Section IV: Code of Conduct and Workplace Behavior

Table of Contents

4.01 Code of Conduct and Workplace Behavior

Revised: 01/09/24

A. College employees shall maintain the highest standards of business ethics as they conduct business on behalf of the College. 

B. The College and College employees shall follow New Mexico statutes dealing with conflict of interest. (See the New Mexico Governmental Conduct Act, Section 10-16-1, NMSA 1978. 

C. College employees shall perform their duties in a manner that would not give rise to the appearance of conflict of interest. 

D. College employees who teach, coach, evaluate, allocate financial aid to or guide students over whom they have professional responsibility or authority shall not engage in any dating, romantic or sexual relationships with students. 

E. It is the policy of CNM that certain rules and regulations regarding employee behavior are necessary for efficient business operations and for the benefit and safety of all employees. Conduct that interferes with operations, discredits the College, is in violation of CNM’s policies or directives, is unsatisfactory or is offensive will not be tolerated. Employees are expected at all times to conduct themselves in a positive manner to promote the best interests of the College. Examples of behavior that may result in disciplinary action, including possible termination, are: 

Performance and Attendance

  • Poor work performance 
  • Failing to report to work punctually at the assigned times, or failing to be at the proper work station ready for work as scheduled 
  • Failing to maintain a clean and orderly workplace, including work areas and resources 
  • Sleeping on the job 


  • Treating others in a discourteous manner 
  • Wearing clothing inappropriate for the work being performed 
  • Playing malicious or dangerous pranks or practical jokes, or engaging in horseplay 
  • Using profanity or abusive language 
  • Threatening, intimidating, or retaliating against others 
  • Fighting with or assaulting others 
  • Engaging in acts of insubordination including, but not limited to, refusing to follow management’s instructions concerning a job-related matter 
  • Alcohol and controlled substance abuse 
  • Sexual Misconduct 
  • Discrimination / Harassment 
  • Sexual or any other form of illegal harassment 
  • Possession of deadly weapons on CNM property 
  • Failure to report safety violations, property damage, loss 


  • Dishonesty 
  • Stealing, destroying, defacing or misusing College property or another employee’s property; 
  • Gambling on College property 
  • Falsifying or altering any College record or report, such as an application for employment, a medical report, production record, time record, financial record, an absentee report, or shipping and receiving record 
  • Failure to disclose a misdemeanor or felony conviction 
  • Unapproved release of confidential information 

This list is not intended to be and should not be considered exhaustive in terms of inappropriate behavior. Indeed, it would be impossible to list all the circumstances under which discipline may be imposed. CNM retains complete discretion to administer discipline for behavior it deems inappropriate, whether listed above or not. 

F. Any employee who knows of any act prohibited by law or by College policy or the code of conduct shall report it promptly to the appropriate administrator.  In the case of any financial impropriety, the employee shall report circumstances to the Internal Audit Department. See IS-2101 Reporting observed, Suspected, or Apparent Misconduct for more details on reporting.  

G. No employee shall threaten, coerce, manipulate, or mislead an auditor or investigator engaged in the performance of an audit or investigation.

4.02 Conflict of Interest

Reviewed: 11/07/23

No College employee shall knowingly:

  1. disclose or use confidential information about the College to advance the financial or other private interest of said employee or others;
  2. use College assets or equipment for any unlawful or improper purpose or to promote a personal business interest;
  3. approve or make any payment of College funds with the intention that any part of said funds be used for any purpose other than that described in the supporting documents;
  4. participate in the negotiation or the making of any contract between the College and any business entity in which the employee has a financial interest, either directly or indirectly;
  5. represent a private interest in any action or proceeding before the Governing Board;
  6. request or receive any money, thing of value or promise thereof, that is conditioned upon or given in exchange for performance or promised performance of an official act;
  7. receive pay for tutoring any student in the employee’s class;
  8. charge a student a fee to be paid to the employee for any services rendered the student on College property or for any teaching or tutoring service relating to the student’s instruction at the College;
  9. purchase for sale to students any goods or equipment of any kind without approval of the department dean and/or appropriate vice president;
  10. sell to students for personal profit any goods or equipment of any kind;
  11. render any commercial service to the College on a commission basis;
  12. serve on any College evaluation committee for proposals or bids without disclosing any potential conflict of interest prior to the start of committee business.

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4.03 Sexual Misconduct

Effective Date: 2/14/17

CNM is committed to providing an environment that is free of sexual misconduct. This policy applies to all faculty, staff, students and third parties, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Sexual misconduct represents a serious threat to the well-being of all individuals on CNM campuses or centers and will not be tolerated.  CNM requires all employees, students and third parties to report suspected violations of this policy whether or not the alleged conduct occurred on or off campus. 


It is the policy of CNM to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 which prohibits discrimination based on sex in CNM’s educational programs and activities. Title IX also prohibits retaliation for asserting or otherwise participating in claims of sex discrimination. CNM’s Title IX Coordinators are the Dean of Students and the Executive Director of Human Resources.


It is the policy of CNM to comply with the federal Violence Against Women Act amendments to the Clery Act and the corresponding regulations. VAWA imposes additional duties on colleges to investigate and respond to reports of sexual assault, stalking, and dating and domestic violence, and to publish policies and procedures related to the way these reports are handled.


In order to give effective consent, a person must be of legal age. Consent means a voluntary and informed agreement to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be withdrawn at any time.  The following list details situations where consent is invalid.

  • A person who is incapacitated, unconscious, or asleep cannot give valid consent.
  • A person with an intellectual disability may not be able to give valid consent.
  • Valid past consent does not imply future consent.  In other words, each instance of sexual activity is looked at separately to determine if there was consent by all parties.
  • Silence or failure to resist does not imply consent. 

Additionally, the use of force or threats to obtain consent renders the consent invalid.


Changes to the applicable law shall supersede this policy. CNM expressly forbids unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature which includes, but is not limited to, the following actions: 

Sexual Harassment

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature, rape, sexual assault, and sexual exploitation.  Intimate partner violence may also be considered sexual harassment.  There are two types of sexual harassment:  hostile work environment and quid pro quo.  

  • Hostile work environment:  This environment exits when sex-based harassment is sufficiently serious to deny or limit any person’s ability to participate in or benefit from CNM’s programs or activities.  Anyone can create this type of environment.
  • Quid pro quo: unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature

Some examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Unwelcome touching, kissing, hugging or massaging;
  • Pressure for or forced sexual activity;
  • Unnecessary references to parts of the body;
  • Comments about a person’s gender, nonconformity with gender stereotypes, or sexual orientation;
  • Sexual innuendos or humor;
  • Obscene gestures
  • Comments about sexual activity;
  • E-mail or texting and Internet use the violates this policy; and
  • Sexual assault or violence.

Federal Law

Dating violence means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. See 34 C.F.R. 668.46(a).

Domestic violence means a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; by a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence law of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred. 34 C.F.R. 668.46(a).

Sexual assault is an offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest or statutory rape as used in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program. See 34 C.F.R. 668.46(a).

Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress. See 34 C.F.R. 668.46(a).

State Law

Criminal sexual contact with a minor is the unlawful and intentional touching of or application of force to the intimate parts of a minor or the unlawful and intentional causing of a minor to touch one’s intimate parts. “Intimate parts” means the primary genital area, groin, buttocks, anus or breast. A “minor” is a person eighteen years of age or younger. See NMSA 1978, §30-9-13.

Domestic abuse means an incident of stalking or sexual assault whether committed by a household member or not, or an incident by a household member against another household member consisting of or resulting in physical harm; severe emotional distress; bodily injury or assault; a threat causing imminent fear of bodily injury by any household member; criminal trespass; criminal damage to property; repeatedly driving by a residence or work place; telephone harassment; harassment; or harm or threatened harm to children. The use of force in self-defense or the defense of another is excluded from the definition of domestic abuse.  See NMSA 1978, § 40-13-1.

Criminal sexual penetration is the unlawful and intentional causing of a person to engage in sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio or anal intercourse or the causing of penetration, to any extent and with any object, or the genital or anal openings of another, whether or not there is any emission. See NMSA 1978, § 30-9-11. 

  • Criminal sexual penetration is a felony crime; the degree of the felony (first degree through fourth degree) depends on the age of the victim and the force or coercion used by the perpetrator.
  • Force or coercion is defined in NMSA 1978, § 30-9-10(A) and means:
    • the use of physical force or physical violence;
    • the use of threats to use physical force or violence against the victim or another;
    • the use of threats, including threats of physical punishment, kidnapping, extortion or retaliation directed against the victim or another; or
    • committing a criminal sexual penetration or criminal sexual contact when the perpetrator knows or has reason to know that the victim is unconscious, asleep, or otherwise physically helpless or suffers from a mental condition that renders the victim incapable of understanding the nature or consequences of the act.

Criminal sexual contact is the unlawful and intentional touching of or application of force, without consent, to the unclothed intimate parts of another who has reached his/her eighteenth birthday, or intentionally causing another who has reached his/her eighteenth birthday to touch one’s intimate parts. “Intimate parts” means the primary genital area, groin, buttocks, anus or breast. See NMSA 1978, § 30-9-12. 

  • Criminal sexual contact is a felony crime if perpetrated by the use of force or coercion that results in personal injury to the victim, or if the perpetrator is aided or abetted by others, or when the perpetrator is armed with a deadly weapon.
  • Criminal sexual contact is a misdemeanor crime when perpetrated with the use of force or coercion.

Harassment means knowingly pursuing a pattern of conduct that is intended to annoy, seriously alarm or terrorize another person and that serves no lawful purpose. The conduct must be such that it would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress.  See NMSA 1978, § 30-3A-2. 

Stalking means knowingly pursuing a pattern of conduct, without lawful authority, directed at a specific individual when the person intends that the pattern of conduct would place the individual in reasonable apprehension of death, bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint of the individual or another individual. A “pattern of conduct” means two or more acts, on more than one occasion in which the alleged stalker directly, indirectly or through third parties, follows, monitors, surveils, threatens or communicates to or about a person. See NMSA 1978, § 30-3A-3.

Aggravated stalking consists of stalking perpetrated by a person:

  • who knowingly violates a permanent or temporary order of protection issued by a court, except that mutual violations of such orders may constitute a defense to aggravated stalking;
  • in violation of a court order setting conditions of release and bond;
  • when the person is in possession of a deadly weapon; or
  • when the victim is less than sixteen years of age.

See NMSA 1978 § 30-3A-3.1. 

Unauthorized distribution of sensitive images means the distributing, publishing or otherwise making available, by an electronic communications device or other means, sensitive images of a person, with or without information identifying that person, without that person’s consent with the intent to:

  • harass, humiliate or intimidate that person;
  • incite another to harass, humiliate or intimidate that person;
  • cause that person to reasonably fear for that person’s own or family members’ safety;
  • cause that person to suffer unwanted physical contact or injury; or
  • cause that person to suffer substantial emotional distress under a reasonable person standard. 

See NMSA 1978, § 30-3-10 et seq.

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Any person who feels he or she has been a victim of sexual misconduct or who witnesses an instance of alleged sexual misconduct is required to immediately report the matter to the appropriate Title IX Coordinator and/or the Human Resources Department. Special arrangements may be made to prevent continuation of the alleged misconduct. Victims should also contact CNM’s Security Department, (505) 224-3001, to file a report. All reports of alleged sexual misconduct will be reviewed and investigated thoroughly using a preponderance of the evidence standard of review. This preponderance is based on the more convincing evidence and its probable truth or accuracy, and not on the amount of evidence. A person may also file a complaint with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights regarding an alleged violation of Title IX by visiting or by calling (800) 421-3481.

Investigations will be conducted by the appropriate Title IX Coordinator or designee and shall be prompt, fair and impartial. As part of the investigation process, the parties and any witnesses will be interviewed along with any other relevant evidence. Every effort will be made to conclude an investigation within sixty (60) days after receiving a report of alleged sexual misconduct under this policy.  Both the complainant and respondent shall be notified in writing of the outcome of the investigation in accordance with the Clery Act (20 U.S.C. § 1092(f)). If the time to complete the investigation is expected to exceed sixty (60) days, the complainant and respondent shall be notified in writing of the reasons for the delay.


Following an investigation and finding that a violation of this policy occurred, CNM may impose sanctions. For employees, sanctions may include written or verbal warning, referral to the Employee Assistance Program, demotion, a no contact directive, training, placement on leave with or without pay or termination of employment. For students, sanctions may include written or verbal warning, disciplinary hold on academic records, probation, degree revocation, suspension or expulsion. The sanctions stated herein should not be considered an exhaustive list.

Appeals can be made to the appropriate Title IX Coordinator and must occur within five (5) business days of the date the appellant was notified of the outcome.


It is a violation of Title IX and this policy to retaliate against any person reporting suspected sexual misconduct, assisting with an investigation regarding such report, or testifying in matters related to a report of sexual misconduct.  Suspected retaliation should be reported to the appropriate Title IX Coordinator immediately.


Both the complainant and respondent shall be treated respectfully throughout the investigation process. To the extent permitted by applicable laws, CNM will keep matters under this policy confidential and private.  Only persons who have a legitimate “need to know” will be privy to the information surrounding a complaint or report of sexual misconduct. 


Many sexual misconduct offenses are also crimes in the state or locality where the incident occurred. Victims of sexual misconduct often have legal options that they can pursue. These options are available solely at the discretion of victims. CNM encourages those individuals who have experienced sexual misconduct to preserve evidence to the greatest extent possible. CNM does not conduct forensic tests as part of the investigation process; however, the results of such testing conducted by law enforcement may be submitted as evidence to be considered as part of CNM’s investigation process.

Some general evidence preservation guidelines are:

  • Do not alter, dispose of, or destroy any physical evidence.
  • Preserve evidence of electronic communications by saving them and taking screen shots of all relevant electronic messages.
  • If there is suspicion that a drink may have been drugged, inform a medical assistance provider or law enforcement so they can attempt to collect possible evidence from the drink or through other means.

Evidence preservation guidelines for sexual assault

  • Victims of sexual assault who wish to preserve evidence should go to a hospital or medical facility immediately to seek a medical examination for evidence collection.
  • Victims of sexual assault should not shower, bathe, douche, smoke, brush teeth, eat, drink or change clothes or bedding before going to a medical facility.
  • Victims who do change clothes or bedding should not wash the clothes or worn bedding used during the assault and should bring these items to the hospital in a non-plastic bag.


Sexual harassment awareness training is required for all new employees and is also available for ongoing employees at any time through CNM’s Talent Management System. The training can be accessed by logging in to and registering for the Preventing Discrimination and Sexual Violence: Title IX, VAWA and Clery Act for Faculty and Staff curriculum.


If you are a victim of sexual misconduct, there are resources available to help you.  Please contact the Human Resources Department, (505) 224-4600, or Dean of Students, (505) 224-4342, if you need additional guidance or an on-campus confidential resource.

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4.04 Nepotism

Effective Date: 1/13/15
Revised: 2/12/19

The hiring, promoting, transferring, demoting or reassigning of employees is prohibited if the result is the creation of a supervisor/subordinate relationship between family members, an actual conflict of interest, or the appearance of a conflict of interest exists. If a supervisor plans to marry or cohabitate with a person under his or her supervision, Human Resources shall be notified at least (30) days in advance in order to arrange a transfer. An employee shall be transferred in accordance with terms of the appropriate Collective Bargaining Agreement, if any.

For the purposes of this policy, family members include parents, children, spouses, domestic partners, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, half-siblings, great-grandparents, great-grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, mother-in-law, father-in-law, step-parent, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, step-child, step-brother, brother-in-law, step-sister, sister-in-law, adopted children, domestic partner children, and any other person who is a member of the employee’s household.

4.05 Reporting Observed, Suspected, or Apparent Misconduct

Effective Date: 8/12/14
Reviewed: 10/14/22


Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) employees, and individuals associated with CNM, acting in good faith, should report any observed misconduct, whether suspected or apparent. Misconduct is any activity performed by a CNM employee that violates state and/or federal laws or regulations, local ordinances, or CNM policies.  College employees are to maintain the highest standards of personal and professional ethics as they conduct business on behalf of the College, as outlined in the CNM Employee Handbook, Code of Conduct Policy, Section IV.

CNM is committed to conducting an initial review and continuing with a thorough investigation into allegations of misconduct where warranted, while protecting the rights of all involved.  Misconduct should be reported as soon as reasonably possible, from the time the employee becomes aware of the observed, suspected, or apparent misconduct.


Retaliation is not tolerated by CNM and will be promptly investigated.  Retaliation is any adverse action taken against an employee because that employee reported suspected misconduct.  Any employee who interferes with, tries to interfere with, or retaliates against the rights of another employee for reporting suspected misconduct or cooperating in an investigation is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. CNM is committed to protecting employees who report suspected misconduct in accordance with the Whistleblower Protection Act (Whistleblower Protection Act - § 10-16C-1. - N.M. Stat. Ann. § 10-16C-1 et seq. (2012)).  Where possible, confidentiality will be maintained, however, identity may have to be disclosed to conduct a thorough investigation, to comply with the law, and to provide accused individuals their legal rights of defense.  

False or Inaccurate Accusations

It is important to protect individuals from false, unsubstantiated, or inaccurate accusations.  An employee who knowingly provides false information or knowingly makes a false report of suspected misconduct or a subsequent false report of retaliation, or who knowingly provides false answers or information in response to an ongoing investigation will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination by CNM.

The procedure for reporting and investigating misconduct can be found in The Source, along with the procedure detailing the steps the College will take for any interference or retaliation as a result of reporting observed, suspected, or apparent misconduct.

4.06 Consensual Relationships

Effective Date: 1/13/15

This policy applies to all faculty, staff, and student-employees at CNM. The provisions of this policy do not supersede Section 4.01(D) of the Employee Handbook.

A consensual sexual or romantic relationship between a supervisor/direct report or between peer employees can sometimes lead to an actual or perceived conflict of interest, charges of sexual harassment, and retaliation. These situations directly affect CNM’s institutional values and potentially expose CNM to liability. For these reasons, employees must disclose any current consensual romantic or sexual relationships that may be a conflict of interest to their immediate supervisor immediately. Disclosure under this policy for retaliatory or coercive purposes is strictly prohibited.  Failure to comply with the disclosure requirement of this policy may result in disciplinary action in accordance with the CNM Employee Handbook.

Supervisors must document all steps taken in response to a disclosure under this policy. Supervisors should seek guidance from the Human Resources Department. 

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