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Code of Ethics and Employee Conduct

College employees will follow and execute the policies, procedures, and standards with objectivity and consistency, without discrimination or favoritism. 

Representative Observable Behaviors

a.    Listens to others’ points of view by being open to their perspectives.

b.    Considers decisions that are best for the College, which may not be an individual’s preference.

a.    Equitably meets the needs of individuals, which may not mean each person receives the same treatment.

b.    Considers what is best for the group when necessary.

c.     Protects the rights of others.

a.    Is aware of how body language changes when speaking with individuals from different backgrounds, which can indicate respect or disrespect.    

b.    Is aware of how changes in tone of voice, use of slang, unfamiliar jargon, or the context can show respect or disrespect for others.

a.    Supervisor provides work assignments and development opportunities based on employees’ strengths, talents, and skills.

b.    Supervisor encourages employees to provide constructive feedback.

c.     Supervisor considers and responds to feedback.

a.    Convenes the appropriate subject matter experts (SMEs), gives clear direction and expectations, and then respects the recommendations of the workgroup.

b.    Gathers information from various stakeholders before making decisions.

c.     Offers employee opportunities to voice their perspective.

d.    Provides adequate responses to the points, issues, or recommendations offered by employees.

e.    Uses data in decision making when appropriate.

f.      Provides employees information about decision making: factors considered, why decisions were made to the specific outcome, and who made the decision.

g.    Provides clear rationales for decisions, especially those that may be unpopular and uncomfortable to discuss.

a.    Reserves judgement until facts and other points of view are considered.

b.    Considers multiple points of view and available facts before drawing a conclusion. 

 Warning Signs of Problematic Behavior

a.    Fails to accept or consider input from knowledge workers in making a decision, especially one that impacts employees’ field of responsibility.

b.    Refuses to consider relevant input from subject matter experts when developing materials, such as presentations, especially when the manager is not well versed.

c.     Makes decisions that are not logical or impartial.

a.    Does not adjust communication style to meet the needs of individuals.  

b.    Does not apply College policies or procedures consistently.

c.     Fails to identify and acknowledge effective leadership skills.

d.    Assigns work independent of experience or aligned skill sets.

1.    Shows favoritism.

a.    Gives preference to one person over another, ignoring how individual skills align to the requirements of the assigned work.

For example, gives a favored person first chance/choice frequently even though another person is more qualified.

For example, assigns disproportionate work to people who are results oriented, while others are given fewer tasks.

b.    Demonstrates a bias by responding differently to similar circumstances from person to person.

a.    Expects special treatment, believing to be either “above the rules” or “a victim.”

b.    Delegates beyond scope of work or position.  

c.     Reverses decisions for individual gain rather than department needs.

d.    Directs employees not in accordance with College Policy and Procedure.

e.    Asks employees to overlook wrongdoing.

a.    Does not attribute the contributions or creation of a work.


Research Notes: Preparing Potential Leaders: Facilitating a Learning Experience on LMX and Fairness in the Workplace. Ross, J., Valenzuela, M., Intindola, M., & Flinchbaugh, C. (2017). International Journal of Management Education, 15, 84–97. Science Direct websitenew window

Psychology Today: It’s Not Fair! But What Is Fairness?:
Psychology Today websitenew window

Psychology Today: The Neuroscience of Fairness and Injustice:
Psychology Today websitenew window

How to Create a Fair Workplace (1:16) showcases how being sincere, a role model, not having favorites, empathy, and being quick to praise are the best habits to practice within a fair workplace:  How to Create a Fair Workplace video on Youtubenew window
Improving Motivation with Adam’s Equity Theory (5:16) video on Youtubenew window

LinkedIn Learning

Practicing Fairness as a Manager video on Linkedinnew window

Being Fair (1:25) from the course Management:  Top Tips video on Linkedinnew window


Maryland Ethics Commissionnew window 

Equal Opportunity Commission Federalnew window

State of MD Commission on Civil Rightsnew window
State & Local Agencies Listnew window
Ethical Business Integrity through Researchnew window
Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing, University of Oklahoma

The Virtues Projectnew window: