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Prohibited Conduct

The following guidance about prohibited conduct is intended to promote good understanding by College employees about conduct expectations and protection of the rights of all employees. If an employee engages in prohibited conduct, disciplinary actions may be initiated as noted in Cape Fear Community College’s Discipline Procedure. Such disciplinary actions are not necessarily intended to be sequential. A recommendation for dismissal could be the result of an accumulation of minor violations, or for a single serious violation. Disciplinary actions taken will be included in the employee’s personnel file. The guidance provided does not preclude any College department from establishing additional parameters for its employees and necessary for the effective business operations of that department.

What follows is not an all-inclusive list of rules, and the College reserves the right to use appropriate administrative judgment to take disciplinary action against an employee for acts or omissions not specifically stated below. For purposes of this policy, “College premises” shall include the buildings, grounds, and parking lots of the College campus, satellite facilities, or any other location where the business of the College is being performed or carried out, and College equipment and vehicles. “Students” of the College shall include enrolled students, applicants for enrollment, and other participants and applicants for participation in College programs and services.

All Cape Fear Community College employees are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times.

The following are examples of prohibited conduct:

Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is a form of unlawful gender (sex) discrimination and
is not tolerated at Cape Fear Community College. All employees should be familiar with the College’s policy on sexual and other unlawful harassment, by reviewing Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment (Section 5.61).

Sexual Conduct: Behavior of a sexual nature that is not sexual harassment may, nonetheless, be unprofessional in the workplace, disruptive in the classroom, violate other College policies; and, like other behavior that is unprofessional, disruptive, or violates a College policy or ordinance, it could warrant disciplinary action.

Many types of behavior may constitute sexual harassment or sexual conduct including, but not limited to, the following:

• Sexual assault
• Threats or insinuations that lead the affected individual reasonably to believe that granting or
denying sexual favors will affect their reputation, education, employment, advancement, or
standing within the College
• Sexual advances, sexual propositions, or sexual demands that are not agreeable to both parties
• Unwelcome and persistent sexually explicit statements or stories that are not related to
• Sexually explicit e-mails or text messages
• Sexual misconduct such as stalking, cyber stalking, voyeurism, or recording or transmitting
sexual images
• Repeated use of sexually degrading language or sounds to describe a person
• Unwanted and unnecessary touching, patting, hugging, or other physical contact
• Comments or questions about an individual’s sexual prowess, sexual deficiencies, or sexual
• Dissemination of sexually explicit materials through the College’s information technology
• Creation, dissemination, or display of offensive items or materials that disrupt the work
environment including, but not limited to, photographs, graphics, symbols, or video or audio recordings

Other Prohibited Conduct and Unlawful Harassment

Other unlawful harassment may occur when a Cape Fear Community College community member is subject to unwelcome conduct based on a category based on a protected status. These protected status categories include age, color, gender, gender identity, genetic information, disability status, marital status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, and veteran status. Unwelcome conduct that is objectively and subjectively severe, persistent and/or pervasive and creates an unreasonable interference with the individual’s ability to work or pursue their education is considered harassment.

Behavior that is based on a protected category, but does not rise to the level of prohibited harassment under the College’s policy, may nonetheless be unprofessional in the workplace, disruptive in the classroom, or violate other College policies and, like other behavior that is unprofessional, disruptive, or violates a College policy or ordinance, could warrant discipline up to and including termination of employment.

1. Misconduct related to the use or possession of alcohol, illegal drugs, or controlled substances: See Drug and Alcohol-Free Workplace Policy (Section 5.66).

• Unauthorized consumption or possession of alcohol on College premises
• Consuming, distributing or possessing illegal drugs, as determined by state or federal law, on College premises
• Consuming, distributing, or possessing controlled substances on College premises without a prescription
• Selling or conspiracy to possess illegal drugs or controlled substances
• Unlawfully manufacturing, distributing, dispensing or using illegal drugs or controlled substances
• Being under the influence of alcohol when reporting to or while at work
• Being under the influence of illegal drugs (as determined by state or federal law) when reporting to or while at work
• Being under the influence of controlled substances without a prescription when reporting to or while at work
• Failing a required drug or alcohol screen
• Falsifying laboratory test results or samples
• Adulterating or attempting to adulterate a drug screening specimen

2. Noncompliance with safety rules and regulations: See Safety Policy (Section 11.5).

• Failing to immediately report all accidents and/or injuries
• Failing to comply with safety rules and regulations established by unit supervisors, in conjunction with local law enforcement, or local, state or federal statutes
• Failing to use safety apparel and equipment
• Failing to report unsafe conditions or practices
• Creating or contributing to disorderly, unclean, or unsafe working conditions
• Misuse of College vehicles or equipment

3. Improper behavior relating to attendance:

• Excessive absenteeism or tardiness
• Three (3) consecutive work days of No Call/No Show
• Leaving work early or taking extended break periods
• Leaving the work area without permission
• Making preparation to leave work before the lunch period, break period, or the specified quitting time
• Failing to report for overtime work when scheduled
• Failing to start work at the designated time
• Failing to return from an authorized leave of absence or vacation at the designated time
• Improper use of leave time to cover an absence (e.g., sick leave, bereavement leave, Family Medical Leave Act, jury duty)
• Failure to properly and/or promptly report the reason(s) for being absent, if no previous arrangements were made with an appropriate supervisor

4. Negligent behavior relating to College property or the property of others:

• Malicious, negligent, or intentional destruction, damage, defacement, waste, or willful neglect of property of the College or another person
• Using/possessing the College’s or another’s property without authorization, including but
not limited to, non-business use of College computers and peripheral equipment. See Computer Use Policies (Section 12.1).
• Theft, unauthorized taking or attempting to take, misappropriate, conceal, or remove
property of the College or of an employee, student, customer, supplier, vendor, visitor, patron or guest of the College
• Unauthorized use of the College telephones, computers, electronics, or other equipment during working or nonworking hours
• Knowingly admitting, or providing means of access to, an unauthorized person into any
locked or restricted College building and/or area of the campus
• Knowingly providing means of access to the College’s information technology resources to an unauthorized person
• Being on College premises without authorization unless on duty or have business as a member of the public
• Failing to report inappropriate use of College equipment or electronic systems
• Loss of keys, unauthorized use, manufacturing or duplication of any college key, unauthorized sharing or loaning of assigned keys to another person.

5. Poor work performance as evidenced by:

• Insubordination, such as refusal or willful failure to carry out job responsibilities or refusal to acknowledge the legitimate authority of the supervisor or the College.
• Neglect of duty and/or lack of due care or diligence in the performance of duties
• Unsatisfactory work performance or failure to maintain reasonable standards of performance, productivity, or professionalism
• Poor customer service, repeated discourtesy to or difficulty in dealing with students, co-workers, visitors, guests, or the public that comes in contact with the College.
• Improper documentation, destruction, falsification, alteration, deletion, or omission related to completion/maintenance of College forms, records, or reports (e.g., production records, time records, employment applications, and medical records), including, but not limited to, false claims for wages, benefits, insurance, leave of absence, and/or providing false
information for personal gain
• Recording time for another employee on Cape Fear Community College’s time and leave
keeping system or altering any time card for any reason whatsoever.
• Breach of confidentiality, unauthorized disclosure or misuse of records or other business information
• Non-work-related use of official position and influence for personal gain
• Conducting personal business while on duty
• Unauthorized leave from the College

6. Inappropriate behavior or conduct related to the treatment of others:

• Utterance or publication of any threat, threatening, intimidating, obstructing, and/or harassing other persons
• Fighting and/or instigating a fight while engaged in College duties or while in attendance at any College sponsored event,
• Engaging in aggressive, hostile, or violent behavior, such as intimidation of others
• Attempting to instill fear in others
• Engaging in belligerent speech, excessive arguing or swearing
• Sabotage or threats of sabotage

7. Other misconduct including but not limited to:

• Using vulgar or obscene language
• Gambling in any form on College time or premises
• Exhibiting immoral conduct on College premises or during work hours.
• Retaliating against an individual who makes a complaint of harassment
• Possessing weapons, ammunition, firearms, firecrackers, hazardous materials or explosives
on College premises (unless authorized in the course of employment)
• Engaging in horseplay or practical jokes that endanger or disrupt employees or College property
• Violation of the Tobacco-Free Policy (Section 5.67)
• Sleeping, loitering, or loafing on the job
• Failing to maintain proper personal grooming, dress, cleanliness, or hygiene. Creating or contributing to unsanitary conditions. Dress or appearance should not be distracting to other employees and should be within acceptable standards of health, safety, and professional attire where there is public contact.
• Working for pay at other employment while on leave (e.g., medical or sick leave) from the College without prior authorization
• Failing to disclose outside interests that may conflict with the interests of the College
including, but not limited to, financial, employment, or other business interests
• Vending, soliciting, or collecting contributions on College time or premises without prior appropriate authorization
• Making defamatory statements about other College employees, including supervisors, or making disparaging statements to the public concerning College business
• Knowingly making false statements about College business or employees
• Failing to maintain appropriate licenses and/or certifications in accordance with job requirements
• Off-duty misconduct, including committing illegal acts, that reflects adversely upon the
College or adversely affects the employee’s ability/credibility to fulfill their job
• Failure to disclose and/or inform the employer of convictions that would result in the inability or restriction to operate College equipment or vehicles

Failure or violation of any other policies and procedures applicable to the employees of the College may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment for just cause and would be administered in accordance with the Discipline Procedure (Section 5.63), Non- Reappointment Procedure (Section 5.15), and Disciplinary Process (Section 5.64).


All disciplinary actions will be administered in accordance with the Discipline Procedure (Section 5.63), Non-Reappointment Procedure (Section 5.15), and Disciplinary Process (Section 5.64).

Right to Appeal

Employees who wish to appeal a disciplinary action taken against them should refer to the Grievance Procedure (Section 5.65). Review of the disciplinary action may be requested in accordance with the Grievance Procedure (Section 5.65), from the level where the decision to administer discipline was made.

Revision History:
November, 2023

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