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Professional Employment Guidelines (1978)
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Professional Employment Guidelines
AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY
1155 SIXTEENTH ST., N.W.
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20036
This publication of Professional Employment Guidelines incorporates all guidelines proposed by the Committee on Professional Relations, adopted by the Council and endorsed by the Board of Directors, including actions taken at the Council meeting on March 15,1978 and by the Board of Directors at its meeting on June 10, 1978.
The origins of the guidelines extend back over many years, and the history of their development is a fascinating story in itself. But this document will merely note that these years bear witness to the dedication, patience, foresight, and tenacity of countless persons who contributed to the development of Professional Employment Guidelines and their adoption by the Council and endorsement by the Board. Innumerable hours have been expended by councilors and other ACS members in proposing, analyzing, deliberating, and finally voting upon these concepts and the formulations of them expressed here.
For those who cherish the democratic process, there can be satisfaction in the realization that Professional Employment Guidelines represent a consensus of the Council, which is the largest member-elected body in the ACS. For those who value a clear statement of rights and responsibilities for employers and for chemists, there can be a sense of achievement in the Council's acceptance and the Board's endorsement of these guidelines.
In a formal sense, the Committee on Professional Relations has prime responsibility for overseeing the implementation and observance of Professional Employment Guidelines. On this point, the committee has a proven record of public accountability to the Council and the membership. But in a true sense, all ACS members have a duty to know and observe these guidelines and to bring departures from their spirit and content to the committee's attention.
Professional Employment Guidelines
Prepared by the Council Committee On Professional Relations
American Chemical Society
The American Chemical Society seeks to enhance the productivity and economic welfare of both chemists* and the employers of chemists by the delineation of employment practices that collectively foster the mutual confidence and mutual security of employers and employed chemists and by the review of the practices of individual chemists and employers.
I. Terms of Employment
1. The prospective employee should apply only for those positions in which he or she has a sincere interest. Any interview expenses to be reimbursed by the prospective employer must be reported accurately. If more than one employer is visited on an interview trip, expenses should be prorated fairly.
2. The chemist should inform any new employer of previous employment agreements, and should exclude trade secrets or proprietary information of previous employers from new employment agreements. The chemist should not seek or accept employment on the basis of using or divulging any trade secrets or proprietary information.
3. The chemist is obligated to honor an offer of employment once accepted unless formally released after giving adequate notice of intent. All of these obligations should be made in writing.
4. The chemist should not use the funds or facilities of the current employer for the purpose of seeking new employment unless approved by the current employer.
1. The conditions of employment should be described fully to the prospective employee. A written statement of these conditions should be supplied to the chemist at the time an employment offer is made.
2. Legal obligations of the chemist to the employer should be clearly set forth in an employment agreement.
3. Employment, advancement and compensation shall be based, without regard to sex, age, race, religion, or political affiliation on professional competence and ability to perform assigned responsibilities, Sound indirect compensation programs should include, among others, retirement benefits, health, disability and life insurance, sick leave, and paid holidays and vacations. Permanent (regular) part-time employees should be provided with adjusted indirect compensation programs that are at least proportional to the programs for full-time employees.
4. The employer is obligated to honor a written and accepted offer of a position. If unable to honor it, the employer should provide the chemist with equitable compensation.
5. The employer should recognize that at times during the chemist's employment, family or professional responsibilities may necessitate special arrangements such as the granting of personal leaves, flexible working schedules, and part-time employment. The chemist should be informed at the time of employment that these considerations are available and negotiable.
6. A statement of termination policy should be made available to the candidate during the interviewing process.
II. Employment Environment
1. The chemist should engage in all assignments diligently and judiciously, employing his or her most creative and resourceful ideas.
2. The chemist should strive to foster a stimulating and productive work atmosphere.
3. The chemist should solicit and actively participate in regular performance reviews.
4. The chemist should use all necessary safety procedures, and should inform the employer of any hazards in the working environment.
5. The chemist, mindful of his or her responsibility to the public, should strive to insure that products and processes are adequately tested, and that potential hazards are properly identified.
6. The chemist should respect and maintain the confidentiality of the employer's trade secrets and proprietary information,
7. The chemist should use the period of an enforced work stoppage occurring on the premises in a constructive and professional manner.
1. The employer should provide physical facilities that enable the chemist to work safely and efficiently, New personnel should be instructed in the proper handling of material and equipment in order to minimize risks of personal injury. Continuing environmental studies should be conducted to assure that chemists are asked to function only under safe working conditions.
2. The employer should insure that normal working hours leave the chemist adequate time for personal study, rest, and recreation.
3. Management should periodically review each chemist's aptitude, professional growth, and suitability and, within the framework of job requirements, make assignments to utilize these capabilities. If an arrangement is not beneficial, an appropriate reassignment should be made.
4. The employer should maintain conditions that will enable the chemist to make his or her best contributions.
5. The employer should strive to insure that products and processes are adequately tested, and that potential hazards are properly identified to the public.
6. Performance reviews should be made on a regular basis at least annually. Confidential written records of such reviews should be employee attested and maintained by both the employer and the employee. The employer has the responsibility to discuss fully and promptly with the chemist any unacceptable performance or ineptitude. The chemist should be advised of means to meet the employer's standards.
7. Judgment of the chemist's scientific performance should be rendered by a supervisor who is also a scientific peer. Additionally, the supervisor should consider the evaluation of the chemist's scientific performance by scientific peers.
8. Dual ladders of advancement for chemical supervisors and chemists should be provided and should be realistic. Financial rewards for individuals at the same level should be similar, even though responsibilities are different.
9. Managerial and technical contributions should both be considered as essential to the success of the corporate effort. The chemist should be provided with economic data and appropriate financial and business documents pertaining to his or her effort.
10. Meritorious performance should be rewarded by financial compensation. Increasing levels of skill and responsibility should be rewarded by professional advancement. Extraordinary contributions to patentable inventions, trade secrets or know-how should be compensated by specific rewards commensurate with the value of the contributions to the employer.
11. The chemist should be permitted to consult with other professionals in the field so as to enhance the individual's capabilities. The interchange should be permitted with the understanding that the chemist will not reveal confidential company information in such discussions. In the event of scientific controversy, it is recognized that the chemist will act as an individual and not as a representative of the company.
12. The employer should not inhibit the movement of a chemist from one organization to another, even a competitor, through the use of such practices as covenants not to compete, and claims to subsequently conceived inventions. Competing employers should not assign a relocated chemist to projects which could compromise professional ethics through the use of trade secrets information.
13. The academic employer should observe the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the American Association of University Professors and the Association of American Colleges.
14. The employer should not penalize the chemist who performs only his or her duties during any enforced work stoppage occurring on the premises.
III. Professional Development
1. The chemist is responsible for maintaining technical competence and for self-development through continuing education. Additionally, the chemist should support and participate in the activities of appropriate technical societies to enhance professional growth.
2. The chemist should serve the public by using his or her specialized knowledge while participating in civic and political activities. Such participation, however, should be undertaken solely as a responsibility of the individual without involving the employer.
3. The chemist should give credit to all colleagues who contribute to technical accomplishments.
1. The chemist should, as a matter of policy, be encouraged to attend meetings and to take formal courses of study which will enable the individual to maintain scientific competence.
2. The employer should permit reasonable compensated leaves of absence for professional study in order to maintain competence or to improve knowledge in the chemist's field.
3. The chemist should be encouraged and given the opportunity to publish work in scientific journals and to present findings at scientific meetings.
4. The chemist should be given an opportunity to participate in professional and scientific society affairs. The chemist should be allowed sufficient time consistent with the performance of regular duties to carry out responsibilities in such organizations.
5. The chemist should have freedom to participate in political and community activities.
IV. Termination Conditions
1. The chemist who intends to terminate employment should notify the employer in writing and provide a minimum of four weeks' advance notice. The chemist should assist the employer to maintain continuity of function.
1. The employer should by appropriate forward planning provide stability of employment and avoid multiple terminations.
2. No chemist should be terminated for inadequate performance or for cause without documented evidence and review by two levels of management, provided such levels of management exist, above the immediate supervisor. The opinion of scientific peers should also be considered.
An academic chemist regardless of tenure status who is dismissed during a contract period or whose contract is not renewed at a contract anniversary should be accorded full academic due process.
3. No chemist having a minimum of 10 years' total service should be terminated except for continuing evidence of previously documented inadequate performance or for cause.
4. Any chemist who is terminated should be notified in writing and be given a minimum of four weeks' advance notice.
For academic chemists, termination notices should be given at least 3 months in advance of the end of the contract for the first year of service, at least 6 months for the second year, and at least 12 months for the third or later years.
5. The chemist should receive severance pay consisting of two weeks' salary for each year of service, beyond the minimum of four weeks' advance notice. Additional notice in lieu of severance pay may be provided by mutual consent of both parties.
6. Every effort should be made to place the individual in another position within the organization, including retraining for a new position if necessary. When it is determined that such relocation is not possible, the chemist should be given assistance in finding employment elsewhere.
7. Any chemist terminated with a minimum of 10 years' total service should have fully vested pension rights with survivor benefits.
8. Any chemist who is involuntarily retired by an employer should be treated at least as well as an employee dismissed for economic reasons (i.e., be given severance pay, notice, vested pension privileges, etc.).
9. The employer should continue life insurance and medical care plans for a minimum of one month, plus two weeks for each year of employee service, at the same rate of contribution as when the terminee was an employee. The employee would have an additional 31 day grace period.
10. The employer should follow a policy of rehiring those terminated in a retrenchment before similarly qualified employees are recruited. Rehire privileges should be carefully explained to terminated employees.
Definition of a Multiple Termination
A multiple termination occurs when the employment of three or more chemists or chemical engineers is terminated within a six-month period for reasons other than: 1) continuing evidence of previously documented inadequate performance, 2) completion of a contract, or 3) cause. The academic chemists or chemical engineers must be tenured or in a tenure-leading position.
Investigation of Unprofessional Conduct
1. The Committee on Professional Relations will investigate instances of conduct by chemists reported to be in violation of the Professional Employment Guidelines.
2. The conclusions of the committee will be communicated to the parties involved.
3. Documented instances of unethical conduct can lead to initiation of proceedings before the Council of the American Chemical Society, in accordance with Article IV, Sec. 3 of the Constitution and Bylaw 1, Sec. 7.
1. The Committee on Professional Relations will investigate instances of conduct by employers reported to be in violation of the Professional Employment Guidelines.
2. The committee will extend assistance to chemists whom the committee has deemed to have been treated unprofessionally.
3. Documented unprofessional conduct by an employer can lead to citation before the Council of the American Chemical Society and subsequent publication.
*For brevity the term "chemist" in the Guidelines refers to both chemists and chemical engineers.