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Ethical Conduct/Standards of Employee Conduct Examples

Example #1
Mary is a Wenatchee Valley College employee with a husband and three children. Linda, the president of the XYZ Corporation, gives Mary and each member of her family a ticket to a sporting event. The value of each ticket is $15 and the total of the five tickets is $75. Linda has never met Mary’s family.

Mary has committed an ethical violation. The value of the tickets received by Mary and her family exceed the $50 limit. The gift of tickets to Mary’s family is attributable to her because there is no independent business, family, or social relationship between Linda and her family. Although there are some exceptions to the $50 limit, this does not qualify.

Example #2
Bob works for Wenatchee Valley College as a library technician. Part of Bob’s job is to assist people doing research in the library, and in this capacity, Bob has helped the representatives of the QRS and the XYZ Corporations. When their research is completed, the two corporations each give Bob a gift. PRS gives him a fishing rod worth $50 and XYZ give him a fishing reel worth $45. Bob accepts these gifts.

Bob has committed an ethical violation. Even though the value of each individual item is $50 or less, the fishing rod and reel constitute a single gift. A single gift is defined to include any group of items to be used in conjunction with each other. The fishing rod and reel are designed to be used together and the value of this single gift is $95.

Example #3
Kathy works as a gardener on Wenatchee Valley College’s grounds staff. Her job involves mowing lawns and maintaining flower beds. XYZ Corporation supplies the College with gardening supplies but Kathy’s job does not involve these contractual matters. Every three months XYZ give the College’s gardeners, including Kathy, a new pair of gardening gloves, valued at $15. During the calendar year, Kathy accepts four pair of gloves for a total value of $60.

Kathy has committed an ethical violation because Kathy cannot receive multiple gifts from a single person with a total value excess of $50. Had Kathy participated in the decision to purchase the gardening supplies, a more stringent rule would have applied and accepting one pair of gloves would be a violation.

Example #4
John works in Wenatchee Valley College’s physical plant department and has responsibility to ensure that the contractor (XYZ) completing a minor capital project meets the contract conditions and standards. John has an excellent understanding of the community college contracting and construction process. XYZ Corporation hires John for $200 to spend a weekend reviewing its proposal bid for a construction project at Green River Community College.

John has committed an ethics violation. He may not be paid by XYZ because the weekend work appears to be related to his Wenatchee Valley College employment; in that he would be paid by a company he is responsible for monitoring for Wenatchee Valley College.

Example #5
A faculty member who teaches computer classes but does not sit on a textbook selection committee considering a particular textbook may agree to review a textbook and accept an honorarium from the publisher. However, should the publisher’s book be considered for selection as text for a computer class, the faculty member, having received an honorarium, must refuse to participate in the textbook selection decision.

Example #6
If the college is considering purchasing a product or service from a company employing one’s spouse in a management position, the employee must refuse to participate in the process that may lead to a decision to purchase or not purchase the product or service.