Georgia State University recognizes that the performance capacity of its employees is its greatest asset and thus endeavors to support employees’ efforts to realize their full potential by:
- employing and promoting on the basis of merit;
- providing opportunities for training and development to all employees; and
- providing opportunities for advancement to all employees.
The pages of this handbook expand on these employment principles, setting forth guidelines that affect employment.
101.1 Equal Opportunity Statement
Georgia State University is an equal opportunity employer. It continues to be the policy of the University to implement affirmative action and equal opportunity for all employees, students, contractors, consultants and applicants for employment or admission without regard to race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, age, gender, transgender status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, genetic information, protected veteran status, or disability.
The University’s affirmative action program and related policies are developed in compliance with Executive Orders 11246, 11375, 13672, and 13665 as amended; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Sections 503 & 504) and the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 (Title II) and their implementing regulations; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; and the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as it amends 38 U.S.C. 4212.
In conformance with the federal regulations listed above, Georgia State University does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment with regard to any opportunity for which the employee is qualified.
Persons wishing to file complaints under the provisions of this policy should contact the Office of Opportunity Development and Diversity Education Planning (ODDEP), specifically AA/EEO Investigations and Hiring (a division of ODDEP).
Every member of the Georgia State University community is expected to uphold this policy as a matter of mutual respect and fundamental fairness in human relations. The policy has the unequivocal support of the Office of the President. All members of the faculty, staff, and student body are expected to ensure that nondiscriminatory practices are followed at Georgia State University.
Specifically, the University will:
- comply with both the letter and spirit of the laws and regulations governing equal opportunity in the workplace providing equal opportunity to all employees and to all applicants for employment;
- review all of its personnel policies, including benefits, compensation, employment, promotion, training, tuition assistance, and separation, to ensure there is no unlawful discrimination or harassment because of a person’s race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, age, marital status, gender, transgender status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, genetic information, protected veteran status, or disability, and for people in any other legally protected groups;
- make reasonable accommodations for the physical and/or mental disabilities of qualified employees and applicants;
- inform employees of the right to refer complaints to their supervisor, the Office of AA/EEO Investigations and Hiring, the Office of Employee Relations, or the Office of Legal Affairs without being subject to intimidation or retaliation in any form.
101.2 Americans with Disabilities, Disabled Veterans, and Veterans of the Vietnam Era
It is the policy of Georgia State University not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because he or she is an individual with a disability, a disabled veteran or a veteran of the Vietnam Era. It is also the policy of Georgia State University to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam Era and individuals with disabilities.
This policy applies to all employment actions including, but not limited to, advertising, recruitment, hiring, compensation, retention, training, demotion, promotion or transfer, layoff, Reduction in Force (RIF) or termination and tenure. Persons wishing to self-identify as an individual with a disability, disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era should contact the Human Resources Department.
An individual wishing to file a complaint should contact the Office of AA/EEO Investigations and Hiring.
All personnel actions involving individuals with disabilities, disabled veterans, and veterans of the Vietnam Era will be governed by the affirmative action programs developed in compliance with 41 CFR Parts 60-741 and 60-250.
In order to ensure compliance, operational responsibility for implementing and monitoring this policy and maintaining and updating the affirmative action plan for individuals with disabilities, disabled veterans and veterans of the Vietnam Era lies with the Office of AA/EEO Investigations and Hiring.
The affirmative action plan is available for inspection by any employee or applicant for employment, during normal business hours, in the Georgia State University Office of AA/EEO Investigations and Hiring or the University Library. Every member of the University community is expected to uphold this policy as a matter of mutual respect and fundamental fairness in human relations. This policy has the unequivocal support of the Office of the President. All members of the faculty, staff, and student body are expected to ensure that nondiscriminatory practices are followed at Georgia State University.
101.2a Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination in the workplace on the basis of a disability and requires that employers provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. A reasonable accommodation refers to a change in the job or environment that allows a qualified employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of his or her job. Some examples of accommodations include:
- restructuring a job
- modifying work schedules
- providing interpreters
- redesigning work areas and equipment or acquiring new equipment
- ensuring facility accessibility to those with physical disabilities
101.2b ADA Accommodation Policy and Process
In order to provide equal access and opportunities to individuals with disabilities, reasonable accommodations may be needed. Accommodations are made on a case by case basis, taking into account the type and severity of the disability and the specific job requirements involved. The University works with eligible employees to identify the most appropriate accommodation in a given situation.
An accommodation need not be the most expensive or ideal accommodation, or the specific accommodation requested by the employee so long as it is effective. In addition, employers are not required to provide accommodations that are primarily for personal use. The University will work with eligible individuals who prefer to provide their own accommodation to ensure compatibility with the University’s systems.
101.2c Self Identification
To receive an accommodation in the workplace, an employee with a disability must first self-identify himself/herself as having a disability. Voluntary Disclosure Forms are available in the Benefits Office of Human Resources and online at: https://hr.gsu.edu/service-centers/benefits/active-employees/#ada
Completed forms should be turned back into the ADA Coordinator in the Benefits Office.
Georgia State University is not required to provide a reasonable accommodation until the employee has disclosed he/she has a disability, requested an accommodation, and it has been determined by the University that the employee has a qualified disability as defined under the ADA. Submission of this information is voluntary. An individual may not have acquired a disability, or may not realize accommodations are needed, until after he/she is hired. An employee may self-identify himself/herself as having a disability during the hiring process, when first hired, or at any other time while employed at Georgia State University. However, accommodations are not retroactive.
All information submitted about a disability will be maintained separately from personnel records and kept confidential in accordance with the ADA, except that: (a) supervisors and managers may be informed regarding restrictions on the work or duties of qualified individuals with disabilities and necessary accommodations; (b) first aid and safety personnel may be informed, to the extent appropriate, if and when a condition might require emergency treatment; and (c) government officials engaged in enforcing laws such as those administered by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs or the Americans with Disabilities Act may be informed. The information provided will be used only in ways that are consistent with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
101.2d Request for an Accommodation
If an employee requires an accommodation to perform his/her job duties properly and safely, the employee should advise their supervisor of the need and submit a completed Accommodation Request Form to the ADA Coordinator in the Benefits Office.
For the full policy, process, and applicable forms, employees may go to: https://hr.gsu.edu/service-centers/benefits/active-employees/#ada
101.3 Sexual Harassment Policy
Sexual harassment is prohibited by Georgia State University, the University System of Georgia and by state and federal law. Sexual harassment is a form of prohibited sex discrimination. Georgia State University is firmly committed to maintaining a work environment free of sexual harassment and does so by providing training for all employees explaining the definition of sexual harassment, how to report sexual harassment and the consequences for sexually harassing a member of the University community. Sexual harassment of any member of the University community is prohibited and will subject the offender to disciplinary action which may include termination.
101.3a Definition of Sexual Harassment
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission definition, adopted by Georgia State University, states that unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
- submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic standing; or
- submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting an individual; or
- such conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or academic environment; or
- such conduct that can be implicitly or explicitly categorized under Sex Discrimination, a prohibited form of Sexual harassment under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. Georgia State University will not tolerate any form of harassing behavior to or from employees, consultants, contractors, or other non-employees.
101.3b Reporting Procedures
Any employee who feels that he or she has been the victim of harassment is encouraged to use the University’s internal procedures to resolve complaints. The supervisor is also responsible to report any knowledge of harassment. The complainant may elect to use any of three University procedures. The complainant may consult informally with a counselor (employees contact Faculty and Staff Assistance), with the University Ombudsperson, or the complainant may submit a formal complaint with the /Office of AA/EEO Investigations. Complainants should note that informal resolution through the Ombudspersons Office or Faculty and Staff Assistance does not put the University on notice of sexual harassment. In instances of sexual misconduct under Title IX, the Ombudsperson is not a confidential resource.
A counselor from Faculty and Staff Assistance or the Counseling and Testing Center is used when the complainant desires personal assistance in dealing with a confidential reporting of sexual harassment, and is outside the University’s mechanism for resolving complaints.
Actions of the Ombudsperson focus on communication, education, and possible resolution.
Formal complaint procedures through the Office of AA/EEO Investigations and Hiring focus on investigation and resolution. A complainant may use any of the procedures initially, and may move among them as the situation dictates. Employees may also file harassment complaints with the appropriate state or federal agencies under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972.
101.3c Sexual Identity Policy
It is the policy of Georgia State University that an individual’s sexual identity will not be considered when making any personnel decisions. One’s sexual identity is strictly personal, and such information is prohibited from being used in any way by the University or its employees in employment decisions.
101.3d Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was the first comprehensive federal law to prohibit sex discrimination against students and employees of educational institutions. Title IX states, in part:
No person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
Title IX prohibits sex discrimination. Sexual harassment is a form of prohibited sex discrimination. Students (male and female) and employees (faculty and staff) are protected from sexual harassment.
The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for enforcing the law. Faculty, staff, and students can file complaints of sex discrimination with the Title IX Coordinator. Retaliation against complainants is prohibited.
The Title IX Coordinator is the Associate Vice President of Human Resources and Opportunity Development and Diversity Education Planning. The Title IX Coordinator can be contacted at:
Human Resources and Opportunity Development and Diversity Education Planning
101.4 Policy on Accommodation of Religious Practice
Georgia State University recognizes and respects the religious diversity of its employees. The University complies with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating in any aspect of employment regarding an individual’s sincerely held religious practice or belief. Employers must accommodate employees’ religious needs, unless it would cause an undue hardship to University operations. Failure to do so is an unlawful employment practice.
The obligation to accommodate begins when an employee notifies his/her supervisor and the Office of Opportunity Development and Diversity Education Planning (ODDEP) of the need for an accommodation. Once notified, available alternatives for accommodating the religious practice involved will be considered. If there is more than one alternative available, which would not cause an undue hardship, the alternative, which would least disadvantage the individual’s employment opportunities must be offered. The offered accommodation does not have to be the one the employee prefers, if the above standard (i.e., least disadvantage) is met.
For questions regarding the Religious Accommodation procedure, please contact ODDEP at 1 Park Place South, Suite 527 Atlanta, GA 30303 or at 404-413-2563 / email@example.com.
101.5 Drug and Alcohol Policy
The use, consumption, possession, distribution or sale of any narcotic, dangerous drug, or controlled substance by any employee of the University for which such employee does not have a legal license or valid prescription is strictly prohibited.
The University supports all federal, state and local laws relating to the use of alcoholic beverages. The use, possession, consumption, distribution or sale of alcoholic beverages on any property owned or leased by the University is strictly prohibited. Exceptions may be made only by the President or a designee. In these instances, all laws surrounding alcohol consumption, including but not limited to the drinking age of 21, will be adhered to. No University funds may be used for the purchase of alcoholic beverages.
If a unit or subunit of the University holds a function where alcohol is to be served, the rules and regulations apply outlined in the “Policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs” at: https://universityattorney.gsu.edu/policies-procedures/alcohol-policy/
The adherence to these policies on alcohol and drugs shall be the individual and personal responsibility of each employee of the University. Any employee who violates the policy on alcohol and/or drugs shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination from the University and referral to the appropriate federal, state and/or local authorities for prosecution, as appropriate.
101.5a Drug-Related Disciplinary Actions
Any employee who is convicted of unlawful manufacture, distribution, sale, use or possession of a controlled substance, an illegal or dangerous drug, or who admits guilt of any such offense in a court proceeding, shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination. It is the employee’s responsibility to inform the University of such convictions and/or admittance of guilt. Employment following a drug related offense may be conditioned on the employee’s completion of a drug abuse treatment and education program approved by Human Resources.
If, prior to arrest for an offense involving a controlled substance or a dangerous and/or illegal drug, an employee notifies his or her immediate supervisor that he or she illegally uses a controlled substance, marijuana, or a dangerous drug and is receiving treatment or agrees to receive treatment under a drug abuse and education program approved by Human Resources, such employee shall be retained for up to one year as long as the employee follows the treatment plan and the quality of his/her work remains satisfactory. Retention of such employee shall be conditioned upon satisfactory completion of the program. The employee’s work activities may be restructured if, in the opinion of the immediate supervisor and Human Resources, it is deemed advisable. No statement made by an employee to a supervisor or other person, in order to comply with this policy shall be admissible in any civil, administrative or criminal proceeding as evidence against the employee. The rights herein granted shall be available to a University employee only once during a five-year period and shall not apply to any such employee who has refused to be tested or who has tested positive for a controlled substance, marijuana or a dangerous and/or illegal drug.
For information on available campus resources for substance abuse related issues, please refer to Section 1100 (Additional Resources for Employees) and Section 1102 (Faculty and Staff Assistance (FASA)).
101.6 Intellectual Property Policy
The purpose of the Georgia State University Intellectual Property Policy is to encourage and recognize research and innovation by members of the University community, clarify ownership of intellectual property rights, create opportunities for public use of University innovations, and provide for the sharing of revenue with the creators of intellectual property when such revenue is derived from licensing of intellectual property.
For the complete policy, please reference: https://legalaffairs.gsu.edu/legal-services-forms/#1611242907879-3c102764-25a6
101.7 Staff Grievance Policy
The Staff Grievance Policy is available to any University staff working at least .5 full-time equivalency (“FTE”) who has completed the provisional six-month (6) employment period. The Staff Grievance Policy is not available to temporary employees, faculty, retirees, students, volunteers, or non-University employees (e.g., independent contractors, consultants, vendors, etc.).
The Staff Grievance Policy may be used by an eligible employee to bring a grievance about:
- an involuntary termination (involuntary terminations do not include resignation or retirement);
- a suspension or demotion; or
- an adverse action or decision that allegedly violates, misinterprets, or improperly applies a specific University policy, procedure, rule, or regulation.
This Grievance Policy may not be used to bring a grievance about other concerns, including, but not limited to:
- performance evaluations;
- letters of reprimand or other similar progressive disciplinary actions;
- performance action, development, or improvement plans;
- normal supervisory/managerial counseling;
- salary and grade classification determinations;
- reassignment or transfer of job duties and responsibilities;
- relocation of worksite locations;
- organization of a department or allocation of its resources;
- termination of grant funding;
- non-renewal of a limited term position;
- department hiring decisions;
- flexible work option decisions;
- reductions in force;
- voluntary separation agreements; or
- allegations of discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, disability, or allegations of protected activity retaliation.
All staff of the University are encouraged to view the entire Staff Grievance Policy on line at: https://hr.gsu.edu/service-centers/employee-relations/consultations-and-grievances/#g
101.8 Performance Policy
Georgia State University supports a consistent, continuous and communicated performance management process. As required by Board of Regents policy, a formal, written performance evaluation is to be completed at least once every calendar year. The performance evaluation must include an evaluation of the employee’s job knowledge, accuracy and quality, customer service, attendance and punctuality, productivity, supervision required, adaptability, organizational skills, communication skills and interpersonal relations/teamwork. Merit based compensation should be based upon performance as measured by the performance evaluation instrument.
101.9 Conflict of Interest and Commitment (Including Outside Employment/Activities)
The University encourages employees to participate in activities of professional associations, governmental entities, industry organizations, and other public and/or private groups that serve to benefit the participants and the University. While the University recognizes the benefits of such participation, it is also committed to ensuring that these activities are conducted properly and responsibly.
Employees shall make every reasonable effort to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest. An appearance of conflict exists when a reasonable person will conclude from the circumstances that the employee’s ability to protect the public interest, or perform public duties, is compromised by personal interest. An appearance of conflict can exist even in the absence of a legal conflict of interest.
101.9a Outside Employment/Activities
All employees should avoid actual or apparent conflict of interests between his/her college, division, or university obligations and his/her outside activities. Employees shall not engage in any occupation, pursuit, or endeavor which will interfere with the regular and punctual discharge of official duties.
All full-time faculty, administrators, and other professional staff members employed by the University are expected to give full professional effort to their assignments of teaching, research, and service.
For all activities, the employee shall report in writing through official channels the proposed arrangements and secure the approval of the president or designee prior to engaging in the activities. Such activities include consulting, teaching, speaking, and participating in business or service enterprises. Employees must fill out the Outside Activity Disclosure Form located at: https://universityattorney.gsu.edu/conflict-of-interest-policies/ and have signed approval before engaging in such activities.
Employees are referred to State Conflict of Interest Statutes O.C.G.A. §45-10-20 through §45-10-70 and Board of Regents Policies 8.2.15 regarding Conflict of Interest/Outside Activities at: https://www.usg.edu/policymanual/section8/C224/#p8.2.15_outside_activities
101.10 Political Activities
As responsible and interested citizens in a democratic society, employees are encouraged to fulfill their civic obligations and otherwise engage in the normal political processes of society. Nevertheless, it is inappropriate for employees to manage or enter political campaigns while on duty, to perform services at the University, or to hold elective political office at the state or federal level while employed by the University.
Therefore, the following policies governing political activities are hereby adopted:
- Employees may not manage or take an active part in a political campaign which interferes with the performance of duties or services for which receives compensation from Georgia State University.
- Employees may not hold elective political office at the state or federal level.
- A candidate for or holder of an elective political office at the state or federal level may not be employed or hold a faculty, staff, or other position at Georgia State University, with or without compensation.
- Employees seeking elective political office at the state or federal level must first request a leave of absence without pay prior to qualification as a candidate in a primary or general election and ending after the general or final election. If elected to state or federal office such person must resign prior to assuming office.
- Employees may seek and hold elective office at other than the state or federal level, or appointive office, when such candidacy for or holding of the office does not conflict or interfere with the employee’s duties and responsibilities to the University or the System.
101.11 Visa Purchase Cards (P-Cards)
The Georgia State University Purchase Card (P-Card) is a valuable tool for quickly and efficiently purchasing and paying for small dollar items without sacrificing control or cost. Per the State Accounting Office, the P‐Card may be used as the method of payment for unplanned, non‐routine, or urgent point of sale purchases under $1,000 and for purchases under $5,000 that are preapproved and go through the requisition process (P-card Pre-Approval Purchase Authorization Form) prior to completing the purchase. Point of sale transactions include purchases made at a physical store, in person, online, or over the phone. This tool can be advantageous to the individual purchaser, the purchaser’s department, the University, and the supplier. Benefits of the P-Card include the ability to reduce petty cash purchases, check requests (express vouchers), and purchase requests (requisitions) while maintaining an audit trail and accountability of expenditures for P-Card transactions. For more details, please see Section 900.
101.12 Panther PERQs
The Panther PERQs program is a partnership with local, statewide and national businesses that offer discounts or other incentives to Georgia State University employees and students with valid University identification cards. To use the program, a Georgia State University employee and/or student must identify themselves when making a purchase by showing a valid GSU picture ID or by giving the code, numbers, or following the instruction listed on the Panther PERQs page. Some discounts will require registering for membership, account numbers, brochures, order forms, or other information. To attain that information, please follow the instruction on the PERQs Program page. Georgia State University does not evaluate, endorse, or warrant the products and services offered by the Panther PERQs business partners. Georgia State University and Panther PERQs business partners have the right to discontinue the partnership at any time. For information, please visit: https://hr.gsu.edu/service-centers/edws/panther-perqs/
101.13 Gratuities Prohibited Receipt of Gifts
An employee of Georgia State University shall not directly or indirectly solicit, receive, accept, or agree to receive a thing of value by inducing the reasonable belief that the giving of the thing will influence employee’s performance or failure to perform any official action. The acceptance of a benefit, reward or consideration where the purpose of the gift is to influence an employee in the performance of official functions is a felony under O.C.G.A. § 16-10-2.
An employee of Georgia State University or any other person on the employee’s behalf, is prohibited from knowingly accepting, directly or indirectly, a gift from any vendor or lobbyist as those terms are defined in Georgia statutes (O.C.G.A. 21-5-70(6) and 45-1-6(a)(5)b). If a gift has been accepted, it must be either returned to the donor or transferred to a charitable organization. A gift may be accepted by the employee on behalf of the institution subject to reporting requirements of the Board of Regents. If the gift is accepted, the person receiving the gift shall not maintain custody of the gift for any period of time beyond that reasonably necessary to arrange for the transfer of custody and ownership of the gift.
For purposes of this policy a gift is defined as lodging, transportation, personal services, a gratuity, subscription, membership, trip, loan, extension of credit, forgiveness of debt, advance or deposit of money, or anything of value. A gift shall not include:
- Food or beverage consumed at an occasional meal or event, provided the value is reasonable under the circumstances, but in no event should exceed $100 per person;
- Food, beverages, and registration at group events to which substantial numbers of employees of an institution are invited;
- Food, beverage, or expenses afforded employees, relatives or others that are associated with normal and customary business or social functions or activities;
- Actual and reasonable expenses for food, beverages, travel, lodging and registration provided to permit participation in a meeting, demonstration, or training related to official or professional duties if participation has been approved in writing by the Chancellor, the President, or his/her designee;
- Promotional items generally distributed to the general public;
- Textbooks, software, and instructional materials to be reviewed by teaching faculty;
- An award, plaque, certificate, memento, or similar item given in recognition of the recipient’s civic, charitable, political, professional, private or public service or achievement;
- Legitimate salary, honoraria, benefit, fees, commissions, or expenses associated with the recipient’s non-public business, employment, trade, or profession;
- Gifts from a person or entity who is neither a lobbyist nor a vendor as those terms are defined in State Statutes, nor a student or patient at an institution;
- Consulting fees, honoraria, or financial benefits from sponsors or foundations, received in conformance with University System, campus policies, and Georgia law;
- Gifts to or from University System foundations or other separately incorporated, charitable entities.
(BOR 8.2.13 Gratuities: https://www.usg.edu/policymanual/section8/C224/#p8.2.13_gratuities)
101.14 Possession of Dangerous Weapons/Workplace Violence
Georgia State University is committed to creating and maintaining a working, learning, and social environment that is free from danger and violence for all members of the University community.
101.14a Possession of Dangerous Weapons
University employees, who are licensed to carry a handgun, are allowed to carry only in a concealed manner on certain property owned or leased by the University. Other weapons and other types of guns are not permitted on property owned or leased by the University. University Police Officers are specifically exempted from this prohibition.
101.14b Concealed Weapons
A concealed weapon is defined as “carried in such a fashion that does not actively solicit the attention of others and is not prominently, openly, and intentionally displayed except for the purpose of the defense of self or others.” A licensed holder may carry a handgun that is: 1.) covered by an article of clothing the employee is wearing, 2) contained within a bag of a non-descript nature, or 3) carried in another similar manner that generally keeps it out of the view of others.
101.14c Exceptions to Where Concealed Weapons May be Carried
There are a number exceptions that limit the places on campus where handguns may be carried. Licensed gun holders may not carry a handgun into the following locations owned or leased by the University:
- Buildings and property used for athletic sporting events, including stadiums, gymnasiums and similar facilities in which intercollegiate games are staged;
- Student housing facilities including residence halls and similar buildings where students live such as fraternity and sorority houses;
- Spaces - including any room, continuous collection of rooms or outdoor facility - that are used for preschool or childcare;
- Rooms and other spaces during the times when they are being used for classes in which high school students are enrolled, whether through dual enrollment and programs such as Move On When Ready or through college and career academies or other specialized programs such as Early College. Licensed holders, who want to carry handguns to class will need to visit the institution’s registrar or other designated employee, who after verifying their enrollment status will tell them which of their classes, if any, have high school students enrolled. It is the responsibility of licensed holders to seek out this information and make themselves aware of which classrooms fall within the exception;
- Faculty, staff and administrative offices. This exception includes offices and office suites occupied by faculty, staff, and administrators, but does not include more general public common spaces outside of those areas; and
- Rooms during the times when they are being used for disciplinary proceedings of any kind, including those regarding students, faculty or staff. These would include any meetings or hearings that are part of the University’s sexual misconduct, student conduct, dispute resolution, grievance, appeals, or similar processes.
The burden is on licensed holders to know, understand, and follow University policies and the law regarding concealed handguns. Employees should contact the Georgia State University Police if someone is carrying a weapon in an unauthorized area. Violation of these policies can result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination and expulsion from the University. For more information, employees may go to: https://safety.gsu.edu/campus-carry/
101.14d Firearms and Dangerous Weapons Defined
Firearms and dangerous weapons include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Pistol, revolver, or any weapons designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind, including air soft, paintball, BB or pellet guns, potato guns, and other such homemade devices;
- Dirk, bowie knife, switchblade, ballistic knife, or any other knife having a blade of two or more inches;
- Straight-edge razor or razor blades;
- Spring stick, metal knucks, blackjacks;
- Bat, club, or other bludgeon-type weapon;
- Nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain; and
- Throwing star or oriental dart.
101.14e Workplace Violence
The University is committed to providing a safe workplace free from violence, threats of violence, or disruptive behavior of a violent or threatening nature. The University does not tolerate behavior, whether direct, indirect, or through the use of university facilities, property, or resources that:
- Is violent;
- Threatens violence;
- Harasses or intimidates others;
- Interferes with an individual’s legal rights of movement or expression; or
- Disrupts the workplace, the academic environment, or the University’s ability to provide service to the public and/or its students, faculty, or staff.
Violent or threatening behavior can include, but is not limited to: physical acts, oral or written statements, harassing email messages, harassing telephone calls, bullying, or behaviors such as stalking.
Individuals who engage in violent behavior, including but not limited to physical attacks, intimidation, bullying, threats, or property damage, may be removed from the premises, and be subject to dismissal or other disciplinary action, up to termination, arrest and/or criminal prosecution.
Violence in the workplace includes relationship violence that intrudes into the workplace, endangering a person in the relationship or others in the workplace. This policy applies to all Georgia State University work locations and campuses including offices, classrooms, worksites, vehicles, parking decks, and field locations.
Workplace is defined as any location, either permanent or temporary, where an employee performs any work-related duty. This includes, but is not limited to, the buildings and the surrounding perimeters, including the parking lots, field locations, alternate work locations, and travel to and from work assignments.
If an employee has been confronted with a violent incident, the employee is to report such incident to the University Police at (404) 413-3333 immediately. Employees should also inform Employee Relations at (404) 413-3356 during business hours and Faculty and Staff Assistance at (404) 413-3357 for an emergency or (404) 413-3345 during non-business hours.
Each employee has a duty to warn University Police first and then Human Resources and his/her supervisor, if he/she is aware of or believes that workplace violence is imminent that involves employees, former employees, students, or visitors. This duty extends, for example, to threats, acts of violence, aggressive behavior, or threatening or offensive acts or comments. All employee reports made pursuant to this policy will be held in confidence, to the maximum extent possible.
101.15 Smoking/Tobacco Free Campus Policy
Georgia State University promotes a clean, healthy, productive and safe environment for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
Smoking and tobacco use, of any kind, is prohibited on all University owned and/or leased locations/premises; all internal and external areas; all parking garages and parking lots; and in all Georgia State owned and/or leased vehicles. Smoking is also prohibited within 25-feet of all Georgia State building entrances and exits. University Housing will designate limited exterior smoking/tobacco use areas within the grounds of residential facilities.
The University reserves the right to initiate disciplinary procedures against any individual found to be in continuous violation of this policy; however all faculty, staff, and students have a collective responsibility to promote the safety and health of the campus community and therefore share in the responsibility of enforcement. Individuals observed smoking/using tobacco are to be reminded in a professional and courteous manner of this policy.
For information on available campus resources for tobacco cessation classes, please refer to Section 1100 (Additional Resources for Employees) and Section 1102 (Faculty and Staff Assistance (FASA)).
101.16 Policy on Amorous Relationships
When one party has a professional relationship towards the other, or stands in a position of authority over the other, even an apparently consensual amorous relationship may lead to sexual harassment or other breaches of professional obligations. The University prohibits all faculty and staff, including graduate teaching assistants, from pursuing amorous relationships with undergraduates whom they are currently supervising or teaching.
The Board of Regents and Georgia State University also strongly discourages amorous relationships between faculty or administrators and graduate/professional students and/or employees whose work they supervise. Anyone involved in an amorous relationship with someone over whom he or she has supervisory power must recuse himself or herself from decisions that affect the compensation, evaluation, employment conditions, instruction, and/or the academic status of the subordinate involved.
Any individual in authority who is or has been involved in an amorous relationship with a person whom they may be called upon to evaluate must promptly report this fact to his or her supervisor. The supervisor should notify the Office of AA/EEO Investigations and Hiring for advisement on how to arrange it so that the individual in authority does not evaluate nor participate in discussions and decisions that affect the compensation, evaluation, employment conditions, instructions, and/or academic status of the subordinate involved. Any individual who violates this policy is subject to disciplinary action commensurate with the offense.
If an employee believes that a faculty member, administrator, graduate assistant or other employee is involved in an amorous relationship with a person under his/her direct authority or supervision, he/she should immediately report it to the Office of AA/EEO Investigations. For more information, go to: https://www.usg.edu/policymanual/section8/C224/#p8.2.23_amorous_relationships and https://www.usg.edu/hr/assets/hr/hrap_manual/HRAP_Amorous_Relationships_Employee_Relations.pdf
101.16a Malicious Use of This Policy
It is important to recognize that malicious accusations of inappropriate amorous relationships have the potential to severely damage a person’s career and reputation. Therefore, Georgia State University prohibits making knowingly false accusations that an unreported amorous relationship exists or existed between two parties now in a position to evaluate each other.
101.16b Due Process
Due process rights are matters of fundamental fairness. Therefore, any disciplinary action initiated will be taken in accordance with the procedures set out in the Employee Handbook or appropriate University regulations.
101.17 Ethics Policy
In order to ensure that all actively employed University System of Georgia (USG) employees are cognizant of and adhering to their obligations with respect to the USG Ethics Policy, certain criteria for employment have been designated by the University System of Georgia. These conditions of employment include successful completion of initial and ongoing training and certification as required by the Board of Regents’ Policy on Ethics training and certification. For more information, see Section 8.2.20 University System of Georgia Ethics Policy in the Board of Regents Policy Manual at: https://www.usg.edu/policymanual/section8/C224/
101.17a Core Values
Every member of the USG community is required to adhere to the Core Values of Integrity, Excellence, Accountability, and Respect.
- Integrity - We will be honest, fair, impartial and unbiased in our dealings both with and on behalf of the USG.
- Excellence - We will perform our duties to foster a culture of excellence and high quality in everything we do.
- Accountability - We firmly believe that education in the form of scholarship, research, teaching, service and developing others is a public trust. We will live up to this trust through safeguarding our resources and being good stewards of the human, intellectual, physical and fiscal resources given to our care.
- Respect - We recognize the inherent dignity and rights of every person, and we will do our utmost to fulfill our resulting responsibility to treat each person with fairness, compassion and decency.
101.17b Code of Conduct
Each employee of the USG community and at Georgia State University will:
- Uphold the highest standards of intellectual honesty and integrity in the conduct of teaching, research, service and grants administration.
- Act as good stewards of the resources and information entrusted to our care.
- Perform assigned duties and professional responsibilities in such a manner, so as, to further the USG mission.
- Treat fellow employees, students, and the public with dignity and respect.
- Refrain from discriminating against, harassing or threatening others.
- Comply with all applicable laws, rules, regulations and professional standards.
- Respect the intellectual property rights of others.
- Avoid improper political activities as defined in law and Board of Regents Policy.
- Protect human health and safety and the environment in all USG operations and activities.
- Report wrongdoing to the proper authorities; refrain from retaliating against those who do report violations; and cooperate fully with authorized investigations.
- Disclose and avoid improper conflicts of interest.
- Refrain from accepting any gift or thing of value in those instances prohibited by law or Board of Regents policy.
- Not use our position or authority improperly to advance the interests of a friend or relative.
For more explanation, please see the USG Ethics Policy Explanatory Notes and References at: https://www.usg.edu/organizational_effectiveness/ethics_compliance/ethics_policy
101.17c Actively Employed
Actively employed is defined as employed by the University System of Georgia or an institution thereof and currently engaged in the performance of assigned duties. For the purposes of this policy, employees on Family and Medical Leave (not including intermittent FMLA leave), military leave, or other extended leave shall not be deemed active employees until such time as that employee has returned to work.
101.17d Ethics Training
Each actively employed University System of Georgia (USG) employee, to include institutional employees, is expected to complete the Ethics Training and Certification within 90 days of their initial day of employment as a condition of employment. Additionally, the USG may require periodic “refresher” ethics training and related certification courses.
The University System of Georgia (USG) Ethics Policy applies to all members of the USG community. The USG community includes:
- All individuals employed by the USG or one of the USG institutions, including faculty, staff, student assistants, graduate assistants (lab, research, or teaching), and fee-based employees (regardless of full-time, part-time, limited term, grant or project funded, temporary, seasonal, or occasional classification);
- All individuals acting on behalf of the USG or one of the USG institutions, including consultants, contractors, venders, and volunteers; and
- Members of the governing boards and employees of all cooperative organizations affiliated with the USG or one of its institutions.
All individuals employed by the USG or one of its institutions in any capacity shall participate in USG Ethics Policy training and shall certify compliance with the USG Ethics Policy on a periodic basis.
The USG Ethics Policy governs only official conduct performed by or on behalf of the USG. Violations of the USG Ethics Policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
101.17f Employee’s Failure to Complete Ethics Training
In the event an actively employed employee fails to complete Ethics training and certification or other required training, the employee shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Upon initial failure to complete the required training and certification, the immediate supervisor of the employee shall convene a meeting and issue a verbal warning. If the employee does not remediate this requirement within three (3) business days of having received the verbal warning, the employee will be relieved of all duties and responsibilities, until such time, as the employee successfully completes the training and certification. All non-faculty employees shall have a total of ten (10) business days from the date of the verbal warning to complete the training and certification. If the employee still fails to complete the training and certification at the end of the 10-business day period, then the employee shall receive a final written warning and will be given ten (10) additional business days to complete the training. If the employee continues to fail to complete the training by the regular close of business on the 10th day after the issuance of the final written warning, then she/he shall be terminated.
In the event a tenured or non-tenured employee with faculty rank continues to fail to complete the training and certification, the President shall remove the faculty member for cause consistent with the policy and procedures outlined in the USG Board Policy. If the faculty member is tenure-track, non-tenure, or part-time and/or adjunct and refuses to complete the training and certification, the faculty member shall also be subject to non-renewal of contract or non-reappointment. For more information, see Section 8.3.9 (Discipline and Removal of Faculty Members) in the Board of Regents Policy Manual at: https://www.usg.edu/policymanual/section8/policy/8.3_additional_policies_for_faculty/
All student employees shall be subject to the ethics training and certification requirements and associated disciplinary procedures as outlined in the “Staff” section above. Failure to complete the training will result in the student employee being terminated.
For more information on the University System of Georgia’s Ethic Policy, please refer to the Board of Regents’ Human Resources Administrative Practice Manual for Employment at: https://www.usg.edu/hr/assets/hr/hrap_manual/HRAP_General_Criteria_for_Employment_Employment.pdf