Work Environment

Policy no. I-7
Effective date: 10/01/2010
Scope: faculty, staff and student employees

Definitions:

"Solicitation"requesting another person to purchase goods and/or services; donate goods, services, or money to any organization; or sign petitions or the like for any purpose.

“Potentially Hazardous Work Area”An area where hazardous substances (i.e. hazardous chemicals, biohazardous agents, radioisotopes) and/or physical hazards (i.e. radiation, lasers, machinery parts, extreme temperatures, electrical apparatus) are present. 

Policy Statement

The university seeks to ensure the health and safety of the university community and provide students, employees, and the public with the most productive environment possible.  Every employee can contribute to the quality of the work environment through good work habits, personal responsibility, respect for others, professional decorum, and cooperation with published policies and procedures and programs.  In addition, the university expects all employees to cooperate in maintaining a quality work environment through the following initiatives:

Inclusion

The university is a world class university that prides itself on being understanding, welcoming and supportive to all members of the university community.  Therefore, valuing diversity is a key part of Case Western Reserve University employment standards.  The key principles in fostering inclusion are:

  • The ability to achieve common goals while valuing differences
  • The opportunity for employees to develop their skills to their full potential
  • A better understanding of CWRU as a community of cultures
  • Participation in Diversity initiatives
  • On-going communications among faculty, staff, and students
  • Celebration and social activities that build awareness and appreciation
Alchohol- and Drug-Free Workplace

Case Western Reserve University discourages the use of controlled substances and the abuse of alcohol by its employees at any time.  The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of alcohol or controlled substances, including illicit drugs, is prohibited on property owned or operated by Case Western Reserve University or as part of any of its activities.  No CWRU employee may report to or engage in university-related work while under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol.

The university reserves the right to require employees to undergo appropriate tests designed to detect the presence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or controlled substances when there is reason to believe that an employee may be under the influence of these substances or has been under the influence while on property owned or operated by the university or as part of any of its activities.  Refusal to consent to such a test may result in corrective action up to and including termination.  Pending the test results, the employee will be placed on an investigatory suspension.  When the test results are returned, Employee Relations will meet with the supervisor and the employee to discuss the test results and determine if corrective action is warranted. Supervisors who suspect that an employee may be using or in possession of alcohol, controlled substances, or illegal drugs must immediately contact the Employee Relations Office. 

Any employee who is convicted of a violation of a criminal drug statute as a result of an incident occurring in the workplace or while on university property must notify the Employee Relations Office in writing within five (5) days of his or her conviction.  Such conviction will be grounds for mandatory evaluation and possible treatment for a substance abuse disorder, and for corrective action, up to and including termination.

Employees who have the need for assistance in avoiding the use of alcohol or controlled substances should contact the Employee Relations Office or the Employee Assistance Provider directly

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Personal Privileges
Every employee contributes to the university image.  While employees have the right to personal preferences in dress and workplace decor, the overall image will be one of professionalism as appropriate for the particular function.  The university reserves the right to restrict dress and workplace decor for legitimate reasons relating to safety, hygiene or environmental conditions.

Personal Interests
The university is aware of the challenge for employees to balance their work lives with the demands of full personal lives.  Therefore, the university suggests that employees be aware of the following requirements:

  • Visitors in the Workplace:
    The university values family and work-life balance and strives to be a family-friendly workplace.  Children (under the age of eighteen), family members or friends are welcome for occasional, brief visits in the workplace.  Employees may bring children to appropriate university-sponsored events.  Children are allowed in the workplace when they are visiting in conjunction with a sponsored program by the department or school. Releases by their parents must be signed when they enter the program, example provided in the policy. Supervisors may approve non-routine visits that do not interfere with an employee’s ability to perform his/her work functions, the productivity of a work unit or with the safety of employees or others.  However, children may not visit the workplace if their presence conflicts with departmental policy, or federal or state law.

    CWRU is sensitive to employee’s needs surrounding child care; however, due to liability concerns, CWRU cannot permit children in the workplace in situations other than as described above.  Children are not allowed in potentially hazardous work areas (i.e. laboratories), as defined above.  Also, children under the age of sixteen must be accompanied by an adult in the university libraries. As necessary, supervisors may, at their discretion grant employee’s time off to handle child care needs in emergency or unforeseen circumstances.

    Supervisors are responsible for the enforcement of this policy in their areas.  Employees who violate this policy may be subject to positive corrective action, up to and including termination.

  • Personal Interest In Non-Profit Causes or For-Profit Activities
  • The university recognizes that employees participate in many organizations that conduct fundraising for non-profit and/or for profit. However, an employee should not actively solicit another employee at work with goods for sale as a fundraiser for a non-profit organization.   Only university approved fundraising activities may be conducted while at work.  Employees may not be engaged in an external business or activity(s), whether they are for non-profit or for profit, while at work.

  • Social Responsibility
  • Employees are encouraged to participate in community activities and organizations, but must confine their activity to non-working hours.  If employees have an opportunity to integrate the university community and the greater community, the employees should discuss the collaboration with their supervisors to insure university approval.  University-sponsored volunteer programs (for example, Case for Community Day and Relay for Life) are permitted with supervisory approval.  No resources of the university may be utilized by or for outside organizations without prior approval.

Animals on Campus
Animals (dogs, cats, birds, other pets etc.) are not permitted inside any University-controlled building except for those animals that are specifically exempted by this policy.  Specifically, animals are prohibited from being in offices, classrooms, hallways, and all other areas in any academic or administrative building.  Private residences are excluded from this policy. 

Domesticated pets are permitted outside on campus grounds when leashed and properly attended at all times.  In addition, dogs are permitted on the University’s Squire Valleevue Farm grounds; however, they must be leashed and attended at all times.  The university reserves the right to require the individual with a leashed domesticated pet to present documentation from a veterinarian that the pet is in good health, has appropriate shots, and is in compliance with all applicable state and local health laws, especially in the case of a medical emergency related to the animal such as an animal bite.  The individual may be asked to present updated documentation annually.

Students residing in residence halls should refer to the Housing and Residence Life Policies and Procedures concerning pets in residence halls.

Exempted Animals

The following animals are permitted on University-controlled property:

Service animals while performing duties
Service animals are permitted on University-controlled property and in University buildings while they are performing tasks for the individual they accompany.

A service animal is an animal specially trained to perform one or more specific functions or activities of daily living for an individual with a documented disability.  Service animals include guide dogs for those with visual or hearing impairments, or service dogs to perform tasks for the mobility-impaired (i.e. pulling a wheelchair, fetching dropped items).

Any animal being used as a service animal inside any University-controlled building should wear a harness or other identifying device to identify it as a service animal.

In order for the Office of Inclusion, Diversity & Equal Opportunity to help facilitate the use of a service animal on campus, employees using service animals inside any University-controlled building must notify in advance the Office of Inclusion, Diversity & Equal Opportunity of the need to use a service animal during employment.  In order for the Office of Disability Resources in Office of Educational Services for Students (ESS) to help facilitate the use of a service animal on campus, students using service animals inside any University-controlled building must notify in advance the Office of Disability Resources of the need to use a service animal.

The University reserves the right to require the individual to present documentation from a veterinarian that the service animal is in good health and has appropriate shots and is in compliance with all applicable state and local health laws, especially when (1) the service animal will reside on campus in a residence hall, (2) will be present on a regular basis in a classroom or employment setting on campus, or (3) in the case of a medical emergency related to the animal such as an animal bite. The individual may be asked to present updated documentation annually. The University reserves the right to request documentation that the animal has been trained to act as a service animal.

Service animals may enter any building or classroom with the person they accompany.  The individual with the service animal takes full responsibility for the needs and behavior of the animal.  Animal waste must be picked up and disposed of properly.

The Office of Inclusion, Diversity & Equal Opportunity will investigate any complaint that a service animal is disruptive or threatening.  If it is determined that the animal is disruptive or threatening and acting outside the appropriate scope of its duties as a service animal, the individual will be instructed to remove the animal until the individual produces appropriate documentation indicating that sufficient training has taken place to bring the animal under control.

Any employee or visitor wishing to utilize a service animal may request a modification to this provision on service animals as necessary and as a reasonable accommodation for that individual by presenting the request to the Office of Inclusion, Diversity & Equal Opportunity.  Any student wishing to utilize a service animal may request a modification to this provision on service animals as necessary and as a reasonable accommodation for that individual by presenting the request to the Office of Disability Resources in Office of Educational Services for Students (ESS).  As part of the interactive process with the student, these offices will consult with the Office of Campus Planning & Operations and other appropriate University offices to determine the appropriate modification, if any, to the provision on service animals for that individual.

Research and teaching animals
Animals that are officially part of the University’s teaching, research or clinical programs are exempt from this policy.

Reporting
To report a problem with an animal on campus, such as unattended animal, contact the Protective Services Office at 368-3333

Failure to Comply
Failure to comply with this policy will result in removal of the animal from campus and may result in disciplinary action against the owner or keeper of the pet.

Professionalism

Professionalism in communications and behavior is the only acceptable form of interaction on campus and in related university business settings.  Every employee is expected to conduct himself/herself in a manner that is a positive reflection of the university.  When differences of opinions occur, only constructive, legitimate, and respectful forms of communication are considered appropriate.

The university does not condone the following behaviors in the workplace: intimidation (raised voice, yelling, screaming), verbal abuse, including the use of profanity, humiliation via sarcasm, inappropriate physical contact, threatening-like behavior, or invading personal space or privacy.  Employees who engage in these types of behaviors may be subject to corrective action via the Positive Corrective Action policy, up to and including termination.  Employees who feel that they have been subjected to these types of behaviors should report such behaviors to their supervisor, Employee Relations or the Office of Inclusion, Diversity & Equal Opportunity immediately.  All reports of these types of behaviors will be taken seriously and handled appropriately.

 
Smoke-Free Workplace

The university has accepted the opinion of the Surgeon General that smoking is the largest preventable cause of illness and premature death.  Since the university has substantial commitments to health-related research and teaching, it has a parallel commitment to protect the health environment of students, employees and guests.  Therefore, and in compliance with the State of Ohio smoking ban set out in Chapter 3794 of the Ohio Revised Code, the university does not permit smoking in any of its buildings or structures, including in residence halls or in university vehicles. In addition, all outside walkways and grounds of university property are smoke-free, except for specific university-designated smoking areas.  The medical, dental and nursing schools and the health sciences podium and the health sciences garage are entirely smoke-free and do not have any university-designated smoking areas.

All university faculty, staff, and student employees share the responsibility for maintaining a healthy work environment.  All employees are encouraged to notify any person violating this policy to discontinue smoking immediately.  If an individual does not immediately discontinue smoking, any employee should report the incident to University Police and Safety Services or Employee Relations.  University Police and Security Services will issue citations to any employee or visitor found in violation of this policy.  The State Department of Health also provides a number for reporting complaints, 1-866-559-6446.  All supervisors are responsible for the enforcement of this policy and for reporting offenders to their supervisor, Employee Relations, or University Police.  Employees who violate this policy will be subject to corrective action in accordance with the Positive Corrective Action Policy (III-3).  Violators will also be issued a University Police citation and may be subject to repayment of fines issued to the university by the State as provided in Ohio Revised Code 3794.

If an employee needs assistance with a smoking cessation program, the employee should contact the Employee Relations Office or Employee Assistance Provider directly.  No employee or individual is permitted to retaliate against any employee or individual for reporting violations of this policy.

Solicitation
Solicitation or distribution of literature by non-employees, on or through university property, is prohibited.  Solicitation or distribution of literature by employees for non-sanctioned university events is only permitted while employees are on non-work time, and in non-work areas.

The use of university directories or work-dedicated systems, such as electronic mail, voice mail, facsimile systems, and bulletin boards, for the purposes of solicitation or distribution of literature for non-sanctioned university events is prohibited.

 

Policy Administration: Vice President for Human Resources and supervisory staff.

References: Drug Free Workplace Act, Drug Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, City of Cleveland Smoking Ordinance, Notification (pdf) for Case faculty and staff, Annual notification to Case Western Reserve University Employees, Ohio Revised Code 3794. Positive Corrective Action Policy & Procedure (III-3, III-3a).