Code of Conduct
All members of the Framingham Heart Study are expected to:
- Treat each other and all other individuals with respect and dignity, and to appreciate differences and the diversity of the workplace.
- Provide a safe, positive and supportive environment and to provide a work environment free of the negative behaviors referenced in the policies listed below.
- Encourage communication across work groups to facilitate a cordial and collaborative work environment.
- Have the right to get regular feedback on their performance that is respectful, constructive, specific and appropriate to the individual’s job expectations.
- Acknowledge contributions of all participating researchers in publications appropriately.
- Adhere to all applicable policies and regulations for conduct of research.
FHS expects all employees, regardless of position, to commit to fostering a work environment that is professional, respectful, and supportive of all personnel to provide a supportive work environment. Employees who fail to adhere to the workplace expectations contained herein may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment or support, as determined by their employer and/or sponsor.
With this statement we intend to provide guidelines and examples of unacceptable conduct so that faculty and staff members understand the Framingham Heart Study (“FHS”) workplace expectations. These workplace expectations will support a culture of respect for each other, as well as foster the safety of participants and quality of research.
- Disruptive behavior such as threatening, intimidating, harassing, provoking or coercing any other person affiliated with FHS, whether such violations occur during the workday or during off-shift hours;
- Actions rising to disorderly conduct such as fighting, assault, battery, use of abusive, profane, or threatening language/conduct while on duty or representing FHS at any time;
Offensive or obscene conduct.
- A distinct form of harassment that may include, but is not limited to, many forms of harassment and other conduct that is otherwise prohibited.
- Bullying is a pattern of behaviors that involves any person misusing his/her real or perceived power to negatively impact another person through intimidating, undermining, humiliating, or otherwise harmful behaviors, or through work interference/sabotage.
- Bullying is characterized by its personal and tailored nature, therefore it is impossible to list all of the behaviors that FHS will consider to be a form of bullying.
- Bullying can include a set or acts of commission (doing things to others) or omission (withholding resources from others).
The below list is not meant to be all-inclusive, but is designed to identify examples of the various forms that bullying can take considering the totality of the circumstances.
- Screaming, yelling, speaking aggressively or using profanity towards an individual in a threatening, dominating, or humiliating manner; or
- Making threats or comments about job security without foundation; or
- Interfering, withholding information, or delaying the work of another individual (sabotage); or
- Repeatedly refusing to speak, respond or assist another which results in negative employee performance.
Mistreatment of Participants
- Abusing, neglecting, mistreating (including, but not limited to, using abusive, profane or threatening language), abandoning a participant or failing to adhere to any conduct of research standards.
- Performing work assignments or participant-related responsibilities in an unsafe or detrimental manner.
Lying and Falsification: About any job-related matters, including, but not limited to:
- Omissions or misrepresentations while participating in workplace investigations;
- Falsification or unauthorized use of any record, report or any other document.
- Stealing, misappropriating, removing, or receiving property, regardless of whether it belongs to FHS, BU, NHLBI, other employees, participants, visitors, physicians, or any other person affiliated with FHS;
- Misusing FHS property including medications, equipment, uniforms, supplies, records, documents or any other property;
- Defacing, marking, possessing or completing another employee’s time card or any other record of time and attendance;
- Inappropriately using another employee’s PIN card or password for any reason;
- Using another employee’s access card or keys without proper authorization;
- Operating or using machinery or equipment not assigned to the employee or allowing others to do so; or
- Willfully or negligently destroying, defacing or damaging property belonging to FHS, participants, visitors, clinicians, other employees, or any other person affiliated with FHS.
Misusing Confidential Information
- Divulging confidential information to anyone other than a properly authorized individual; and
- Gaining access to or sharing restricted participant records or any other medical record without proper authorization.
The above list is not intended to be comprehensive, staff members’ individual employers have detailed policies and procedures that should be followed as well, including but not limited to:
Boston University Policies:
National Health, Lung, and Blood Institute Policies:
Resources available to promote a safe, positive and supportive environment include, but are not limited to:
For Boston University Employees:
- Confidential assistance with conflict resolution, problem-solving, and other workplace issues is available through the Boston University Office of the Ombuds
- Employees experiencing difficulties that affect their personal lives or work performance are encouraged to contact the Faculty and Staff Assistance Office
For National Institutes of Health / National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Employees:
- The Office of the OMBUDSMAN, Center for Cooperative Resolution (OO/CCR) 301-594-7231
- Division of Occupational Health and Safety Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
NIH is committed to doing our part to support a safe and respectful work environment across the entire biomedical research enterprise. NIH does not tolerate harassment of any kind, including sexual harassment, at research institutions that receive NIH funding, or anywhere NIH-funded activities are conducted.
“[…] We are determined to be part of the solution […] We can and will take action if there are concerns that sexual harassment is affecting NIH-funded research.” – excerpt from NIH Director’s statement. Read full statement.
BMC Policy and Procedure Manual: Employee Conduct
Ratification Date: May 14, 2019