Saturday, June 30, 2012

Employee conduct

Employees are required to observe high standards of conduct.  Professional and respectful conduct includes customer service, work standards, courteousness, and ethical behavior.  Decisions and practices must further the agency's business goals.  They must be legal and ethical.  They must protect safety and preserve the environment.  Serious breaches of proper conduct jeopardize continued employment.


TriMet’s highest priority is providing excellent customer service to the public and to co-workers. This means everything that affects the customer’s experience — from comfortable, safe facilities to friendly, courteous, and responsive employees.


Work decisions, practices, and standards must support customer service and other agency goals.  Managers, by setting an example and providing clear instructions, are to establish and monitor measurable standards of work performance.  Employees are responsible to meet individual and department goals, including the quality of performance and quantity of results.
Work standards include accountability.  Non-union employees have an annual performance review, which ties performance results to salary increase (see HR-324 Performance Appraisal: Non-Union Employees in this manual).  Operator standards are stated in the Bus Operators’ SOPs and in the Rail Operation Rule Book.  Maintenance staff has its standard operating procedures (SOPs), as do many other work units.


It is TriMet's policy to comply fully with all laws governing its operations and to conduct its affairs in keeping with legal and ethical standards.  Ethical conduct — extending courtesy, respect, and fairness to others; observing confidentiality; being fiscally responsible; demonstrating integrity in work and relationships; and telling the truth — creates a healthy work environment.  Fulfilling the intent of this policy depends upon the actions of each individual.
Sections within this manual explain specific laws, policies, and their application.  Examples include HR-102 Affirmative ActionHR-105 Americans with Disabilities ActHR-134 Conflict of Interest–Ethics StatementHR-150 Drug Free Workplace, HR-175 Equal Employment OpportunityHarassment, HR-171 Respectful Workplace ConductHR-172 Retaliation Policy, and HR-173 Violence Prevention. You are expected to comply with the requirements of these policies, both in your dealings with the public as well as in your dealings with coworkers.
TriMet’s conflict of interest/ethics policy establishes consequences for employees who use their position for personal benefit or for gaining favors from the public.  It includes a quarterly reporting requirement for any person who might participate in a contract decision.  You are asked to exceed the legal standard by not giving even the appearance of impropriety.
In a similar context, your public role and your private role cannot overlap.  If your job involves a visible public role on a public policy issue or project, you may not also advocate on that same issue or project at a personal, private level.
Any infraction of applicable laws, rules and policies pertaining to employee conduct, or ethical standards will subject an employee to disciplinary action.  This may take the form of warning, reprimand, probation, suspension, and reduction in salary, demotion, or dismissal.  In addition, the agency may discipline an employee for conduct that it considers contrary to its interests or to the interests of its customers or employees.


TriMet requires ethical and legal conduct in our workplace.  Egregious or illegal conduct that you engage in outside of work may also impact your employment with TriMet.  Employees may be terminated from employment if convicted of criminal activities that are directly related to work responsibilities or have an adverse or negative impact on TriMet’s business.


TriMet respects the privacy and individual rights of others and believes that employment or work outside of TriMet can be appropriate; however, outside employment or work may raise possible conflict of interest issues or otherwise adversely impact the workplace.  Therefore, all employees must disclose any employment or work outside of TriMet for which an employee receives any compensation or financial benefit, to their divisional Executive Director.  Employment or work for which an employee receives any compensation or financial benefit outside of TriMet may be allowed if the employee can continue to perform his or her normal work requirements at an acceptable level of performance within the scheduled workweek and the employee’s role created by the outside employment or work does not confuse or conflict with the work related role of the employee at TriMet. Work assignments, performance standards, and schedules will not be changed for the employee to perform work not related to TriMet.  Employees may not accept or engage in any activity, business, or employment, either during or after working hours that would conflict with HR 134 Conflict of Interest, or other TriMet business interests or reduce the ability of the employee to provide TriMet their full and undivided service.


Safety and security must be primary to all decisions and actions.  This agency is entrusted to provide safe and secure transit to the public and safe working conditions for employees.  Competent operators, quality maintenance, and informed decisions about construction, chemicals and products help to protect everyone.
In protecting safety and security, you are asked to use your common sense and report any unusual or potentially dangerous situations to the Operations Command Center (OCC).  This includes suspicious activities, any dangerous or threatening conduct, and any criminal acts that you may witness.  The OCC may be contacted by using the Bus Dispatch System, radio, or telephone at 503-962-6000.
Weapon Possession & Physical Force
No one working for or with the agency, except Transit Police, may possess a weapon while on duty or on TriMet property or use force beyond the legal defense of self or others.  Specifically, no employee may possess firearms while at work and may not keep firearms in their vehicles while parked on TriMet property.  This prohibition applies even if the person has a valid gun permit.
According to the System Safety Policy Statement:
Safety is the major consideration in all TriMet operations including planning, design, construction, testing and maintenance of the rail/bus transit system.
The safety, transportation and maintenance offices issue safety requirements for specific situations, but some safety policies are required conduct for all employees.  Some of the most critical are:

Actions Requiring Pre-Approval
The hazards inherent in constructing, maintaining, and operating a transit system and the costs of non-compliance have resulted in the following requirement.  The Safety Office (SO) or Environmental Compliance (EC) must pre-approve:
    • Design for capital projects (SO)
    • Use of potentially hazardous materials or chemical products requires pre-approval in the design and specifications stage (SO)
    • Disposal of potentially hazardous waste products or unknown chemical waste products (EC)
If you have designs in progress, projects underway, or products in stock, ask the Safety Office or Environmental Compliance for its recommendations, so we can reduce hazards and consider best solutions.

Use of Seatbelts
Seat belt use is a district safety requirement.  Every employee who operates a revenue service bus, and every employee who operates or is a passenger in a service vehicle, district-owned automobile, or any other non-revenue vehicle must use a seatbelt.  This requirement is unconditional, whether the vehicle is operated on district premises or on public right-of-way.
Revenue buses operated only on district property for servicing or repairs are exempt from the seatbelt requirement.


Environmental protection is fundamental to all of TriMet’s decisions and actions.  All employees, including those under contract, are to comply with agency guidelines and integrate them into work habits, judgments and actions.
The Green Team is drafting an agency environmental policy, which will be published in the Human Resources Manual.  Your awareness, common sense, and active support will ensure a healthier environment and compliance with environmental statutes and laws.

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