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Policy No: 1060
Effective Date: 10/17/03
Revised Date: 01/06/11
Reviewed Date: 12/10/13
Political Activities Policy
1.1 To give clear guidance on issues of political and political related activities.
2.1 This policy is applicable to all UNMC employees to include Office/Service, Managerial/Professional, Faculty, and Other Academic positions.
Basis of the Policy
3.1 The University of Nebraska Board of Regents gives clear guidance on the issues of political activities:
- "Employees of the University enjoy the full right of citizens to participate in the political life of the State of Nebraska and the United States. The welfare of the University, however, requires that each employee perform University duties without the interference of outside activities. (Board of Regents Bylaws, Section 3.9)"
Further, public accountability demands that employees refrain from using state resources (i.e., telephone, work time, University letterhead and electronic mail, staff time) for politically-related activities.
Authorities and Administration
4.1 The UNMC Human Resources' Division Director of Employee Relations is responsible for the administration, implementation, and maintenance of the Political Activities Policy at the campus level in consultation with the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance Executive Director of Human Resources and the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance.
Employees of the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) enjoy the full right of citizenship to participate in the political life of the United State, the State of Nebraska, and the various political subdivisions of the communities in which they reside. The welfare of the University requires that each employee perform the duties of his or her position without the interference of outside activities.
The following apply to employees who engage in political activity:
- An employee contemplating filing as a candidate for any part-time public office or entering upon the duties of any part-time public office to which he or she may be elected or appointed, will notify the Chancellor and appropriate Vice Chancellor, Dean, or Director of his or her intention to do so. It will be the duty of the Chancellor to determine to what extent such political activities will interfere with the employee's regular duties and to decide to what extent his or her duties and compensation shall be curtailed.
- The curtailment of an employee's duties and compensation will follow the principle that adjustments in duties and compensation will be commensurate with the degree of interference with an employee's regular duties.
- A member of the staff seeking a full-time public office will be required to take a leave of absence without pay during the period in which he or she will be a candidate for either the primary or general elections. Such leaves of absence will commence no later than the date on which a candidate must file for that office. In the event that an employee is elected or appointed to a full-time public office, he or she must resign his or her position with the University effective on the date that the new office commences.
- No UNMC employee will promise, threat, or coerce any employee to support or contribute to any political issue, unit, or party.
- No employee will engage in political activity while on duty or within any period of time in which he or she is expected to perform services and receives compensation from UNMC. No employee will use state funds, supplies, or vehicles in campaigning for or against candidates or engaging in political activity.
Politically Related Activities
- UNMC cannot and does not place any limit on the rights of UNMC employees to enjoy full exercise of their rights to speak and act as citizens of the United States and the state of Nebraska. However, public accountability demands that employees refrain from using state resources (telephone, work time, UNMC stationary, staff time, etc.) to lobby on legislative or other policy issues. Responsibility to one's colleagues requires that employees refrain from using their position at UNMC for lobbying and makes clear that political expression is personal and does not represent a position of UNMC or any of its units.
- Employees of UNMC are free to testify or otherwise publicly comment on any issue of interest to them so long as they do so as an individual and not as a representative of UNMC.
- When speaking at a public forum, one must indicate explicitly that the comments to be made are of a personal nature and so not represent a policy decision on the part of UNMC.
- If written correspondence is used to advocate a personal position on public policy issues, it must be done on personal time without use of staff resources and on stationary that does not identify UNMC in any way. As with the public forum, the letter should indicate that the individual is not speaking on behalf of UNMC, but as an individual.
Equal Employment Opportunity
6.1 The University of Nebraska Medical Center declares and affirms a policy of equal educational and employment opportunities, affirmative action in employment, and nondiscrimination in providing its services to the public. Therefore, the University of Nebraska Medical Center shall not discriminate against anyone based on race, age, color, disability, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation, political affiliation, Vietnam-era veteran status, or special disabled Veteran status. Sexual harassment in any form, including hostile environment and quid pro quo, is prohibited.
- Contact Human Resources-Executive Director at 402-559-5343
- Political Activities Procedures
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