Standards of Conduct Policy

Washington University has a tradition of high ethical and professional standards. These standards include competence, courtesy, cooperation, responsiveness, accuracy, effectiveness, efficiency and compassion on the part of all employees. Employees must be aware of their responsibilities to the University and their co-workers.

Employees are responsible for maintaining high standards of conduct, cooperation and performance.

Supervisors and managers are responsible for organizing and directing the work of employees so that optimum quality and productivity can be achieved and maintained. It is the policy of the University that employees normally are given an opportunity to improve whenever behavior, productivity or effectiveness fall below an acceptable level. Violations of standards may result in one of the following forms of corrective action: verbal counseling, written warning, suspension or dismissal. In determining which disciplinary measure is appropriate, the seriousness of the infraction, the past record of the employee and the circumstances surrounding the matter will be taken into consideration. This progressive procedure does not preclude terminating an employee at any time if circumstances warrant.

Although there is no way to identify every possible violation of standards of conduct, the following is a partial list of infractions that will result in corrective action, up to and including termination:

  • Falsifying employment application, time record, personnel or other University documents or records;
  • Unauthorized possession of University or employee property, gambling, carrying weapons or explosives in violation of University policy or violating criminal laws on University premises;
  • Possession, storage or use of weapons, ammunition or explosives (concealed or otherwise) on University property or in vehicles located in University parking facilities is strictly prohibited, except as specified in the University’s Policy on Weapons, Explosives or Fireworks;
  • Fighting, throwing things, horseplay, practical jokes or other disorderly conduct which may endanger the well-being of others on University premises;
  • Disclosure of confidential or proprietary information;
  • Engaging in acts of dishonesty, fraud, theft or sabotage;
  • Threatening, intimidating, coercing, using abusive or vulgar language or interfering with the performance of other employees;
  • Insubordination or refusal to comply with instructions or failure to perform duties that are assigned;
  • Unauthorized use of University material, time, equipment or property;
  • Damaging or destroying University property;
  • Performance that, in the University’s opinion, does not meet the requirements of the position;
  • Negligence in observing fire prevention and safety rules;
  • Other circumstances where the University feels that corrective action is warranted.

This list is intended to be representative of the types of activities that may result in disciplinary action. It is not intended to be comprehensive and does not alter the employment-at-will relationship between the employee and the University.