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General Workplace Policies

Access to Personnel Records

Staff members may review the contents of their personnel file by arranging an appointment with a Labor/Employee Relations Representative located in the Office of Human Resource Management. The documents contained within the personnel file are the sole property of the University. An employee may request a copy of any or all contents in the file.

Background Screening

Fordham University believes that the hiring of qualified individuals will support the University’s overall strategic success. The purpose of this policy is to describe the terms and conditions under which a background screen will be conducted. Background screening is designed to promote a safe working environment that will protect the University’s most important assets, the people we serve. Background screening will assist hiring managers to make prudent employment decisions based upon comprehensive job-related information that will serve as an integral part of the selection process.

Fordham University will conduct background screening on all prospective applicants’ post-offer (contingency offer), as well as current employees being transferred or promoted into a new position. This means that an offer may be extended to the prospective applicant, subject to the results of the background screen. Fordham University will use an impartial third party administrator to conduct the background screening.

The University reserves the right to designate certain employee classifications to submit to annual background screen recertification. Additionally, the University requires that if there are charges pending against you for a state or federal crime punishable by imprisonment you must promptly notify the Office of Human Resource Management. Failure to do so will constitute cause for immediate dismissal.

Civility and Respectful Conduct

The University expects supervisors to administer their authority with reason, fairness, compassion, and commitment to institutional values and objectives. It also expects all of its employees to be respectful of employees in positions of authority and to work with colleagues in a spirit of cooperation and understanding that leads to the fulfillment of the University's service mission. The University is a learning community that continually strives to advance collegiality, civility, and responsible stewardship. The highest standard of excellence to which the University aspires requires all employees to act in good faith, with common decency and respect for others. In any workplace, occasional problems inevitably arise, but fair and orderly processes are in place for the resolution of conflicts and disagreements. A climate of civility and respectful conduct is expected to be maintained in the workplace at all times, and appropriate measures will be taken to deal effectively with any form of intolerance, insubordination, or unwillingness to cooperate in the resolution of differences and the observance of policies, practices, and professional standards.

Conflicts of Interest

Fordham University requires all employees to avoid any conflict between their interests and those of the University, and to disclose promptly any actual or potential conflicts such as:

  • Holding an interest in or accepting free or discounted goods from any company or organization that does, or is seeking to do, business with the University, by any employee who is in a position to directly or indirectly influence either the University’s decision to do business, or the terms upon which business would be done with such company or organization.
  • Holding an interest in an organization that competes with the University.
  • Being employed by (including working as a consultant) or serving on the board of any organization that does, or is seeking to do, business with the University or which competes with the University.
  • Gaining personally, e.g., through commissions, loans, expense or travel reimbursements or other compensation, from any company or organization doing, or seeking to do, business with the University.

A conflict of interest may also exist when a member of an employee's immediate family is involved in situations described above.

Subject to any other applicable rules or regulations, this policy is not intended to prohibit the acceptance of modest courtesies, openly given and acknowledged as part of the usual business amenities, e.g., occasional business-related meals or promotional items of nominal or minor value not to exceed $50 per occurrence (cumulative value for courtesies, meals, and/or items not to exceed $250 in any twelve month period)

It is the responsibility of the employee to report promptly any actual or potential conflict that may exist between the employee (and employee’s immediate family) and the University. In the absence of disclosure, violations of the principles and standards contained in this policy statement may be subject to discipline, up to and including employee discharge. Employees with decision-making authority will be required to acknowledge receipt of this policy and when applicable, disclose any existing or potential conflicts. The President of the University will have the final authority to determine the appropriate penalty for any policy violations.

Dual Employment Activities

Full-time administrators of the University are expected to devote their major energies to University activities. Accordingly, outside activities from which administrators derive compensation should not interfere with your job performance. Devoting significant time to such activities is not permitted, except with the written approval of the Area Vice President, who will consider the activities effect on the your University responsibilities. This approval may be given for a period not to exceed one year and may be renewed.

Part-time administrators are permitted to derive compensation from other activities, but these activities must be disclosed at the time of employment to the Area Vice President, who shall consider the policy applicable to full-time employment in determining whether to employ the individual. Part-time administrators shall disclose any changes in such activities when they occur. The Area Vice President shall make a written determination at the time of such disclosure, or on an annual basis, that such activity will not have an adverse effect on your University activities.

Employment of Members of the Same Family or Household

The University invites staff members to recommend qualified individuals to apply for posted positions. Should a family member be granted employment within the University, the following conditions will apply:

  • At the time you are hired or any time thereafter, you may not work in the same department with a member of your immediate family or your household, nor may you serve in a supervisory capacity over a member of your immediate family or your household, nor may you report directly to a member of your immediate family or your household.
  • While a member of your immediate family may work for another department within the University, you may not participate in decisions or recommendations regarding their conditions of employment, salary, or the promotional opportunities of said family or household member.

Information Technology Policy

The Information Technology (IT) resources and services of Fordham University are provided for the advancement of the University's educational, research, and service objectives. They are offered primarily to facilitate the University's academic and business purposes. Any access or use of IT resources and services that interferes, interrupts, or conflicts with these purposes is not acceptable.

This policy statement provides notice of the University's expectations and guidelines to all who use and manage IT resources and services (including but not limited to computing, networking, communications and telecommunications systems, infrastructure, hardware, software, data, databases, personnel, procedures and physical facilities). The University’s position regarding this policy is outlined in the IT Acceptable Use Policy.


No administrator with supervisory authority will take adverse employment action against any individual in retaliation for disclosing to a public body an actionable claim of wrongful conduct. This includes "good faith" reporting of violations of the law to appropriate law enforcement authorities, commonly referred to as "whistle blowing".

Anyone found to have retaliated or otherwise discriminated against another in violation of this policy will be subject to discipline in accordance with the applicable University procedures.

In order to permit Fordham University the opportunity to review the alleged wrongful conduct and to take prompt and immediate corrective actions as may be warranted to protect the University community employees are encouraged to disclose allegations of wrongful conduct to the Office of Legal Counsel, the Office of Human Resource Management and/or the Office of Internal Audit. Information and identities revealed will be held in confidence as appropriate and in accordance with the law.

Any employee who knowingly reports false allegations of wrongful conduct may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment in accordance with the applicable University procedures. 


The University does not permit the unauthorized solicitation of its employees for any purpose (including raffles, sales of merchandise, solicitation for membership or support of social, community, labor or other organizations, etc.) during the work time of the person being solicited or of the solicitor. As such, you may not distribute literature relating to these activities in the workplace. In addition, you may not use University mail, e-mail, telephone, supplies, or equipment for anything other than Fordham business purposes. Authorization to solicit employees for charitable purposes must be obtained from an officer of the University (e.g., Thanksgiving canned food drives or blood drives are generally approved by the University President or Vice President of Mission and Ministry).

The University also prohibits salespersons, advertising distributors, and all other non-employees from soliciting or distributing literature or marketing via e-mail in any Fordham University building at any time.

These rules are necessary to minimize intrusions of your privacy as an employee as well as to prevent the disruption of normal work activity. If you engage in prohibited activity, including solicitation that disrupts your own work or that of your colleagues, you may be subject to disciplinary action.

University Integrity Hotline

Fordham’s faculty, administrators and staff are responsible for helping to create and maintain an environment characterized by high standards of ethical behavior and compliance with University Statutes, policies, federal, state and local laws and regulations. If, as an employee, you have information about behavior believed to be in violation of the law or University policies, the normal course of action is to report these suspected violations to one’s supervisor or to the person or office that is designated as responsible for investigating and responding to the specific situation.

Situations may arise, however, when you may discover or reasonably suspect unethical or illegal behavior and yet may be reluctant to report it for fear of reprisal or retaliation. Accordingly, Fordham University has selected a third-party called EthicsPoint to provide an Integrity Hotline which offers an anonymous means of reporting situations when you may choose not to use the other aforementioned reporting procedures.

If you feel uncomfortable speaking directly with a supervisor or other University officials, EthicsPoint will help facilitate confidential and anonymous reporting either by direct calling 1-888-278-1501 or online process to report activities or concerns about any aspect of University compliance. All information will be treated confidentially.

Use of Alcohol

New York State laws regulate the University’s policy on the use and serving of alcohol. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase, arrange to have purchased, transport, possess, consume or carry alcoholic beverages.

In accordance with University policy, alcoholic beverage consumption is prohibited on University property except for designated and officially sanctioned University events. Administrators should refrain from giving alcohol as a gift to students, co-workers and other staff members. Administrators who participate in student activities should become familiar with the guidelines regarding alcohol consumption by students that are published by the Office of Student Affairs. Serving or selling alcohol to a minor, to a Fordham student, or any person of legal drinking age who is intoxicated can result in criminal or civil liability and possible disciplinary action. Administrators are expected to act responsibly and be aware of the potential for personal liability and employee misconduct charges whenever alcohol is served at events or gatherings they attend with students.

Fordham maintains extensive guidelines on student alcohol use, which appear annually in published student literature. As administrators, you should be aware of your host liabilities in serving or selling alcohol to a minor or to anyone who is obviously intoxicated. You should also be aware of your liability for alcohol service at events that students attend.