the 90 day period. Continuation of benefits will require employees to make their own benefit contributions, but arrangements may be made for later payment.
14.3.1 Employees are not eligible for Long-Term Disability for an illness or injury that begins after the end of employment, but will remain eligible for Long-Term Disability while in an active leave status as described in the plan document. The exclusions of that plan (e.g. injury resulting from participation in a riot, or as a result of an act of war) will continue to apply.
14.4 Other Considerations. The following delegations are made to each campus Human Resources Office:
- Suspension of deadlines for grievances
- Extension of probationary periods
- Extension of introductory periods
- Extension of leaves of absence about to expire