Our Code of Conduct outlines our expectations regarding our employees’, contractors’ and students’ (collectively referred to as “participants”, or individually as “participant”) behavior towards their colleagues, supervisors, subordinates and the Product School organization as a whole.

 

Product School promotes freedom of expression and places an emphasis on open communication. However, we expect all participants to follow our code of conduct. Participants should avoid offending, participating in serious disputes and/or disrupting our overall work/learning environments. We also expect all participants to cultivate a well-organized, respectful and collaborative work/learning environment.

Scope

This policy applies to all of our employees, regardless of employment agreement or rank, as well as, to the extent possible, to our students and independently contracted third-parties.  Conduct prohibited by these policies is prohibited in the workplace, classroom and in any work-related setting outside the workplace, such as during business trips, business meetings and business-related social events.

Policy elements

What are the components of the Code of Conduct Policy?

Product School employees, contractors and students are required to abide by our Code of Conduct, as well as all other applicable contractual agreements, while performing their duties or enrolled in our courses.

Compliance with law

Product School expects all participants to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations and laws

Ethical and Legal Business Practices   

Product School expects the highest standard of ethical conduct and fair dealing from each employee, officer, director, volunteer and all others associated with Product School.  Our reputation is a valuable asset, and we must continually earn the trust, confidence and respect of our students, our staff, and our community.

 

Respect in the workplace

All Product School participants must respect their colleagues, supervisors, subordinates and all others associated with Product School. Discriminatory behavior, harassment, or victimization of any kind will not be tolerated. Participants should conform with our equal opportunity policy in all aspects of their work, from recruitment and performance evaluation to interpersonal relations.

Discrimination & Harassment

Product School’s Objective

Product School is committed to creating a work environment in which all individuals are treated with the utmost respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to work and learn in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal opportunity and prohibits unlawful discriminatory practices, including harassment. Therefore, Product School expects all relationships among persons in the office or classroom to be business-like and free of bias, prejudice and harassment of any kind.

Product School has developed this policy to ensure that all of its employees, contractors and students can work, teach and learn in an environment free from unlawful harassment, discrimination and retaliation. Product School will make every reasonable effort to ensure that all participants are familiar with these policies and are aware that any complaint in violation of such policies will be vigorously investigated and resolved appropriately.  We will not take even the slightest notion of discriminatory or other unacceptable conduct lightly.

 

Any participant who has questions or concerns about these policies should talk directly with the chief executive officer (“CEO”).

 

These policies should not, and may not, be used as a basis for excluding or separating individuals of a particular gender, or any other protected characteristic, from participating in business or work-related social activities or discussions. In other words, no one should make the mistake of engaging in discrimination or exclusion to avoid allegations of harassment. The law and policies of Product School prohibit disparate treatment on the basis of sex or any other protected characteristic, with regard to terms, conditions, privileges and perquisites of employment. The prohibitions against harassment, discrimination and retaliation are intended to complement and further those policies, not to form the basis of an exception to them.

 

Discrimination

 

It is Product School policy to ensure equal employment opportunity, without discrimination or harassment, on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. Product School expressly prohibits any such discrimination or harassment.

 

It is a violation of Product School policy to discriminate in the provision of employment or enrollment opportunities, benefits or privileges; to create discriminatory work or classroom conditions; or to use discriminatory evaluative standards in employment or enrollment, if the basis of that discriminatory treatment is, in whole or in part, the person’s race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information or marital status.

 

Discrimination of any kind, in violation of this policy, will be subject to disciplinary measures up to and including termination.

Harassment

Harassment on the basis of any protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited. Under this policy, harassment is verbal, written or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law, or that of his or her relatives, friends or associates, and that:

  1. has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or learning environment,
  2. has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or learning ability, or
  3. otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment or enrollment opportunities.

 

Harassing conduct includes, but not by way of limitation, epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; denigrating jokes; and written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group that is placed on walls or elsewhere on the employer’s premises or circulated in the workplace, on company time or using company equipment by e-mail, phone (including voice messages), text messages, social networking sites or other means.

Product School is committed, in all areas, to providing a work environment that is free from any and all harassment or discrimination, and for all people to be treated equally and with the utmost respect and dignity. Again, harassment, of any degree, based upon an individual’s sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion or any other legally protected characteristics will not be tolerated. All participants, including supervisors and other management personnel, are expected and required to abide by this policy. No participant will be adversely affected as a result of bringing complaints of unlawful harassment.

 

As outlined in more detail further below, if a participant feels that he or she has been harassed on the basis of his or her sex, race, national origin, ethnic background, or any other legally protected characteristic, they should immediately report the matter to his or her supervisor. If that person is not available, or if the employee feels it would be unproductive to inform that person, the employee should immediately contact Product School’s CEO. Once the matter has been reported, it will be promptly investigated and any necessary corrective action will be taken where appropriate. All complaints of unlawful harassment will be handled in as discreet and confidential a manner as is possible under the circumstances.  Again, Product School has a ZERO TOLERANCE harassment/discrimination policy, and any impropriety of such will be looked into with maximum vigor and seriousness.  Any participant engaging in improper harassing behavior will be subject to disciplinary action, including the possible termination of employment or course enrollment.

 

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment constitutes discrimination and is illegal under federal, state and local laws. For the purposes of this policy, “sexual harassment” is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when, for example:

  1. a) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or enrollment,
  2. b) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or enrollment decisions affecting such individual, or
  3. c) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or learning abilities or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or learning environment.

 

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 recognizes two types of sexual harassment: a) quid pro quo and b) hostile work environment. Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not-so-subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. Depending on the circumstances, these behaviors may include, but not by way of limitation, unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; sexual jokes and innuendo; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual’s body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; leering, whistling or touching; insulting or obscene comments or gestures; display in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; and other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature.  Use of Product School’s services for the purpose of viewing, displaying, or disseminating material that is sexual in nature may also constitute harassing behavior.

Consensual Romantic or Sexual Relationships

Product School discourages romantic or sexual relationships between any and all participants because such relationships tend to create compromising conflicts of interest or the appearance of such conflicts. In addition, such a relationship may give rise to the perception by others that there is favoritism or bias in decisions affecting all participants. Moreover, given the potential uneven balance of power within such relationships, consent by a subordinate participant is suspect and may be viewed by others or, at a later date by the subordinate participant, as having been given as the result of coercion or intimidation. The atmosphere created by such appearances of bias, favoritism, intimidation, coercion or exploitation undermines the spirit of trust and mutual respect that is essential to a healthy work and learning environment. If there is such a relationship, the parties need to be aware that one, or both, may be moved to a different department or location, or other reasonable actions may be taken, at Product School’s sole discretion.

If any employee, contractor or student of Product School enters into a consensual relationship that is romantic or sexual in nature with another participant, or if one of the parties is in a supervisory or instructional capacity in which the other party works or studies, the parties should either notify the appropriate supervisor, or Product School’s CEO.

Once the relationship is made known to Product School, the company will be able to review the situation in light of all the facts (reporting relationship between the parties, effect on co-workers, titles of the parties, etc.) and will be able to determine whether one or both parties need to be moved to another job, cohort or department. If it is determined that one party must be moved, and there are jobs in other departments available for both, the parties may decide who will be the one to apply for a new position. If the parties cannot amicably come to a decision, or the party is not chosen for the position to which he or she applied, the parties will contact human resources, which will decide which party should be moved. That decision will be based on which move will be least disruptive to the organization as a whole. If it is determined that one or both parties must be moved, but no other jobs are available for either party, the parties will be given the option of terminating their relationship or resigning.

Retaliation & Complaint Process

Product School encourages (and at other times requires) reporting of all perceived incidents of discrimination, harassment, or other improper conduct, regardless of the offender’s identity or position. It is Product School policy to promptly and thoroughly investigate such reports.

Product School expressly prohibits retaliation against any individual who reports discrimination or harassment, or participates in an investigation of such reports.  Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or discrimination or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment or discrimination itself, will be subject to disciplinary action. Acts of retaliation should be reported immediately and will be promptly investigated and addressed.

Individuals who believe that they have been the victim of such conduct should discuss their concerns with either their immediate supervisor, or directly with Product School’s CEO.  Product School will courteously treat any person who invokes this complaint procedure, and the company will handle all complaints swiftly and confidentially, to the extent possible, in light of the need to take appropriate corrective action. Lodging a complaint will in no way be used against the participant, or have an adverse impact on the individual’s status. Because of the damaging nature of harassment to the victims and to the entire workforce, aggrieved participants are strongly urged to use this procedure.

In addition, Product School encourages individuals who believe they are being subjected to such conduct to promptly advise the offender that his or her behavior is unwelcome and to request that it be discontinued. Sometimes, this action alone can resolve the problem. Product School recognizes, however, that an individual may prefer to pursue the matter through complaint procedures, and highly encourages such individuals to do so.

Confidentiality

During the complaint process, the confidentiality of the information received, the privacy of the individuals involved, and the wishes of the complaining person will be protected to as great a degree as possible. The expressed wishes of the complaining person for confidentiality will be considered in the context of the company’s legal obligation to act on the charge and the right of the charged party to obtain information. In most cases, however, confidentiality will be strictly maintained by the company and those involved in the investigation. In addition, any notes or documents written by or received by the person(s) conducting the investigation will be kept confidential to the extent possible and according to any existing state or federal law.

Procedure for Reporting an Incident of Harassment, Discrimination or Retaliation

As previously indicated, individuals who believe they have been the victims of conduct prohibited by this policy, or believe they have witnessed such conduct, should immediately discuss their concerns with their immediate supervisor, or directly with Product School’s CEO.

Product School encourages the prompt reporting of complaints or concerns so that rapid and constructive action can be taken before relationships become irreparably strained. Therefore, while no fixed reporting period has been established, early reporting and intervention have proven to be the most effective method of resolving actual or perceived incidents of harassment.

Any reported allegations of harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be investigated promptly. The investigation may include individual interviews with the parties involved and, where necessary, with individuals who may have observed the alleged conduct or may have other relevant knowledge.

As previously stated, confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigatory process to the extent consistent with adequate investigation and appropriate corrective action.

Misconduct constituting harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be dealt with appropriately. Responsive action may include, for example, training, referral to counseling or disciplinary action such as a warning, reprimand, withholding of a promotion or pay increase, reassignment, temporary suspension without pay, or termination, as Product School believes appropriate under the circumstances.

Protection of Company Property

All employees, contractors and students should treat our company’s property, whether material or intangible, with respect and care. Participants should not misuse company equipment, or use it frivolously.  However, participants should respect all kinds of incorporeal property. This includes trademarks, copyright and other property (information, reports etc.) Employees and contractors should use them only to complete their job duties. Employees specifically should also protect company facilities and other material property (e.g. company cars) from damage and vandalism, whenever possible.

Employee Professionalism

All employees must show integrity and professionalism in the workplace:

 

Personal appearance

All employees must follow our dress code and personal appearance guidelines.

Corruption

We discourage employees from accepting gifts from clients or partners. We prohibit briberies for the benefit of any external or internal party.

Job duties and authority

All employees should fulfill their job duties with integrity and respect toward our students, contractors and the community. Supervisors and managers must not abuse their authority. We expect them to delegate duties to their team members, taking into account their competences and workload. Likewise, we expect team members to follow team leaders’ instructions and complete their duties with skill and in a timely manner. We encourage mentoring throughout our company.

Absenteeism and tardiness

Employees should follow their schedules. We can make exceptions for occasions that prevent employees from following standard working hours or days. But, generally, we expect employees to be punctual when coming to and leaving from work.

Conflict of interest

We expect employees to avoid any personal, financial or other interests that might hinder their capability or willingness to perform their job duties.

Collaboration

Employees should be friendly and collaborative. They should try not to disrupt the workplace or present obstacles to their colleagues’ work.

Communication

All employees must be open for communication with their colleagues, supervisors or team members.

Benefits

We expect employees to not abuse their employment benefits. This can refer to time off, insurance, facilities, subscriptions or other benefits our company offers.

Disciplinary Actions

Product School may have to take disciplinary action against employees who repeatedly or intentionally fail to follow our code of conduct. Disciplinary actions will vary depending on the violation.

Possible consequences include:

  • Demotion.
  • Reprimand.
  • Suspension or termination for more serious offenses.
  • Detraction of benefits for a definite or indefinite time.

We may take legal action in cases of corruption, theft, embezzlement or other unlawful behavior.

Conclusion

At Product School, we aspire to be at the forefront of combating discrimination of all kinds, as well as achieving the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct. Through our policy implementations, decisions and actions, we demonstrate our commitment to this Code of Conduct and to delivering value to our students, our employees, our contractors, our communities and to each other. This Code highlights the key policies that must be followed. As a member of the Product School global community, you are responsible for putting this Code into practice.