100 Institute Personnel Policy.
200 Recruitment, Appointment, and Reappointment.
300 Evaluation and Recognition.
500 Benefits and Hours of Work.
700 Employee Ethical Obligations, Outside Activities, and Conflicts of Interest.
800 Separations From Employment and Layoff.
(1) These Institute policies set forth herein apply to all employees, including researchers, administrative staff, and temporary employees and are supplemented by federal and state law, and internal memoranda informing employees of procedures or guidelines relating to the policies contained herein.
(a) Pursuant to Section 1004.447 (7), F.S., the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) shall establish the personnel program for the Institute and shall be responsible and accountable for administering the personnel program. “Chief Executive Officer” shall include the appropriate individual or his/her designee.
(b) The CEO shall establish and maintain all policies, procedures, and records necessary to substantiate compliance with all laws and rules relating to employment.
(c) The Institute shall actively promote its commitment to equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination towards applicants and employees with respect to race, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, national origin, and veteran status consistent with Federal and State law.
(2) The Institute Employment Plan consists of the following:
(a) Research Staff defines positions assigned the principal responsibility of research or for functions directly related to the research mission.
(b) Administrative staff defines positions assigned administrative and management responsibilities or professional, paraprofessional, clerical, or maintenance duties.
(d) Temporary staff defines temporary employment, and also includes students, internships, graduate students, and J-1 appointments.
200 Recruitment, Appointment, and Reappointment.
(1) The following provisions govern recruitment, appointment, and reappointment.
(a) Qualified applicants are those who meet the minimum qualifications contained in the Institute recruitment opening, including the additional competencies, if any, required for the specific contracts or grants. The Institute shall determine the equivalent education, training, and experience as appropriate for a specific position.
(b) Any person who has been convicted of a felony involving the sale of or trafficking in, or conspiracy to sell or traffic in, a controlled substance as described in Chapter 893, F.S., is disqualified from employment unless conditions outlined in Section 775.16, F.S., are met. Failure to disclose such conviction is cause for dismissal.
(2) The Institute’s offer of employment and appointment procedures shall be consistent with the following:
(a) The offer of employment for Research and Administrative positions shall be conditioned on the return of written acceptance by a specified date.
(b) Each Research and Administrative employee shall be issued an annual contract or documented appointment. Multi-year contracts, contingent upon funding, are permissible for Research and Administrative employees.
(c) An appointment shall not create any right, interest or expectancy beyond the specific term set forth in the appointment.
(d) Research and Administrative Appointment Modifiers:
- Regular – An annual or multi-year appointment
- Part-time – An appointment of less than .5 FTE or for temporary appointment where the term of employment is only for the period specified in the offer.
- Visiting – An appointment of a person having professional qualifications, when either the person or the position is not expected to be available for more than a limited period of time.
- Joint – An appointment when the person is also employed with another research institute or educational entity.
- Courtesy – An unpaid appointment which may include special privileges such as use of an office or Institute equipment. Persons appointed with this status may or may not be otherwise affiliated with the Institute.
- Honorary/Honoris Causa – An unpaid appointment of an individual having distinction and honor in his/her field, but who does not possess the normal requirements for the position.
- Time-limited – An appointment to a position funded by contract and grant, auxiliaries, or local funds, as appropriate, for a particular project, enterprise, or specified period.
300 Evaluation and Recognition.
(1) The following provisions govern employee evaluations and performance improvement.
(a) The basic purpose of the evaluation is to acknowledge performance, to communicate performance effectiveness, to aid in improving performance in assigned duties, and if necessary, to develop a performance plan to assist in correcting deficiencies for the employee not meeting performance standards.
(b) The Institute shall establish procedures to conduct periodic performance reviews. Each employee shall be evaluated at least annually on the basis of total performance in fulfilling assigned responsibilities.
(c) The evaluation should be considered in making personnel decisions, including salary adjustments and percentage of effort appointments.
(1) Pay actions shall be administered consistent with the following provisions:
(a) Base rate of pay is the pay provided employees not including any additives. Regular rate of pay is an employee’s base rate of pay plus any other pay which may be necessary to meet the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Hourly pay is computed based on 2080 work hours annually. A factor of 26 is used for annualizing biweekly pay.
(b) An employee must be in pay status in order to receive a pay increase of any kind.
(c) Employees paid from contracts and grants shall be eligible for pay increases provided such increases are permitted and funded by the funding entity. The Institute shall strive to have contracts and grants permit and fund such pay increases.
(2) Pay increases shall be provided for meritorious performance.
(3) Other pay increases may be provided under the following categories:
(a) Increased responsibilities.
(b) Market conditions including counter-offers and retention due to specialized or extensive investment or training.
(c) Salary compression or inversion.
(d) Increases to resolve a pay disparity considering education, experience, or duties and responsibilities of other employees.
(e) Lump sum payments to recognize the successful completion of a special project or assignment which is in addition to the employee’s regularly assigned duties, or a documented significant increase in productivity or productivity goal achievement.
500 Benefits and Hours of Work.
(1) Benefits made available to Research and Administrative staff may include accrued leave, holidays, Institute-sponsored insurance programs, and retirement. Under the FMLA, all employees may be eligible for up to twelve weeks unpaid leave. Benefits and hours of work requirements shall be administered consistent with the following provisions. Benefits will not normally be provided to employees working.75 FTE or below and are not available for temporary Staff, including Students.
(2) Each employee is expected to work the number of hours in the employee’s established workweek unless on approved leave. Benefits shall be provided proportionate to the time on the payroll.
(3) The minimum workweek is 40 hours for full-time employees. Holiday leave is not considered overtime and is paid at the employee’s regular pay rate. For nonexempt employees, approved leave may be adjusted to ensure an employee’s workweek will not exceed 40 hours.
(4) With the concurrence of the employee, compensatory leave may be provided in lieu of payment for overtime for nonexempt employees.
|Leave Hours Accrued Effective
December 31, 2006
(a) Leave may be used for annual or sick leave and use shall be authorized in advance by supervisor.
(b) A employee who is intending to separate from employment shall utilize all accrued leave hours prior to leaving employment, and no payments shall be made for unused annual and sick leave.
(5) Employees are provided with twelve workweeks of Family and Medical Leave within a 12-month period in compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 (Public Law 103-3) and the Final Regulations of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (29 CFR Part 825). The 12-month period is calculated on a rolling year basis for each individual employee. All employees are eligible including temporary employees who have worked at least 12 months and who have worked at least 1250 hours in the 12-months prior to the leave. Research and Administrative employees may use paid leave for an FMLA event and such shall be counted toward the entitlement.
(6) Workers’ Compensation benefits for an injury compensable under the Florida Workers’ Compensation Law shall be provided consistent with the following:
(a) An employee shall remain in full pay status for a period up to a maximum of forty (40) hours without being required to use accrued leave. If, during that period, the employee receives Workers’ Compensation benefits then the employee shall reimburse the Institute the amount of the benefits. Such reimbursement shall not include payments for expenses related to medical, surgical, hospital, or nursing treatment or payments of disability losses.
(b) An employee may elect to use leave to supplement Workers’ Compensation payments up to the employee’s regular salary.
(c) The period of accrued leave or unpaid job-related disability leave shall be in accordance with Chapter 440, F.S.
(d) If at the end of the leave period, an employee is unable to return from leave to work full-time and perform the duties of the position, the CEO may offer the employee a part-time appointment, place the employee on unpaid leave or extend the leave status, request the employee’s resignation, or terminate the employee from employment.
(7) IHMC Holidays are as follows:
January: 1st New Years Day; 3rd Monday Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s Birthday
February: 3rd Monday President’s Day
May: Last Monday Memorial Day
June 19th Juneteenth
July: 4th Independence day
September: 1st Monday Labor day
October: 2nd Monday Columbus Day
November:11th Veteran’s Day; 4th Thursday & Friday Thanksgiving Day
December:25th + additional days designated by the CEO. Christmas
(1) Institute employee learning opportunities involving professional renewal, planned travel, study, formal education, research, writing, or other experience of professional value may include the following:
(b) Employee development or certification.
(c) Leave to pursue educational goals.
700 Employee Ethical Obligations, Outside Activities, and Conflicts of Interest.
(1) All employees should be aware of their obligations and responsibilities as public employees of the Institute. No employee shall have any interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect; engage in any business transaction or professional activity; or incur any obligation of any nature which is in substantial conflict with the full and competent performance of the employee’s duties.
(2) The Institute CEO shall be responsible for approving outside consulting activities and shall insure that such activities are not in conflict with the employee’s commitment to the Institute. The CEO may require that any significant changes to an approved outside activity also receive approval.
(3) All employees are governed by the provisions of Chapter 112, F.S., setting standards of conduct for public officers and employees and mandating the disclosure of certain financial interests.
(4) The CEO shall administer the use of Institute facilities on a space available basis with priority given to those groups and persons whose activities are related to the mission of the Institute.
(5) Employees who intend to seek election to and hold public office shall notify the CEO of their intentions and shall adhere to the provisions of Section 104.31, F.S. The CEO shall determine whether the employee’s candidacy for and holding of public office will interfere with the full discharge of the employee’s duties and, if appropriate, require the employee to take a leave of absence or submit a resignation.
(6) The Institute’s principal mission is research. In pursuit of this mission, researchers and staff often become involved in outside activities. While extramural activities benefit the Institute and are generally encouraged, in some circumstances such activities give rise to conflicts of interest or commitment. The following guidelines are generally applicable to Institute employees engaged in outside activities:
(a) Institute employees should use good judgment, professional commitment and ethics to protect themselves and the Institute from potential conflicts. In addition to the guidelines and processes described below, some funding agencies of the federal government require grantees to conform with other disclosure and conflict of interest resolution procedures.
(b) Conflicts of interest occur when employees are in a position to influence a decision on policy or purchases where they might directly or indirectly receive financial benefit or give improper advantage to associates. Conflicts of commitment arise when an employees’ involvements in outside activities substantially interfere with their primary commitments to conduct research and to meet related obligations to students, colleagues and the Institute.
(c) All employees should make the fulfillment of their responsibilities to the Institute the focal point of their professional activities. Employees are encouraged to become involved in extramural professional activities that advance the mission or prestige of the Institute where such activities do not interfere with their responsibilities to the Institute. Nothing in this policy is intended to unduly restrict involvement in outside activities.
(d) Institute employees in a position to influence a business decision for which they might receive material benefit should disclose the nature of the conflict to others involved in the decision and, whenever possible, remove themselves from involvement in the decision. If the individuals should continue to participate in the decision process, discussion and documentation of the potential conflict should be presented to Institute Chief Executive Officer or designee.
(e) Institute employees are regularly involved in consulting activities from which they profit financially. As a rule, such activities are not a conflict as long as:
i) Institute resources (laboratories, studios, equipment, computational facilities and/or human resources) are not more than incidentally used without written permission.
ii) Such activities do not unduly interfere with the time and energy committed by the individuals to their primary Institute responsibilities. The allowable amount of time dedicated to consulting normally consists of a maximum of one day per week.
iii) Such involvement does not inhibit the publication of research findings developed in the course of the individual’s regular activities.
(f) The Institute actively encourages involvement in professional organizations, panels, advisory commissions, and government, charitable and community organizations. However, such involvement should not become so dominant that employees no longer effectively satisfy their responsibilities to the Institute.
(g) Institute employees should not engage in direct competition with the Institute either personally or through a firm in which they have a substantial interest. For example, such a circumstance may arise when an individual solicits a research award for which the Institute is a competitor or would have been a competitor had the individual submitted as an Institute employee. In order to avoid such potential conflicts, the individual employee should consult the appropriate administrator.
(7) Institute employees should not undertake or orient research to serve the needs of an outside organization.
(8) Institute employees cannot withhold from the sponsoring organization(s) for personal benefit any information that they have acquired in connection with their sponsored research.
800 Separations From Employment and Layoff.
(1) Separations from employment shall be administered consistent with the following provisions:
(a) An employee may resign from employment and shall supply the Institute with sufficient notice to minimize any disruption to the work assignment.
(b) An employee who is absent without approved leave for five or more consecutive workdays shall be considered to have abandoned the position.
(c) The CEO may dismiss an employee prior to the expiration of the contractual period of employment for cause, including unsatisfactory work performance or disruptive actions.
(2) Layoff shall be administered consistent with the following provisions.
(a) Employees may be laid off at any time as a result of adverse financial circumstances; reallocation of resources; termination of a contract or grant; reorganization of administrative structures, programs, or functions; curtailment or abolishment of one or more programs or functions; shortage of work; or a material change of duties. The CEO shall notify the appropriate employee organizations when layoffs are to take place.
(b) In designating the makeup of the layoff unit, the CEO may consider the special qualifications and relevant experience required for specific positions and exclude such positions from layoff.
(c) Employees are to be informed of layoff as soon as practicable. Where circumstances permit, all employees are to be provided at least 30 calendar days advance notice of an impending layoff.
- “Misconduct in research or scholarship” means fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the academic community for proposing, conducting, reporting research, obstruction of investigation of research misconduct, and non-compliance with research regulations. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgements of data.1 In addition, scholarly programs or projects of retaliation of any kind against a person who reported or provided information about suspected or alleged misconduct and who has not acted in bad faith are considered to be acts of misconduct in research and scholarship.2
- Anyone having reason to believe that an employee of the Institute has engaged in misconduct in research or any other activity which might be considered in violation of this policy should consult informally and in confidence with the Institute Chief Executive Officer or designee regarding this situation. If the results of such discussions confirm the seriousness of the reports, or if the individual who observed the alleged violations remains convinced of the serious nature of the events, then the matter should be reported, in writing, to the Chief Executive Officer. Allegations of misconduct in research or scholarship involving human or animal subjects shall be reported as provided herein and shall be handled in accordance with the policies and procedures set forth herein; however, a copy of any written allegations shall also be forwarded to the Chair of the Human Subjects Committee or Animal Care and Use Committee, as appropriate, in order to assure compliance with regulations specific to research involving human or animal subjects. These procedures shall also be followed in the event that an investigatory Board appointed in accordance with Section 4, below, obtains information that any individual, other than the one(s) under inquiry or investigation, has allegedly engaged in misconduct in research or scholarship.
- Upon receipt of written allegations, the Chief Executive Officer or designee, in consultation with the General Counsel, shall conduct an inquiry, consisting of information-gathering and initial fact-finding to determine whether the charge warrants an investigation. The fact-finders shall secure necessary and appropriate expertise to evaluate the evidence thoroughly and authoritatively. The inquiry should normally be concluded within 60 days.
- Detailed documentation of an inquiry will be maintained. The documentation shall normally state what evidence was reviewed, summarize relevant interviews and include the conclusions of the inquiry. A copy of such documentation shall be furnished to the individual under inquiry and any written comments of such individual shall become part of the documentation. If the judgement is made that there exists insufficient evidence of a violation of this policy to warrant an investigation, no reference to the charge shall be included in personnel files. All documentation relating to the charge and the determination shall be sent to the General Counsel, who shall be responsible for their security. When required by law, such documentation will be provided to the authorized federal agency personnel upon request.
- If it is determined that there exists sufficient evidence of a violation of this policy to warrant further investigation, the fact-finders shall (a) refer the matter to an outside Research Committee within 30 days of the completion of an inquiry, (b) take appropriate action to preserve and protect the data and other records of the individual’s research, (c) notify the individual of the initiation of the investigation and of his/her opportunity to appear on his/her own behalf before that Committee, and (d) take the appropriate steps to notify research sponsors in accordance with applicable law, regulations and requirements by the research sponsor. The Chief Executive Officer may temporarily suspend the individual under investigation from research projects, if it is determined that the integrity of the investigation or serious harm to the individual or others would be threatened by the individuals continuance of his/her duties.
- The outside Research Committee will select a panel of researchers to serve as a Board of Inquiry. The Board of Inquiry shall follow its policies and procedures regarding investigations of scientific misconduct. The Board of Inquiry shall conduct a prompt and thorough investigation in order to ascertain the facts of the case and to determine whether the individual has violated this policy, and if so, to what extent. Early in the course of the investigation, the Board shall discuss the matter in confidence with the individual under investigation and with all persons with whom he or she had collaborated in relation to the work under review. Throughout the investigation the Board shall be sensitive to the effects of the proceedings on the individual, protecting his/her rights, and avoiding disclosure except to individuals who need to be involved in the investigation.
- The scope of the investigation shall be determined by the Board Chair in his/her discretion according to the charge and the facts. The Board may secure necessary and appropriate expertise to evaluate the evidence thoroughly and authoritatively. The investigation shall normally include examination of all documentation of the inquiry and, whenever possible, interviews of individuals involved. Completed summaries of the interviews shall be provided to the interviewed party for comment and revision, and included as part of the documentation. The Board shall prepare and maintain documentation to substantiate its findings. When required by law, such documentation shall be provided to authorized federal agency personnel upon request.
- A preliminary report and the support documentation shall be provided to the individual under investigation, who shall be given a chance to respond orally, or in writing, before final recommendations are made. Any written comments of the individual under investigation shall become part of the documentation.
- If a majority of the Board finds that the individual has violated this policy, it shall recommend, in writing, an appropriate course of action to the Chief Executive Officer. Those recommendations may include appropriate sanctions and shall include adequate steps to ensure the Institute meets its obligations, if any, to third parties affected by the violation; these third parties would include co-investigators and co-authors; granting agencies; and other research sponsored, professional journals, and relevant clients.
- The Chief Executive Officer or designee shall consider the Board’s recommendations and produce a written decision as promptly as possible, accepting or rejecting all or any part of the Board report, conclusions, and recommendations as in his/her judgement is in the best interest of the Institute. The decision by the Chief Executive Officer or designee shall be deemed final and may include the decision to terminate the employment of the individual under investigation.
- The Chief Executive Officer or designee shall be responsible for compliance with any reporting requirements imposed by the research sponsor. Documents to substantiate the finding of an investigation shall be maintained by the Institute’s General Counsel. All inquiries and investigations shall be conducted in accordance with law, regulations and research sponsor requirements, specifically applicable to the particular research project.
- The Board of Inquiry and all those involved in the investigation shall protect to the maximum extent possible the positions, rights, and reputations of those persons who, in good faith, have made allegations of misconduct in research or scholarship and of those persons against whom allegations of misconduct are not confirmed. (see: Responsible Whistleblowing: A Whistleblower’s Bill of Rights in Integrity and Misconduct in Research. Report of the Commission on Research Integrity. US Department of Health and Human Services. 1995)
1 Integrity and Misconduct in Research. Report of the Commission on Research Integrity. US Department of Health and Human Services. 1995.
2 N.S.F. (1991) Misconduct in Science and Engineering: Final Rule. Federal Register 56 (may 14).