Ethics

Lake Fred

Stockton’s ethics web page contains information for Stockton employees and trustees.  The terms “State employee” and “State official” used on Stockton’s ethics web page refer to Stockton employees or Stockton officials.  Please note that State employees and State officials may be used interchangeably, except where specifically noted.  The Conflicts of Interest Law (N.J.S.A. 52:13D-12 et seq.) applies to special State Officers.

Questions concerning information contained on this web page can be directed to Valerie Hayes, Chief Officer for Institutional Diversity and Equity and Stockton’s Ethics Liaison Officer at Valerie.Hayes@stockton.edu or 609-652-4693.

New Jersey State Ethics Commission

The New Jersey State Ethics Commission (“Commission”) was created in 1973 to administer and enforce the Conflicts of Interest Law, N.J.S.A. 52:13D-12 et seq.  Pursuant to section 23(a)(2) of the Conflicts of Interest Law, the Commission promulgated a uniform ethics code to govern and guide the conduct of State officers and employees and special State officers and employees in State agencies in the Executive Branch.  The January 2019 Uniform Ethics Code (N.J.S.A. 52:13D-23; N.J.A.C. 19:61-2.2(a)(1)) that incorporates the Conflicts of Interest Law and Commission Rules is the primary code of ethics for State agencies to govern and guide the conduct of State officers and State employees and special State officers in State agencies in the Executive branch of State Government.

The Commission’s Plain Language Guide (Commission RuleN.J.A.C. 19-61-2.3) explains the ethics rules and laws found in the Conflicts of Interest Law (N.J.S.A. 52:13D-12 et seq.) and Commission Rules (N.J.A.C. 19:61-6.1 et seq.).  Information in the Plain Language Guide derives from detailed statutes, regulations and executive orders.  In the Introduction section of the Plain Language Guide, the Principles of Ethical Conduct are distinguished in more detail.

The Commission also administers and enforces several sections of the Casino Control Act, N.J.S.A. 5:12-1 et seq., and has administrative authority granted by the Governor by Executive Orders 189 (Kean, 1989), 41 (Codey, 2005), 68 (Codey, 2005), 14 (Corzine, 2005), and 64 (Christie, 2011), and 2 (Murphy, 2018).

The Commission is responsible for providing advice and investigating matters pertaining to ethics and related rules governing the official conduct of State officers, State employees, and special State officers. Individuals are encouraged to seek guidance from the Commission or the Stockton’s ELO (Valerie.Hayes@stockton.edu) whenever there are questions on what to do.


Ethics Liaison Officer

ELOs are appointed under Executive Order No. 2 (Murphy) and attend Commission quarterly meetings in Trenton, NJ.  If you have an ethics questions, please contact Stockton’s ELO (Valerie.Hayes@stockton.edu).  At Stockton, the Commission recognizes the ELO, the Deputy General Counsel, and the General Counsel as the only Stockton employees who may answer ethics questions.  Individuals may also contact the New Jersey State Ethics Commission at 609-292-1892 or toll free at 1-888-223-1355. 

Valerie HayesDr. Valerie Hayes , Esq.

Chief Officer for Institutional Diversity & Equity Agency Ethics Liaison Officer (“ELO”)


Each year, state employees and public officers are required to take ethics online training (N.J.S.A. 52:13d-21.1 State Ethics Training Plan). Periodically, the ELO will send e-mail notices to remind employees about their ethics online training obligation.

When an employee or trustee begins their duties at Stockton, the full ethics online training must be taken within the first 30 calendar days of employment and every other year as well. After completing the full ethics training, the SEC will e-mail a training receipt.

The grid below identifies for the appropriate ethics training module based on status.

Status

Ethics Online Training Modules

Full-time Faculty

College and University Faculty Training Module

Full-time Staff
(includes managers & administrators)

State Employee Training Module

Adjunct Faculty

Special State Officer Training Module 

Part-Time Staff and TES Employees

Special State Officer Training Module

Board of Trustees

College and University Trustees Training Module

Between full ethics online training years, state employees and public officers are required to take the ethics briefing (N.J.S.A. 52:13D-21.1). After completing the ethics briefing, the SEC will e-mail a training receipt.

At Stockton, employees and public officers have different online ethics training schedules based upon when the full online ethics training was taken and completed. Each person is responsible for keeping track of when the ethics training was taken and completed. Two examples are provided below.

Employee A takes and completes the …

  • Full ethics training on February 1, 2019
  • Ethics briefing on February 1, 2020
  • Full ethics training on February 1, 2021
  • Ethics briefing on February 1, 2022
  • And so on …

Employee B takes and completes the …

  • Full ethics training on July 1, 2019
  • Ethics briefing on July 1, 2020
  • Full ethics training on July 1, 2021
  • Ethics briefing on July 1, 2022
  • And so on …

Each State employee and State officer is responsible for keeping a record of when State ethics training was taken and completed.

Please retain a copy of your SEC training receipt. Also, please forward a copy of your SEC training receipt to IDE@stockton.edu.

The required ethics forms below are recurring, either required annually or every three years unless a change has occurred.  Once you complete the form electronically, the system will maintain this information and send reminders to you when the form needs to be completed again.  Also, the system notes for you when you last submitted a form and when it is due to be completed and submitted again.

Status

Ethics Form(s)

Timing

Citation

Full-time Faculty

Annual College/University Disclosure Form (aka Scholarly Capacity Form)

April 1 – June 30

Commission Rules 
N.J.A.C. 19:61-6.10(a)

See also Frequently Asked Questions about the Scholarly Capacity Form.

Outside Activity Questionnaire

Start of employment and every three years thereafter or when there is a change in outside activity, whichever is earlier. Uniform Ethics Code
Section VI

Adjunct Faculty

 

Annual College/University Disclosure Form (aka Scholarly Capacity Form)

April 1 – June 30

Commission Rules
N.J.A.C. 19:61-6.10(a); also review Frequently Asked Questions

Outside Employment Questionnaire

  Conflicts of Interest Law N.J.S.A. 52:13D-12 et seq.; Uniform Ethics Code Section VI

Full-time Staff
(includes managers & administrators, only if there is something to report)

Annual College/University Disclosure Form (aka Scholarly Capacity Form)

April 1 – June 30

Commission Rules N.J.A.C. 19:61-6.10(a); Frequently Asked Questions about the Scholarly Capacity Form.

Part-Time Staff

TES Employees

Student Workers

Outside Employment Questionnaire

Start of employment, then annually thereafter.

Conflicts of Interest Law N.J.S.A. 52:13D-12 et seq.; Uniform Ethics Code Section VI

 

Board of Trustees

Executive Order 64 Conflicts of Interest Form (Commission sends form directly to Trustees)

Executive Order No. 14 (Corzine)

Click here for instructions

Outside Employment Questionnaire

Between February 1 – May 15

Conflicts of Interest Law N.J.S.A. 52:13D-12 et seq.; Commission Rules N.J.A.C. 19:61-1.1 et seq.

Uniform Ethics Code Section VI

University President

Financial Disclosure Statement for Public Employees

(Commission sends form directly to President)

Between February 1 – May 15

Conflicts of Interest Law N.J.S.A. 52:13D-21(n); Executive Order No. 24 (Christie); Executive Order 2 (Murphy)

These required ethics forms have specific applications as noted below.

State Status

Ethics Form(s)

Timing

Citation

Any State Employee or Trustee attending event on behalf of Stockton.

Request for Attendance at Event Form

Before an off-campus private, non-governmental entity sponsored event

Commission Rules N.J.A.C. 19:61-6.8 UEC Section IV; N.J.A.C. 19:61-6.4(f)

Any State Employee

Jointly Sponsored Event Form

When planning an event with a private, non-governmental entity

State Ethics Commission’s Guidelines for Joint Ventures and the Private Financing of State Activities

Any Supervisor*

Supervisory Conflict of Interest Form (Anti-Nepotism)

Annually

Conflicts of Interest LawN.J.S.A. 52:13D-21.2;

Commission Rules N.J.A.C. 19:61-5.7(c) UEC Section XIII

Any State Employee or Trustee who makes purchasing decisions or has signatory authority on Stockton’s contracts or purchases.

Personal & Business Relationships Disclosure (“PBRD”) Form

Reviewed by the filer on an annual basis; new form must be completed any time there is a material change to any responses provided on the form.

N.J.S.A. 52:34-10.9; also review Frequently Asked Questions

*A supervisor is defined broadly to include any manager or other individual who has authority to control the work environment of any other State employee or Stockton student.


Questions and Answers: Ethics Forms

Over the years, Stockton employees have asked various general ethics questions and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity (“OIDE”) has provided answers. This section contains some of those questions and answers.  Click here for Frequently Asked Questions on the New Jersey State Ethics Commission website. See also the Commission’s Plain Language Guide for ethics information. Please contact the ELO (Valerie.Hayes@stockton.edu) if you have questions.

Request for Attendance at Event Form

As defined in the Commission’s Plain Language Guide and in the Attendance at Event rules, an event is any meeting, conference, seminar, speaking engagement, symposium, training course, ground-breaking, ribbon-cutting, meal, open house, cocktail party, fundraiser, holiday party, social function, or similar event that takes place away from your work location, is sponsored or co-sponsored by a supplier or a non-State government source and the invitation for which is extended to you because of your official position.  However, meetings that you attend at other State agencies in the course of your official duties are not events.

The definition of interested party is in the Commission’s Plain Language Guide. An interested party is:

  • a person or entity that is or may reasonably be anticipated to be subject to the regulatory, licensing, or supervisory authority of your agency, or any employee, representative or agent of that person or entity;
  • a supplier to your agency (meaning any person or entity that is providing or is seeking to provide or may reasonably be expected to provide goods and/or services to your agency) or any employee, representative, or agent of a supplier;
  • an organization that advocates or represents the positions of its members to your agency; or
  • an organization in which a majority of its members are interested parties.

In general, an interested party is any person or entity that you or your agency deal with, contact, or regulate in the course of official business.

Under the Attendance at Event rules, a benefit is described in two ways: direct benefit and indirect benefit.  A direct benefit occurs when a State employee or State official accepts from the event sponsor travel, meals, accommodation, waiver of conference or event fee or any other costs associated with attending the event for which no payment is made by the State.  An indirect benefit occurs when a State employee or State official accepts from the event sponsor reimbursement for costs of travel, meals, accommodation, event fees, or any other costs associated with attending the event for which no reimbursement is made by the State.

No. The State employee, State official or the Stockton must pay your reasonable expenses associated with attending the event sponsored by the interested party.  Additionally, neither the State employee nor State official can receive travel, meals, accommodation, waivers of conference or event fees or any other costs associated with attending the event, or reimbursement for such costs, from any source. There may be an exception to this rule if you take an active role in the event, which means at the event you are a speaker, panelist, or an accompanying resource person for the speaker or panelist.  For this exception, you must seek prior approval from the Stockton’s ELO and the Commission staff person responsible for reviewing such situations.  Stockton’s ELO and the Commission staff person must determine whether there is a conflict or an appearance of a conflict.

 

Honoraria

Yes, but only if the State employee is presenting at the event.  This is called the speaker’s exception.  If, however, the event sponsor is an interested party, the Commission must approve the State employee’s acceptance of the honoraria prior to the attendance at the event.

Annual College/University Disclosure Form

Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 19:61-6.10(a), State officials and State employees) serving in a scholarly capacity to annually disclose to their school dean or divisional head any travel, subsistence or entertainment expenses, honoraria, academic prizes or other things of value related to activities performed in a scholarly capacity received in the prior academic year (July 1st through June 30th).  Any benefit received related to the State officials or State employees position, and any outside activity performed, while not acting in a scholarly capacity, must still be reported pursuant to Stockton’s procedures, and on the forms required by the Commission.

Review the Frequently Asked Questions for more questions and answers about the Scholarly Capacity Form.  Please contact the ELO (Valerie.Hayes@stockton.edu) if you have questions.

 

Scholarly Capacity Forms

Scholarly capacity is the capacity in which you serve the State as an employee. Commission RuleN.J.A.C. 19:61-6.2 defines scholarly capacity as “any pedagogical, academic, artistic, educational or scholarly activity performed by a State official for the institution of higher education that employs or has appointed such State official.” This can include attendance and participation in or making presentations at events, such as colloquia, seminars, conferences or other similar scholarly gatherings.

Faculty and Adjunct Faculty typically attend pedagogical, academic, artistic, educational or scholarly activities related to their state employee role as faculty or adjunct faculty. 

Yes, but only if there is something to report, meaning if the staff person attended an event in a scholarly capacity as defined by the Commission.  Stockton staff, managers, and administrators typically attend events in their roles as staff, managers, and administrators but not in a scholarly capacity.  If, however, a staff, manager, or administrator is attending, participating in or making presentations at scholarly gatherings in a scholarly capacity, then the staff, manager, or administrator must complete the Scholarly Capacity Form. 

A benefit from an event sponsor is something you receive for performing in your scholarly capacity at the event, such as an honorarium or other item of value.  A benefit from an event sponsor can be direct (no payment is made by Stockton) or indirect (no reimbursement is made by Stockton).  The direct or indirect benefit provided to the state employee, acting in a scholarly capacity, may include the acceptance of reasonable travel and subsistence expenses and allowable entertainment expenses. The state employee, acting in a scholarly capacity, may accept an honorarium, academic prize or other thing of value if the honorarium, academic prize or other thing of value reflects payment for orally sharing his or her intellectual property.

The Commission does not require State employees to complete a RAAE form if, in their scholarly capacity, they attend events; however, a State agency may do so.  Currently, Stockton requires its employees attending events in their scholarly capacity to complete the RAAE form.

For example, the Commission covers the following topics associated with a State employee’s scholarly capacity. 

  • Whether the employee can be paid for making a presenting at a scholarly event.
  • Whether a publisher can pay the employee’s travel expenses for speaking at a scholarly event.
  • Whether an employee can be paid for reviewing textbooks.
Yes. Special rules apply to State officials acting in a scholarly capacity, as the term is defined in Commission RuleN.J.A.C. 19: 61-6.2. State officials acting in a scholarly capacity may accept honoraria related to their scholarly activities and must complete an annual disclosure form that discloses reimbursement for any travel, subsistence or entertainment expenses, honoraria, academic prizes, or other things of value related to activities performed in a scholarly capacity that were received during the prior calendar year." 

 

 

Published Works and Royalities

A published work includes research papers, articles, and books, but also any tangible mediums of expression, such as literary, pictorial, graphic and sculptural matter, sound recordings, and software.

Yes, but only if the rules regarding published works are followed. Review the relevant section of the Commission’s Plain Language Guide for more information on the rules regarding published works (Commission Rule N.J.A.C. 19:61-6.7).

No. The co-authors may not retain the royalties and must donate those royalties.  There is no exception even though there is no alternative text. Pursuant to Commission Rule N.J.A.C. 19:61-6.7(f) those authors who teach a course in which the text is required must donate the royalties. If the text will not be used in a course that the author teaches, whether he can accept the royalties depends on whether that faculty member was involved in selecting his text for use in that other course. Pursuant to Commission Rule N.J.A.C. 19:61-6.7(g), “[a] State official acting in a scholarly capacity may accept compensation for the use of his or her published work in a course that he or she does not teach, provided the he or she was not involved in the selection of the published work for the use in that course.” 

Yes, as long as earmarked funds are not personally benefiting the authors who were required to make the donation or any other Stockton employee.

No. The author is not permitted to accept royalties form the use of the author’s text in the last semester in which the author taught in which the text was used or was involved in the decision to use the text for a course the faculty member did not teach. The prohibition on accepting royalties remains in effect until the end of the faculty member’s last semester of employment with the University (e.g. In the fall of 2018, Professor Jones is teaching a course and assigns her text as required reading. A week into the semester, Professor Jones retires. Professor Jones cannot accept any royalties from the sale of her text for the remainder of the fall 2018 semester.) Each semester is deemed a new opportunity to decide to use the text.  If the former faculty member leaves the University and the new faculty member, dean or chair decides to continue using her text, Professor Jones can begin accepting royalties.

Example: In the fall of 2018, Professor A, who authored the text, is teaching a course and assigns the text as required reading. A week into the semester, Professor A leaves the university. Professor A cannot accept any royalties from the sale of the text for the remainder of the fall 2018 semester. However, each semester is deemed a new opportunity to decide to use the text.  If a new faculty member, dean or program coordinator decides to continue using Professor A’s text, then Professor A can begin accepting royalties.

Outside Employment/Activity Questionnaire

There are some exceptions, but generally State employees may have a second job or personal business interest and engage in an outside volunteer activity, but only if it is compatible with your agency rules and your State responsibilities.  For more information on outside activities, review Guidelines Governing Outside Activities on the Commission’s web page.  Please contact the ELO (Valerie.hayes@stockton.edu) if you have questions.

An outside activity is any activity for which you receive income or for which you volunteer. 

Yes, but only if it is compatible with your agency rules and your State responsibilities. Prior to engaging in any outside employment or other activity, you must obtain approval from your agency.

You must not

  • undertake any employment or service which might reasonably be expected to impair your objectivity and independence of judgment in the exercise of your official duties;
  • engage in any business, profession, trade, or occupation that is subject to licensing or regulation by a specific agency of State Government, without promptly filing notice of that activity with the Commission;
  • engage in any business, transaction, or professional activity that is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of your duties in the public interest; or
  • use State time, personnel, or other State resources for the other job or activity.

Yes, but the State Ethics Commission must grant a waiver for either you or your immediate family member to hold employment with a holder of or applicant for a casino license. Before you accept employment with a holder of or applicant for a casino license, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity (“OIDE”) must have a Commission waiver. The OIDE will request a waiver on your behalf once the OIDE receives your Outside Employment/Activity Questionnaire. Commission-granted waivers to casino employment restrictions are located here. Also, neither you nor your immediate family members can hold an interest in, or represent, appear for, or negotiate on behalf of a holder of or an applicant for a casino license.

If you are not certain whether you are permitted to take on a job or other outside activity according to these rules, you should ask the Commission for an advisory opinion. These cases are frequently very fact-sensitive, and the Commission decides each individually.

No. You are not allowed to use your official title for the purpose of fundraising for a private organization (whether at an event or elsewhere). You may not use Stockton resources or State time to fundraise for the outside entity. Also, you may not represent the outside entity to a State agency, including Stockton.

Yes. Employees can engage in outside activities with a county or municipality because the definition of State agency specifically excludes a county or municipality. 

 

You must seek the approval of the Commission before you engage in an outside activity with another New Jersey State agency. A state agency is defined as (a) any of the principal departments in the Executive Branch of State Government including any division, board, bureau, office, commission or other instrumentality within or created by a department; (b) the Legislature of the State;  (c) any office, board, or commission within or created by the Legislative Branch of State government; and  (d) to the extent consistent with law, any interstate agency to which New Jersey is a party and any independent State authority, commission, instrumentality or agency.

Jointly Sponsored Event Form

The Commission provides guidelines on joint ventures and financing of state activities. The Commission has determined that the identities of all contributors to joint ventures or private financing must be disclosed in order to dispel any perception by the public that an agency is acting improperly. The Commission is primarily concerned when an event is jointly sponsored with a private entity that is providing a financial contribution or quantifiable in-kind contribution. Please contact the ELO (Valerie.Hayes@stockton.edu) if you have questions.

A private entity is an entity that is non-governmental.  A private entity as includes a non-profit agency.

Before the jointly sponsored event occurs, but ideally during the early stages of event planning.  Ideally, when the employee is planning to co-sponsor an event with a private entity and the planning of the event is at a point where the JSEA form can be completed. 

A JSEA form must be completed if you are co-sponsoring an event with a private entity to seek assistance from private entities to fulfill the mission of the State agency.  A JSEA form is not needed when the co-sponsor(s) is a governmental entity, such as another state agency.

As defined in the Commission’s Plain Language Guide and in the Attendance at Event rules,  an event is any meeting, conference, seminar, speaking engagement, symposium, training course, ground-breaking, ribbon-cutting, meal, open house, cocktail party, fundraiser, holiday party, social function, or similar event that takes place away from your work location, is sponsored or co-sponsored by a supplier or a non-State government source.

Yes. If Stockton is a co-sponsor of the event and not just a participant then Stockton has to submit a joint venture form also. So, if the promotional materials has Stockton’s name, logo, etc., alongside the primary state agency sponsor and the private entity, then the event is a joint sponsorship.

No. The grantor dictates the entities involved in implementing and fulfilling grant requirements, not Stockton.

Yes. The space being provided at no cost is quantifiable as Stockton’s contribution to the private entity’s event. If Stockton were not providing space at no cost for the private entity’s meeting as its contribution to the private entity’s event, the private entity would be paying Stockton for the use of the space. This scenario is different from Stockton exclusively hosting the event and inviting members of the public to the event.

Personal & Business Relationships Disclosure Form

A State officer or State employee, or special State officer or State employee, of a State agency as defined in N.J.S.A 52:34-10.11 who is involved in the procurement process must complete this Personal & Business Relationships Disclosure (“PBRD”) form in full. Involvement in the procurement process means drafting, reviewing, evaluating or making contract awards or substantively assisting in any of those tasks, or authorizing payments under those contracts.

The completed form must be filed with the head of the State agency in which the State officer or employee, or special State officer or employee, holds office or employment. At Stockton, the completed form must be filed with the OIDE, which is an office within the President’s Office. The OIDE will forward completed forms to the Commission.

The completed form must be reviewed by the filer on an annual basis. A new form must be completed any time there is a material change to any response.

Review the Frequently Asked Questions for more questions and answers about the PBRD form. Please contact the ELO (Valerie.Hayes@stockton.edu) if you have questions.

Please send your completed PBPR Form to the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity.  The Office tracks who has completed the form.  The Office will then transmit the forms in bulk to the New Jersey State Ethics Commission.  Stockton has permission from the New Jersey State Ethics Commission for completed PBPR forms to be sent to the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity.

Interest means any ownership or control of any profits or assets of a business organization. You must disclose the name of the business organization and the nature of your interest (number of shares held, percentage ownership, etc.).

Professional relationships include, but are not limited to, your lawyer, accountant, physician, landscaper, or plumber.

Friends, family, neighbors you interact with regularly, work colleagues, classmates or members of professional and trade organizations who you see on a regular basis.

Supervisory Conflict of Interest Form

State employees who supervise others must annually certify that they are not supervising or exercising authority with regard to personnel actions over a relative, cohabitant or someone a state employee or officer is dating (Commission RuleN.J.A.C. 19:61-5.7; Uniform Ethics Code; New Jersey State Ethics Commission regulations).  Please contact the ELO (Valerie.Hayes@stockton.edu) if you have questions.

The definition of relative in the Plain Language Guide is an individual’s spouse or the individual’s or spouse’s parent, child, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, grandparent, grandchild, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother or half sister, whether the relative is related to the individual or the individual’s spouse by blood, marriage or adoption. 

Yes, provided the State employee or State officer does not supervise, or exercise authority with regard to personnel actions over, the relative.

Yes, however, the State employee or State officer is required to contact the ELO (Valerie.hayes@stockton.edu) to determine if the State employee, State officer, or the relative is affected by the statutory restrictions.

Selected Topics: General Questions And Answers 

Please contact the ELO (Valerie.Hayes@stockton.edu) if you have questions.

Active Charitable Activity

In general, the ethics rules prohibit active solicitation of co-workers for charitable concerns.  Officially, the New Jersey Employees Charitable Campaign (NJECC) drive is the only State-sanctioned workplace charity drive where active solicitation is permitted.  See www.njecc.net.  The use of the NJECC drive allows employees to give to their charity of choice, without feeling pressured from individual employees who want to promote their charity of choice or overwhelming State employees with multiple drives to raise funds.

Active charitable solicitation by the Stockton University Foundation is a permitted active charitable activity.  The Stockton University Foundation Board of Directors’ mission is to provide philanthropic leadership and oversight, and carry out the responsibility of raising, stewarding, and distributing funds in support of Stockton and its students.

Conflicts of Interest Law N.J.S.A. 13D-23(e)3 and 23(e)7. These rules, with limited exceptions, prohibit active solicitation of co-workers for charitable concerns.  N.J.S.A. 13D-23(e)3 states that “[n]o State officer or employee or special State officer or employee should use or attempt to use his official position to secure unwarranted privileges or advantages for himself or others.”  The unauthorized use of a State resources for any other purpose other than State business is considered to be a misuse of State resources and provides an unwarranted advantage to the individuals and/or organization for which the office and resources are being used.  N.J.S.A. 13D-23(e)7 provides that “no State officer or employee or special State officer or employee should knowingly act in any way that might reasonably be expected to create an impression or suspicion amongst the public having knowledge of his acts that he may be engaged in conduct violative of his trust as a State officer or employee or special State officer or employee.”  Conducting activities unrelated to State business (i.e. actively soliciting co-workers for charitable concerns) using State resources would also be a violation of N.J.S.A. 13D-23(e)(7) since it could create the impression among the public that the individual is engaging in conduct violative of his or her trust as a State employee. 

No. State employees may not directly ask co-workers to buy fundraising merchandise or donate to a charitable cause and they may not use State email, intercom or other means to raise funds or sell merchandise for a non-profit or any other purpose. 

Yes. Passive charitable solicitation is permitted, unless it is limited by the State agency.  Stockton is a state agency Examples of permissible passive solicitation would be posting a sign-up sheet or merchandise in a break room, common area, employee bulletin board or an electronic “bulletin board” or notice area on your employee intranet page (i.e.  These solicitations have been limited primarily to charitable causes with which the employee has a close personal involvement, like placing the sign-up sheet for your child’s Girl Scout troop in the break room, selling candy for your child’s band by leaving the candy in a common area, etc.).   Management has the discretion to limit or prohibit even passive solicitation and to establish policies and guidelines regarding such solicitation.

In addition to the above provisions, Commission Rule N.J.A.C. 19:1-6.6, provides that “[a] State official shall not permit the use of his or her official title for the purpose of fundraising for, or promotion of, a private organization.”  This rule prohibits the use of a State official’s title in fundraising materials distributed by a private organization, including non-profits (i.e. the advertisement or flyer for a fundraising event by a private organization should not contain the official title of the State employee.)

No, doing so is considered active charitable solicitation. There are restrictions on fundraising under the ethics rules, partially because of the possibility of State employees being overwhelmed with and feeling pressured to contribute to fundraising requests from various members of the Stockton community. Crowdfunding seems to encourage an active fundraising approach. Crowdfunding is a peer-to-peer solicitation rather than an institutional solicitation. However, the Stockton Foundation may use active solicitation, but that solicitation should come directly from the Foundation email or mailing address for mass mailings and not individual Stockton faculty or staff members. 

Gifts and Favors

A State employee or State official may not accept gifts and favors for performing their State role and duties.  For more information on gifts and favors, review Gifts and Favors on the Commission’s web page.  Please contact the ELO (Valerie.Hayes@stockton.edu) if you have questions.

Some things of value are obvious, such as money, stock, debt forgiveness, real estate, or automobiles. But less obvious things also have value, including offers of employment, loans, labor, rebates, price discounts, entertainment, and meals.

A State employee is permitted to give or receive a gift from another State employee such as a co-worker, a supervisor, a subordinate, or a State employee from another State agency. The gift should not be excessive or inappropriate for a business environment. Such gift shall not be reported to the ELO.

No. The State Ethics Commission has adopted a zero-tolerance policy for acceptance of gifts offered to you, your spouse, immediate family member, partner, or associate, that are related in any way to your official duties. Unless you are permitted to receive the gift or thing of value in accordance with the Commission’s rules on attendance at events, you, your spouse, immediate family member, partner or associate shall not accept, either directly or indirectly, any gift, favor, service or other thing of value related in any way to your official public duties. 

You are required to disclose and remit to your ELO any offer or receipt of a thing of value from any person (including students) or entity.

Please contact the ELO immediately for guidance. An item that is otherwise permissible to accept on behalf of Stockton might be impermissible if it is used or displayed in an inappropriate manner. For instance, a State agency should not display in any of its offices a wall calendar from a vendor, as this might create the impression of an endorsement.

In planning retirement events, the responsible group or individual must choose between two approved alternatives with regard to (1) funding the event and (2) the value of any and all gifts to be presented.  The Commission provides detailed Guidelines Regarding Retirement Gifts on its web page.

Political Activity

If a State employee in the Executive Branch of Government runs for public/political office, the acceptance of campaign contributions is not prohibited by the Conflicts of interest Law. Two sections of the Conflicts of Interest Law, N.J.S.A. 52:13D-14 and N.J.S.A. 52:13D-24, address the acceptance and/or solicitation of campaign contributions.

However, a State employee who has run for public/political office is required to recuse their selves from any matters involving their campaign donors if the contributions, individually or in the aggregate, require reporting to New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission. Recusal from matters involving campaign donors is required regardless of the election outcome and the recusal must remain in effect for the length of the term of the office sought.

If the State employee is elected to a public/political office, this is an outside activity which must be reported on their Outside Activity Questionnaire. The usual prohibitions against using State time, State resources or State materials for the outside activity apply.

For more information on political activities, review Political Activities on the Commission’s web page. Review also University Policy I–19 Political Issues and Correspondence and University Policy VI–11.4 Employees Who Are Candidates for Public Office.  Please contact the ELO (Valerie.Hayes@stockton.edu) if you have questions.

Yes, provided there is no State code or provision prohibiting such activity. State employees or State officials, however, may not use State time or State resources in pursuit of such activities and must provide notice to the ELO (Valerie.Hayes@stockton.edu).

No. While some work-related activities may also be viewed as political activities, State employees and State officials should be cautious of their use the University’s email system when expressing their perspectives. Please keep in mind that the interpretation of a perspective would be made by the Commission in the event of a complaint to that body.

In general, a State employee may not use State time, State resources or State materials such as an office computer, phone, cell phone, copier, fax machine, email account or office supplies for any campaign or political activities.  If a student asks the employee in passing, yes, they can briefly respond to the student’s question, but they should not use State email to do so.

The State employee’s primary purpose for attending the meeting or being present in the classroom should be related to their official State duties. If a student happens to ask, yes, they can briefly respond. The ethics rules, however, would prohibit the employee from visiting classrooms or attending meetings for the purpose of announcing their candidacy and advancing their political agenda.

If the event is hosted by a student organization and the State employees, who is also a candidate for political office, attends during customary work hours, they must charge that time as vacation or personal leave. The State employee may not use their official State title in any of the materials for fundraising purposes. At the event, the State can share their official title as a part of their biographical background information.

If the event is hosted by a student organization and the State employees, who is also a candidate for political office, attends during customary work hours, they must charge that time as vacation or personal leave. The State employee may not use their official State title in any of the materials for fundraising purposes.At the event, the State can share their official title as a part of their biographical background information. 

Yes. The political science professor would be participating in their official role and engaging in their official duties, such as an advisor for the organization or a political science professor.  However, if the political science professor is a candidate for political office, then the political science professor may not be permitted to advance their political agenda at the meeting.

Contracting with Another New Jersey State Agency

Depends. Conflicts of Interest LawN.J.S.A.52:13D-19(a) prohibits a State officer or employee from entering into a contract valued at $25 or more with any State agency. Section 19 exempts only three categories of contracts from this general prohibition:

  1. Contracts made after public notice and competitive bidding;
  2. Contracts that may be awarded without public advertising and competitive bidding pursuant to Conflicts of Interest Law J.S.A. 52:34-10 or similar provisions; and
  3. Contracts of insurance entered into by the Director of the Division of Purchase and Property, Department of the Treasury, pursuant to Conflicts of Interest J.S.A. 52:27(b)-62.

Also, State employees must receive the approval of the New Jersey State Ethics Commission prior to contracting under any of the Conflicts of Interest Law N.J.S.A.52:13D-19(b) exceptions. 

It depends. The State employee would need to complete or update the Outside Activity Questionnaire. The State employee also would need to submit a request for approval to the full State Ethics Commission and explain the sole source service, indicating the specifications of the contracts enter into with New Jersey State agencies in the future, even absent a current contract pending. The State employee must provide a memo with the specific Conflicts of Interest Law N.J.S.A. 52:34-10(c) exception approval is sought and an explanation why the exception applies.

Seeking Future Employment

If the State employee has direct and substantial contact with any interested parties, the State employee must refrain from circulating resumes or in any manner seeking employment with those individuals or entities while you are still in State service.  If the State employee does not have direct and substantial contact with interested parties, you may circulate your resume and enter into discussions concerning potential employment with those individuals or entities, so long as you avoid any situation that may give rise to an unwarranted advantage.  The State employee’s discussions, interviews, and negotiations should not take place on State time.

If the State employee is solicited for potential employment by an entity with which the State employee has direct and substantial contact, that solicitation must be disclosed immediately to the State employee’s managerial supervisor and to Stockton’s ELO to avoid a situation where the State employee may appear to be using their official position to gain an unwarranted advantage.

For more information about Seeking Future Employment, review Seeking Future Employment/Post Employment Restrictions on the Commission’s web page.

Post-Employment Restrictions

It depends. The Commission’s Plain Language Guide provides some guidance in answering this question. Dealing with the State after your Departure. As a former State employee, you will be prohibited from representing or assisting a person concerning a particular matter if you were substantially and directly involved in that particular matter while in State employment. This prohibition does not extend to “determinations of general applicability or to the preparation or review of legislation that is no longer pending before the Legislature or the Governor.” The statute, rules, and precedent governing these prohibitions are complex. Questions about the nature of matters with which the State employee had involvement during the course of their official duties should be directed to the Commission for determination on a case-by-case basis.

For more information about Seeking Future Employment, review Seeking Future Employment/Post Employment Restrictions on the Commission’s web page.

Nepotism

A relative is an individual’s spouse or the individual’s or spouse’s parent, child, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, grandparent, grandchild, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother or half-sister, whether the relative is related to the individual or the individual’s spouse by blood, marriage or adoption.

No. In the case of relatives who work for the same agency, direct supervisor/subordinate relationships are not permitted. With respect to the hiring of family members, the State Ethics Commission looks at the totality of circumstances surrounding the hire to determine whether any unwarranted privilege has been afforded the family member. See also the Conflicts Law, N.J.S.A. 52:13D-21.2.  There must be at least one level of supervision between family members.

For more information about Nepotism, review Family Members/Cohabitants and Dating Relationships on the Commission’s web page.


Related University Policies

Related University Procedures

Commission Information


 

 

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