HR Today: Selling Girl Scout cookies, ethics guide for employees, more

HR Today

Human Resources Q & A:

Question: What are Western’s pay periods?

Answer: The pay periods are the 1st to the 15th and the 16th to the last day of each month.

Question: Can I sell items from my kid’s charitable organization such as Girl Scout cookies and/or school fundraisers that sell candy or magazines in the workplace?

Answer: You may be able to, if it falls within “organizational effectiveness.”  That means that the agency head has approved the activity and acknowledges that it relates to an agency’s mission and encompasses activities that enhance or augment the agency’s ability to perform its mission. The Board recognizes that state agencies may allow employees to participate in activities that are not official state duties but promote organizational effectiveness by supporting a collegial work environment.

The Employee and Labor Relations team: With the launch of the new Human Resources website, we have been very appreciative of the feedback we have received from across campus. The Employee and Labor Relations team has updated content on the following pages. We hope that this will be extremely useful to employees and supervisors.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any feedback or questions on these pages or any part of our website.

Ethics in Public Service: A Quick Guide for New Employees

Welcome to Western!  As a state employee, below are a few ethic rules you should know as you begin your new job.

Ethics in Public Service Act (RCW 42.52): Government derives its powers from the people, and ethics in government are the foundation on which the structure of government rests. State officials and employees of government hold a public trust that obligates them to honesty and integrity in fulfilling the responsibilities to which they are elected and appointed.

Paramount in trust is the principle that public office, whether elected or appointed, may not be used for personal gain or private advantage.

How Does the Ethics in Public Service Act Affect Me?

You should not:

  • Have financial or other interests, or engage in business or professional activities that conflict with the performance of your official duties;
  • Use your position to secure special privileges or exemptions for yourself or any other person;
  • Receive compensation from a source other than the State of Washington for the performance or non-performance of an official duty; and,
  • Receive a gift if it could be reasonably expected to influence or reward the performance of your official duties.

Use of Public Resources

  • You may not use the facilities of Western for personal gain. The law does allow for de minimis use, so long as the use does not interfere with your official duties and is infrequent and short in duration. Please ask your supervisor or HR department for policies.

Outside Employment

Under certain circumstances you may enter into a contract with another entry. The following conditions must be met:

  • The contract is bona fide and performed;
  • The performance of the contract is not within your official duties or under your supervision;
  • The contract is not prohibited by law;
  • Compensation is not from a person from whom you cannot receive a gift;
  • The contract is not created by you in your official capacity; and
  • The contract would not require you to disclose confidential information.

For more information regarding outside employment, please refer to RCW 42.52.120 and WAC 292-100-060.

Ethics in Public Service: RCW 42.52


  • POL-U5300.25  Reporting Loss of University Funds or Property
  • POL-U5400.05  Using University Resources
  • POL-U5400.17  Professional Staff Policy on Consulting and Other Outside Compensated Professional Activities
  • POL-U5400.18  Faculty Policy on Consulting and Other Compensated Professional Activities
  • POL-U5400.19  Receiving Honoraria


Ethics Training: