Standards Of Employee Conduct And Professionalism: 3.45


Effective Date: 10/12/21
FS 1001.64; 1001.65
Signature/Approval: Dr. Ken Atwater


This procedure establishes guidelines for employee conduct and professionalism. Hillsborough Community College (HCC) expects all employees to deal with students, faculty, staff, administration, and citizens in a professional manner. A critical component of professionalism is to demonstrate a considerate, friendly and constructive attitude toward fellow employees and to adhere to the rules and procedures adopted by the College. Employees shall respect the rights of others and shall exhibit a level of behavior supporting the mission, purposes, and best interests of the College.


Employees are expected to deal with students, faculty, staff, administration, and citizens in a professional manner, which includes demonstrating a considerate, friendly and constructive attitude toward fellow employees while adhering to the College rules and procedures. Employees will respect the rights of others and exhibit behavior that supports the mission, purposes, and best interests of the College. Employee conduct and behavior that does not follow these standards of employee conduct and professionalism may be subject to disciplinary action.

  1. ATTENDANCE—The College expects employees to be available to work with a reasonable degree of regularity and to conduct their personal business using accrued leave without the need to use approved leave without pay or unscheduled absences. Excessive absences by an employee decreases productivity and may cause undue hardship on a department.
    Prior to starting time, employees are required to notify their immediate supervisor or next-in-line supervisor when unable to report for work for any reason, arriving late to work, or leaving early.
    1.  Excessive Absences—Employee absences may be excessive when there is a pattern of absence, such as consistent absences on the day preceding or following the employee’s regular days off, holidays, vacations, or an absence occurring regularly on the same weekday, in addition to frequent absences that create a hardship on the office/department.
    2. Tardiness—This is failure to report to work at the established time at the beginning of the work shift, or the late return to work at the established time after lunch or following a break.
    3. Unauthorized Absence—An employee must inform their supervisor if they leave work for any reason before the end of the workday.

      It is an unauthorized absence if an employee leaves their workstation or duty location during the established work period. Depending on the position, an employee may be required to be relieved from duty prior to leaving for lunch or a break.

      It is an unauthorized absence if an employee fails to obtain approval prior to any absence from work except in the case of proven emergency.

      It is an unauthorized absence if the employee obtains leave based on a misrepresentation or falsification of circumstances.

    4. Job Abandonment—Employees must keep supervisors informed of their status when they are unable to report to work due to an illness/ accident from any cause. Employees who fail to report to work for three (3) consecutive business days without notifying their supervisor or Human Resources (HR) of the absence will be considered as having voluntarily resigned as a result of job abandonment and the employee will be terminated. If an employee or a representative is unable to contact the employee’s supervisor or HR due to extreme circumstances (such as a medical emergency or natural disaster that prohibits the employee or their representative from contacting HCC within three (3) days), the employee or representative must contact the employee’s supervisor or HR as soon as practicable to explain the situation. In extreme circumstances, the College will consider the explanation and its timing before determining if the voluntary resignation will be upheld.
  2. COLLEGE PROPERTY—Employees are expected to handle College property properly and responsibly. Theft, conversion, misuse, damage or destruction of College property or property of members of the HCC community may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
    1. College Records—Willful and deliberate misrepresentation, falsification or omission of information from College records and providing false information to College officials, including withholding requested and/or required information, misuse of College documents and revealing confidential information or unauthorized release of records is not permitted.
    2. Failure to Make Restitution of Debts—Employees are required to make arrangements with the Finance Department for payment or restitution of any debts owed the College. HCC may elect to set off an employee’s debt including on overpayment by HCC against wages or funds due to an employee.
    3. Sabotage—Employees may not participate in an act of destruction or attempted destruction of College property or equipment.
    4. Unauthorized Use/Pornography—Employees may not use College property, equipment or personnel for personal use. Employees may not use College equipment or work time to view pornography or explicitly nude images for non-business/non educational reasons.
  3. DISRUPTIVE CONDUCT—Employees are expected to exhibit behavior that does not interfere with the employee’s work performance or the work performance of others. Types of inappropriate behavior may include, but is not limited to loud, boisterous language; creating a disturbance; throwing objects; slamming doors, or other activities, which would have a detrimental effect on the work environment. Disruptive conduct may include but is not limited to the following types of behavior:
    1. Fighting and Threats of Violence—Any form of violence, or threat of violence to others or against one’s self. Threats to do bodily harm or property damage by College personnel, students, visitors or any other individual against another while at HCC will not be tolerated. A threat of violence includes verbal or written, expressed or implied, will not, under any circumstances, be tolerated at HCC. Any other threat of a material and substantial disruption to the operation of the College is also prohibited.
    2. Horseplay—Actions which disrupt or have the effect of disrupting work.
    3. Loafing—Continued and deliberate idleness or non-productiveness during working hours, which results in the employee’s failure to perform assigned duties or interferes with other employees being able to properly perform their assigned job duties. This includes wasting time, engaging in idle talk or gossip, conducting personal business, or using business phone or computers for personal reasons.
    4. Sleeping—Sleeping on duty during the established work shift.
    5. Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco
      1. Employees are prohibited from using or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while on College property, or at a College event or activity. Illegal possession, sale, distribution or misuse of alcohol, drugs and other controlled substances, including drinking on the job, and/or reporting to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs are not permitted.
      2. The College will assist employees with alcohol and drug issues through referrals to a medical provider, EAP and other services.
      3. Employees are not permitted to use Tobacco on College property or in any facilities owned or leased by HCC, including all vehicles. There are no designated smoking areas on College property. Tobacco use includes all types of tobacco and tobacco-like products including smokeless tobacco and any other smoking product including electronic cigarettes.
  4. PERSONAL APPEARANCE OF EMPLOYEES—Employee dress, grooming and personal hygiene should be appropriate to the work situation. Employees are always expected to present an image appropriate to the work being performed. Appropriate personal appearance is an ongoing requirement of employment with the College. The personal appearance of employees who do not regularly meet the public is to be governed by the requirement of safety and comfort but should still be as neat and business-like as working conditions permit. Certain employees may be required to meet special dress, grooming and/or hygiene standards depending on the nature of their job. All employees and supervisors must practice common sense, respect, sensitivity and reasonableness when dealing with appearance issues.
    1. Code of Ethics—All employees of HCC are subject to the provisions of the Code of Ethics for Public Employees as set forth in Chapter 112, Florida Statutes, and applicable HCC rules and procedures related to: Solicitation and Acceptance of Gifts, Doing Business with the College, Unauthorized Compensation, Misuse of Public Position, Conflicting Employment or Contractual Relationship, Disclosure or Use of Certain Information, in addition to the following:
    2. Display of Uncooperative or Antagonistic Attitude—Display of words or actions by an employee, which are disruptive to the workplace, and/or has the effect of causing dissension among fellow employees and/or which is rude to the public.
    3. Failure to Follow Instructions—Failure to carry out oral or written work assignment or instructions within a reasonable time or by a specified deadline.
    4. Insubordination—Deliberate and inexcusable refusal or failure to obey a reasonable order given by the supervisor or other authorized College employee in the performance of their official duties.
    5. Negligence—Failure to use ordinary or reasonable care in, or the omission of or inattention to, the performance of assigned duties. Negligence is synonymous with carelessness, lack of care, and lack of attention. It also includes improper or careless use or operation of State property or equipment.
    6. Rudeness to Students, College Employees or the Public—Impolite, discourteous, unprofessional or uncooperative language or actions towards other members of the HCC community or the public.
    7. Use of Poor Judgment—Failure to consider the consequences of his or her actions and/or verbal and written communication.
  6. SAFETY—Employees should ensure their actions do not endanger the health, safety and welfare of student, other staff and guests of the College. Employees are not permitted to possess or use fireworks or explosives on campus. Employees should not commit a false alarm; misuse, or interfere with firefighting equipment or disturb the peace.
    Employees are not permitted to use or possess an unauthorized weapon on College property or a College site except as authorized by the laws of the State of Florida.

History: New