In each IntegrityStar edition, we highlight some frequently asked questions. In this third edition, we offer the following questions and answers related to ethics.
The following FAQs provide general guidelines for all employees. For more specific guidance, please do not hesitate to contact University Compliance, Ethics, and Risk at 407-823-6263 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The university seems to be putting a lot of time and effort into training about ethics and values. Does that mean we’re in trouble for something already?
You’re right to realize that the topics discussed in our ethics program are the kind of thing that could cause “trouble”– lawsuits, fines, or even jail terms for individuals. But the program is intended to raise awareness of ethical decisions and emphasize the practice of positive values before problems occur. If we learn to consider all the issues before we act, the result will be a climate of honesty and trust, where issues are freely raised and discussed. That way, issues can be resolved before the “trouble” starts.
I’ve been invited to a session on sexual harassment next week. I’m so busy at work that I really don’t feel I can afford to take the time to attend. But my boss says it’s mandatory. Why do I have to go?
Your question isn’t so much “Why do I have to go?” as it is “Why is this kind of training mandatory?” The answer is because issues like sexual harassment are not always as overt or obvious as they might appear. The more you know about what constitutes harassment, the better equipped you are to spot it, report it, or even stop yourself from saying or doing something that could be considered harassment. Training like this raises awareness so we all understand the implications of our behavior.
My boss constantly puts unsubstantiated charges on his expense reports. I think that these are for personal items bought when he travels for business that are not allowed by our policies. What should I do?
Tell University Audit, University Compliance, Ethics, and Risk, or report it through the UCF IntegrityLine. Falsifying financial reports is against the law and university policies. Expense reports can be easily audited and you should not need to be involved after you have reported the situation.
When I see that a situation is wrong, isn’t it better to talk to my co-worker rather than call the IntegrityLine?
You do not have to call the IntegrityLine if there is a way to resolve the situation through discussion with your co-worker or your supervisor. The IntegrityLine exists in order to address situations that cannot be resolved through discussion.