Frequently Asked Ethics and Compliance Questions

Contract Management FAQs

What is the MediTract system?

MediTract is a healthcare contract and document management provider, serving 25% of the hospitals in the United States. MediTract is a division of TractManager Inc., a national Internet-based technology firm specializing in secure, real time access to customized and centralized contact and document management database.

 

How do I get Access to the Meditract Database System?

Before gaining access to the MediTract system each user must take and complete all the appropriate training. (Phase I and II, Phase III per user role)

How do I register for training?

To register for training please contact us at meditract@uec.rutgers.edu.

I am not sure if I need MediTract Access, how can I determine whether I need to have training?

If you currently manage contracts within your organization or department you may be a great candidate for MediTract training. Refer to your supervisor for further direction or contact us at meditract@uec.rutgers.edu.

How many training sessions are offered?

There are a numerous training sessions that are offered based on the users role.

Where can I get a MediTract Access Request Form, if I completed training?

Please request a form by emailing us at meditract@uec.rutgers.edu.

Does the MediTract Access from require supervisor approval?

Yes, to be granted access to the MediTract system, both you and your immediate supervisor will need to sign a completed, MediTract Access form.

Are there different levels of access? What are the current available roles?

Yes, the level of access is determined by the roles. Contract Collaborator, Contract Library, and Term are different roles with differing types of access. Visit our MediTract Roles page for more information.

Who determines the level of access?

The supervisor determines the level of access and the system administrator grants access.

Can the level of access be altered?

Yes, if the system administrator determines there is a specific need.

What is the difference between Contract Collaborator, Contract Library, TERMS, Property Tract, and the Referral Based or Potential Referral Based Database (formerly known as Focused Arrangements Database (FAD))?

Contract Collaborator automates your process of routing, reviewing and approving contracts.

Contract Library serves as an automated file cabinet, creating a contract repository.

TERMS serves as a time and effort reporting system.

PropertyTract provides services that help real estate professionals face the challenges of managing and overseeing operating contracts and lease document used in management of real estate holdings.

Referral Based or Potential Referral Based Database tracks and serves as a repository for contracts that implicate Stark and Anti-Kickback laws and is a database/file cabinet within the Contract Library.

How can I obtain access to the Referral Based or Potential Referral Based Database (RBD or PRBD)?

The following training would need to be completed: Contract Library/Collaborator I and II and the Referral Based or Potential Referral Based Database.Note, the need for access is determined by the user’s supervisor.

How secure is the MediTract system?

To prevent against information being breached during scanning and transmission, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey’s data is encrypted using the industry leader for encryption services. Additionally, a separate database within a secure environment is developed for every facility and/or department of each user.

Are there password requirements for MediTract?

Yes, the same password requirements as established by the Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Password policy.

How can I get my password reset?

There are two ways to reset passwords. First, under the log in the box on the MediTract sign in pages a user can reset username or password. Secondly, a user can send an email to meditract@uec.rutgers.edu and request a password change. Passwords are reset within 24 hours.

I am locked out of my system?

Users will send an email to meditract@uec.rutgers.edu, entitled ”Locked out of Account” in the subject line. Accounts and passwords are reset within 24 hours on business days.

I cannot locate the document that I am searching for?

Users will send an email to meditract@uec.rutgers.edu, entitled Document Search request in the subject line and explain in the body of the email what document needs to be located. Search is preformed within 24-48 hours on business days.

The hyperlink took me to the wrong document?

Users will send an email to meditract@uec.rutgers.edu, entitled “Incorrect Link” in the subject line. Please note the contract numbers in the body of the email.

Is the MediTract system compatible with Microsoft products, including Window 8?

Yes

Is the MediTract system compatible with Apple products (MAC)?

Not as a stand-alone. There are many possible solutions with the need for added features.

Do I need any special equipment to use the MediTract system?

No. Access to the MediTract system only requires that individuals utilizing the system have internet access.

Does the MediTract system offer wireless and mobile solutions?

Yes, MediTract can be used through the TractManager APP for the IPAD, as well as through the internet.

Ethics FAQs

Employment, Supervision, and Personal Relationships

 

Are there circumstances when Rutgers can hire the relative of a current employee?

Yes. University Policy 60.1.1, Employment of Relatives, addresses this topic. The policy generally provides: "It is the policy of Rutgers University to seek the most qualified employees for its faculty and staff positions." "Members of the same family or household may be selected for faculty and staff positions when it has been determined that they are qualified for the position and their selection does not conflict with the provisions of this Regulation."

 

Can relatives be hired for a position that would result in a supervisory/subordinate relationship?

No. The University Employment of Relatives policy provides: "Members of the same family or household may not be selected for faculty or staff positions if selection would create a supervisor/subordinate relationship between family and household members; would have the potential for creating an adverse impact on work performance; or would create either an actual conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest."

 

Can relatives participate in the evaluation and hiring process when a relative is a candidate?

No. The University Employment of Relatives policy provides: "[N]o family or household member shall have hiring authority over another family or household member nor shall vote, make recommendations or in any other way participate in the decision of any matter that may directly affect the appointment, tenure, promotion, demotion, salary or other status or interest of a family or household member. Employees are expected to voluntarily absent themselves from participation in personnel decisions in which a family or household member is involved."

 

Who is considered to be a relative and are romantic relationships included?

The University Employment of Relatives policy provides: "For the purposes of this Regulation, family or household member includes the following: spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, sibling, in-law, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, grandparent, grandchild, or other members of a household. This regulation also applies to romantic relationships."

 

What happens when there is a preexisting supervisor/subordinate relationship and the individuals become romantically involved or marry?

The University Employment of Relatives policy provides: "Employees who become family or household members or establish a romantic relationship may continue employment as long as it does not involve any of the above conditions. If any of the above conditions should occur, attempts will be made to find a suitable position within the university to which one of the employees will transfer, or, if possible, assign job duties so as to minimize problems of supervision, safety, security, or morale. If accommodations of this nature are not feasible, the employees will be permitted to determine which of them will resign. If the employees cannot make a decision, the university will decide in its sole discretion which employee will remain employed."

 

Are there specific rules regarding summer employment?

Yes. The University Employment of Relatives policy provides: "Temporary summer workers who are family or household members of regularly appointed faculty or staff employees may not be employed in the same department as the regularly appointed faculty or staff employees."

Representation of Other Parties

 

May a university employee represent a party other than Rutgers in a matter which involves Rutgers?

No. No Rutgers employee may represent or negotiate on behalf of any party other than Rutgers with respect to any matter involving Rutgers. No partnership or other entity in which a Rutgers employee holds a greater than 10% interest may represent or negotiate on behalf of any party other than Rutgers with respect to any matter involving Rutgers.

No professional service corporation in which any Rutgers employee holds any interest may represent or negotiate on behalf of any party other than Rutgers with respect to any matter involving Rutgers. See N.J.S.A. 52:13D-16. "Certain representations, prohibited; exceptions" and N.J.S.A 52: 13D-13 (g) which defines "interest" applicable to N.J.S.A. 52: 13D-16. Note: Because Rutgers is an instrumentality of the state, but not within the executive branch of government, Rutgers employees are not generally barred from representing non-Rutgers parties before other state agencies. See in Re: Executive Commission on Ethical Standards Re: Appearance of Rutgers Attorneys Before the Council on Affordable Housing on Behalf of the Civil League, Plaintiffs, 116 N.J. 216 (1989).

Post-Employment Restrictions

 

After I leave Rutgers, am I subject to certain restrictions?

There are two basic restrictions that you must comply with after you are no longer employed by Rutgers: a) You may not disclose any Rutgers confidential information when you are no longer employed by Rutgers. b) You may not "switch sides" after your employment ends. "Switching sides" is defined in the New Jersey Conflicts of Interest Law N.J.S.A. 52:13D-17. This section of the Conflicts of Interest Law provides that no Rutgers employee, subsequent to the termination of his/her Rutgers employment, shall represent, appear for, negotiate on behalf of, or provide information not generally available to members of the public or services to, or agree to represent, appear for, negotiate on behalf of, or provide information not generally available to members of the public or services to, whether by himself/herself or through any partnership, firm, or corporation in which he/she has an interest or through any partner, officer or employee thereof, any person or party other than Rutgers in connection with any cause, proceeding, application, or other matter with respect to which the Rutgers employee shall have made any investigation, rendered any ruling, given any opinion, or been otherwise substantially and directly involved at any time during the course of his office or employment. Any person who willfully violates the provisions of this section [N.J.S.A. 52:13D-17] is a disorderly person, and shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $1,000 or imprisonment not to exceed six months, or both. In addition, for violations occurring after the effective date of P.L.2005, c.382, any former State officer or employee or former special State officer or employee of a State agency in the Executive Branch found by the State Ethics Commission to have violated any of the provisions of this section shall be assessed a civil penalty of not less than $500 nor more than $10,000, which penalty may be collected in a summary proceeding pursuant to the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).

Use of University Assets to Promote Outside Activities/Employment

 

What are the rules that control use of University Assets to Promote Outside Employment or Self Employment?

The New Jersey Conflicts of Interest (NJCOI) law prohibits faculty and staff from using their Rutgers positions or university assets, including websites, to promote personal interests or the interests of an outside third party. (Please note that these prohibitions do not apply to Rutgers technology start-up companies that involve our staff and faculty.) The Rutgers policy on "Endorsements, Sponsorships, and Acceptance of Advertising in and on University Assets and Communications Materials" includes important guidance on what information can be included on school, department, program, and individual websites. Before you put a third party link on a Rutgers website, you should become familiar with the rules contained in the Rutgers policy. Among other things, this policy prohibits endorsements by university units or employees, except in exceptional cases and then only with advance approval by the Rutgers Board of Governors. To be clear, the inclusion of links on Rutgers web pages to outside employment or self-employment websites is an inappropriate use of university assets and gives the appearance that Rutgers is endorsing the services or goods provided by employees in their outside employment or self-employment. These links are therefore considered to be violations of both NJCOI and university policy. As a Rutgers employee, you are responsible for complying with state law and university policies. You should regularly review your websites and remove all links to your outside or self-employment or to information about the goods and services you provide outside of Rutgers. We also recommend that schools and units appoint an individual to ensure that all websites under their purview are in compliance with state law and all Rutgers policies, standards, and guidelines, both now and on a regular, on-going basis. Please contact ethics@rutgers.edu directly if you have questions about specific situations or would like expanded guidance.

Externally Funded Scholarly Activities/ Scholarly Capacity

What is “Scholarly Capacity”?

Scholarly Capacity is a State Ethics Commission designation for work being performed by individuals employed in State institutions of higher education with an academic designation. Employees with an academic designation may receive certain limited benefits from external sources related to the presentation of their scholarly works. Should they receive a benefit from an external source, disclosure must be made on the Ethics Armor Scholarly Capacity Annual Disclosure form (SCAD).

 

 When do I file my SCAD?

The SCAD form is available in Ethics Armor during the course of the Academic Calendar (July 1-June 30). The form can be updated throughout the year and is finalized by the University Ethics and Compliance office in September for filing with the New Jersey State Ethics Commission.

 

 If Rutgers pays does it go on my SCAD?

No. The SCAD form is only to be used for payment form external sources for presentation of your scholarly works.

 

I am a faculty member. Can I be paid by Rutgers and the activity be classified as either an external activity in my scholarly capacity or as outside employment?

No. Regardless of whether Rutgers received a grant or a company is sponsoring research, if you are being paid by Rutgers it can only be Rutgers work.

 

As a faculty member I am doing work that involves my expertise. Does that determine the capacity I am acting in?

No. You use your expertise in your Rutgers work, as well as any activities paid for by third parties for acting in a “scholarly capacity,” and quite often or probably in any outside employment activities, such as consulting. Therefore your use of your academic expertise is not a single determinative factor.

 

I am being paid by an outside party in situations that might require that I report an activity on a “scholarly capacity” form or on an “outside employment ” form. How can I tell on which form the activity should be reported?

Since you engaged in the activity, you are in the best position to judge which form is more appropriate. The following characteristics are generally true of a scholarly activity: - The faculty member is free to publish and make presentations in an open academic setting. - You are likely to want to include the activity in a promotion packet or other evaluation. The following characteristics are generally true of outside employment activity: - Your communications are typically private. - It is unlikely that you will want to include the activity in a promotion packet or other evaluation.

 

I want a clear line. Can I just assume that if my work is taking place at an academic institution that it is scholarly?

No, there is no single criterion. For example, if you are an expert on youth and alcohol you might be invited to a panel discussion at another institution at which students and faculty will be gathered to consider the options the institution has to protect or dissuade students from excess. The institution pays you to participate. It is a scholarly activity. However, if you meet privately with the vice president of student affairs at another institution and outline the options and how things might be handled, then that is outside employment.

 

What if it is not clear on which form an activity is reported?

If it is so close a call that you are confused regarding on which form it “should” go, then in all probability a reasonable case could be made for either form. It is usually better that faculty members judge for themselves what they regard as “scholarly” although they are free to seek advice. It is alright that in a close case one faculty member might elect to use a scholarly capacity form whereas another faculty member might choose the outside employment form. Moreover, there is rarely going to be any practical consequence to the faculty member on which form the activity goes.

 

Royalties and Textbooks

 

What is the rule on royalties and textbooks?

A faculty member who assigns a book the faculty member has authored may not keep royalties earned from students in that class who purchase new copies of the book. Under copyright law, royalties are calculated by the publisher only for the “first sale” at the retail level of a book. No royalties are earned or payable thereafter for any subsequent reselling of a used book from any party to another.

 

Does this rule apply to any other sales of my book, such as when another faculty member assigns the book?

Only royalties earned from students in a class taught by the author may not be retained by the author; a faculty author should not participate in the selection of his/her book for classes taught by other faculty members; however, the royalties earned from sales of a book to students in other classes at Rutgers and anywhere else in the world are to be kept by the author.

 

To whom are royalties from my students who bought new books to be paid?

You can write a check to either your department or to a charity of your choice. If you pay appropriate royalties to a charity of your choice then you should provide documentation of that payment to your departmental administrator.

 

Do I need to report this payment to the State Ethics Commission or some central office at Rutgers?

No.

 

How am I to know how to calculate royalties that need to be paid over to my department or charity of my choice?

You may use any reasonable method. Royalties are paid only on new books; no royalties are owed for used books. You can ask for a show of hands from students as to who bought new books. You may wish to turn your back and let a student count to avoid the possibility of getting an “over count.” If the class is small enough and it appears to you that the new books are noticeably shiny and the used books are not, then you can make a reasonable estimate based upon a visual estimate. Finally, the bookstore may keep records for your class.

 

It is a lot of effort to write a book. It is not lucrative and students take my class in part because I wrote the book. Why is it regarded as an “ethics” issue for me to keep the royalties from my book?

Rutgers made these arguments to the State Ethics Commission and Rutgers supported at least a $250 exemption. However, the ruling by the State Ethics Commission is a reflection of the strength of its view that there should be no personal financial benefit received from how one chooses to go about one’s job. Moreover, it is not uncommon at state universities in other states for faculty not to retain royalties from books assigned to their students.

 

May the university purchase faculty-authored books using university funds?

  1. When a Rutgers employee owns the rights to a publication and the publisher offers the employee a discounted purchase price for initial copies of the book, the employee may request that the university fund the purchase of some or all of the discounted copies.
  2. The university is under no obligation to fund purchases of employees' publications.
  3. It is up to the employee's unit/ department to decide whether to use university funds to purchase copies of the employee's published work. The unit/department should consider the benefit to the university, as well as how the work will be distributed, when making this determination.

 

May faculty list links to non-commercial and commercial websites (such as Amazon.com) that relate to employee-authored books?

  1. The employee may list the book and a link to a non-commercial website with information about the book in his/her CV and on the directory posted on Rutgers websites.
  2. The employee may include the book and provide a link to the non-commercial website about the book in the course syllabus as part of a list of suggested supporting materials.
  3. Links to commercial websites (such as Amazon.com) are not permitted.
  4. The publisher of the book may include a link to the employee's CV and/or the course syllabus on the Rutgers website.

 

May university advertising include information about employee-authored books?

  1. When an employee owns the rights to a publication, the marketing of the publication is the responsibility of the publisher and/or the employee. The employee may request that the university fund a specific promotion of the publication. The university, on its own initiative, may decide to promote the publication because it determines that to do so advances the mission and/or reputation of the university.
  2. The university is under no obligation to promote or to fund the promotion of an employee's publication.
  3. A university unit/department may fund an event related to the publication of an employee's work or an advertisement that contains information about the work when:
    1. The primary purpose of the event/advertisement is the advancement of the university's mission and/or reputation;
    2. The event/advertisement is not solely for the employee's personal gain; and
    3. Advance written approval is obtained from the appropriate Vice President, Dean or Director.

 

What are the rules that control use of University Assets to Promote Outside Employment or Self Employment?

The New Jersey Conflicts of Interest (NJCOI) law prohibits faculty and staff from using their Rutgers positions or university assets, including websites, to promote personal interests or the interests of an outside third party. (Please note that these prohibitions do not apply to Rutgers technology start-up companies that involve our staff and faculty.) The Rutgers policy on "Endorsements, Sponsorships, and Acceptance of Advertising in and on University Assets and Communications Materials" includes important guidance on what information can be included on school, department, program, and individual websites. Before you put a third party link on a Rutgers website, you should become familiar with the rules contained in the Rutgers policy. Among other things, this policy prohibits endorsements by university units or employees, except in exceptional cases and then only with advance approval by the Rutgers Board of Governors. To be clear, the inclusion of links on Rutgers web pages to outside employment or self-employment websites is an inappropriate use of university assets and gives the appearance that Rutgers is endorsing the services or goods provided by employees in their outside employment or self-employment. These links are therefore considered to be violations of both NJCOI and university policy. As a Rutgers employee, you are responsible for complying with state law and university policies. You should regularly review your websites and remove all links to your outside or self-employment or to information about the goods and services you provide outside of Rutgers. We also recommend that schools and units appoint an individual to ensure that all websites under their purview are in compliance with state law and all Rutgers policies, standards, and guidelines, both now and on a regular, on-going basis. Please contact ethics@rutgers.edu directly if you have questions about specific situations or would like expanded guidance.

Attendance at Events

 

Definition of an Event

A 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 the RBHS Employee's work location, is sponsored or co-sponsored by a supplier or a non-State government source and the invitation for which is extended to the RBHS Employee because of his or her official position for the University.

 

Use the following guidelines to access the appropriate Travel Forms

Students Use the Accounts Payable and Travel Forms Links in the http://myportal.rutgers.edu Portal. They can be found either in your "Toolbox" on the left, or in your "myApps" section.

Employees NOT traveling to an "event" as defined by the State Ethics Code* Use the Accounts Payable and Travel Forms Links in the http://myportal.rutgers.edu Portal. They can be found either in your "Toolbox" on the left, or in your "myApps" section.

Employees traveling to an "event" as defined by the State Ethics Code* Use the "Home" link on the left-hand menu and login. Once logged-in you will the option to generate a "New Attendance at Events" Form from the menu on the left.

Gifts from Vendors

 

What is the rule on personal gifts from vendors?

The New Jersey State Ethics Commission has interpreted the State Conflicts of Interest Law that any personal gift from a current or prospective vendor to public employees is inappropriate. Minor exceptions are discussed below.

 

What about snacks and meals at a meeting at a vendor location for university business?

Snacks, coffee, juice, and similar items are allowed. Accepting meals from a vendor is not permissible under the rules established by the Ethics Commission. However, it is all right if the university pays for the meals or if the employee reimburses the vendor for the meal. If there is an important approved occasion which university employees are attending as part of their job, then the university will make arrangements to reimburse the vendor for the cost of the meals.

 

Can university employees receive meals from vendors when attending free vendor training on complex systems, which is usually an all-day event with meals served?

The State Ethics Commission will not allow public employees to accept meals from vendors under any circumstances. If attendance at the training event is deemed valuable to the skills of university employees, then the university will pay the vendor for the cost of the meals.

 

I attend conferences for which Rutgers has paid an attendance fee. I know that some of the meals are subsidized by vendors. Is it all right to accept those meals at the conference?

Yes. The meals are included in the conference fee.

 

At a conference, am I able to accept "give aways" from vendors?

Certainly you can accept anything that might be evaluated for possible university use as vendors often give samples of their products away for these purposes. You may accept items of truly nominal value, such as give-away pens, hats, and cups. On the other hand, you will not want to use vendor-branded items at work as it could convey a bias and closer association with the vendor than is the case. Here you are expected to use your best judgment.

 

Can I attend special vendor events at a conference at which food and liquor are generally served without charge? These are largely networking events for the sales staff of the vendor?

No. This is essentially socializing with vendors with the vendor paying for the food and drink. Remember, vendor staff are sales people. Vendors are interested in selling their products, so the purpose of any vendor event is to create a favorable impression in order to have an employee buy their product. Your attendance at such an event creates an appearance of impropriety. The State Ethics Commission regularly underscores this as a significant potential minefield for creating problems of bias in public-sector procurement. Even when a public employee is not actually biased when participating in a subsequent decision respecting a vendor, there is still the problem of these events creating an appearance of impropriety including receiving a personal benefit on account of one's public employment.

 

Can I accept holiday gifts from vendors?

No. Vendors will be advised by email that these gifts are inappropriate and that vendors should make their best efforts to inform their staff that gifts to Rutgers employees are inappropriate. This notice will become part of all purchase orders and will be on the procurement website which should curtail offers of holiday (or other) gifts.

 

What should I do if I receive a gift from a vendor?

If you receive a gift from a vendor, immediately contact the ethics office at ethics@uec.rutgers.edu or (732) 743-3344. The gift will either be returned by the ethics office or donated to a charitable organization identified by the University. The ethics office will instruct on the proper method for disposing of the gift and send a letter to the vendor.

 

Can vendors give gifts to the university?

Yes. Vendors often support the university with gifts of equipment or make financial gifts, but individual employees should not be the beneficiaries of these gifts. See the University Donor Gift Policy 40.2.13 (PDF).

Outside Activity Questionnaire

Does this apply to me if I’m a student/part-time employee/adjunct/etc.?

The OAQ is required for anyone receiving compensation (in any capacity) from the University including but not limited to all full-time faculty and staff, part-time faculty and staff, those receiving a stipend, and temporary employees.

Why does the University want this information?

In addition to being a requirement under the New Jersey Conflict of Interest Law, Rutgers requires you to complete the OAQ to ensure the integrity and reputation of the University and to help our faculty and staff avoid potential conflicts of interest. The OAQ is also designed to allow a supervisor or department chair to identify overlap with duties and responsibilities or conflicts with employee time. Also know that Rutgers will never ask for your personal political or religious affiliations as part of the OAQ.

Is the OAQ a public record?

The OAQ is NOT A PUBLIC RECORD; it is part of your personnel record.

Where can I find the form?

Go to http://ethics.rutgers.edu and login with your NetID in the top right corner. The form will say, Annual Outside Activity Questionnaire for [YOUR NAME].

I’m logged in, but I can’t find the form I completed before. What do I do?

If you have submitted the OAQ in the past and need to update the form because of a change of circumstance, it will appear under your “Submissions” tab when you login. Otherwise it should appear in your Inbox when you login at http://ethics.rutgers.edu

What is secondary employment?

Secondary employment is any compensated activity that you perform in addition to your University employment. Examples: per diem; consulting; part-time; family business.

Past employment is not considered secondary employment; there is no need to list former employers.

Do I need to disclose Volunteer Activity or other unpaid activities?

If you are in a leadership position with a volunteer/non-profit organization, please disclose that affiliation. Examples: Executive Board Member; Appointed to a Board or Commission; Treasurer for a charitable organization, etc. even if the organization has no affiliation with the University.

Can I have my assistant fill out my OAQ for me?

No. The OAQ is personal to each individual and requires your individual NetID and login information.

I have several consulting jobs, do I have to list them all separately?

You may fill out the form including a general description of your outside activities and approximately how much time you spend on these activities on a weekly basis.

I’m a supervisor/department head/chair, and I don’t feel comfortable approving this form, what should I do?

We ask supervisors/department heads to review the forms for “operational concerns.” Because you work with these individuals on an everyday basis, we rely on you to let us know if someone’s outside activity may interfere with or create the perception that it may interfere with the employee’s job duties. For example, an outside job may conflict with an employee’s regular hours at the University. The Ethics Office will then complete a more thorough review for potential conflicts of interest. If you have concerns you may also log a private comment or email us at ethics@uec.rutgers.edu

 

Outside Employment

Who must fill out a form for outside employment and when should it be submitted? 

All employees of the University (faculty and staff) must fill out an Outside Activity Questionnaire on Ethics Armor (
http://ethics.rutger.edu) regardless of whether or not they have outside employment to report.

 

What is an “outside activity”? 

“Outside activities” include any part-time employment, any self-employment, or any other compensated activity in addition to your University duties. “Outside activities” are also leadership positions in non-compensated positions, such as President or Treasurer of a non-profit organization.

If I am a regular salaried faculty member, do I include payments from external parties for scholarly presentations in the “outside activities questionnaire” and then again in the “scholarly capacity” form?

No. No single activity should be reported on both forms.

University Policy 60.5.8 provides clarity on this issue: “Not included in ‘outside employment’ is compensation for published or creative works in one’s field or honoraria for commissioned papers and occasional lectures.” Accordingly, if payments from external parties should be reported on the “scholarly capacity” form then they should not be reported on the outside employment form.

What is the time period covered by outside activity questionnaire?

Under University policy, disclosure of outside activities should occur prior to engaging in the activity. If there is a change to your outside activity, you may request to edit your form at any time.  

 

Where should the outside activity questionnaire be filed? 

The outside activity questionnaire is submitted online through Ethics Armor and filed with the Ethics Liaison Office. 

 

What if I am a regular salaried faculty or staff member, but I have no outside employment? Am I still required to login and complete the questionnaire?

Yes. If employees have no outside employment, they just indicate on the form that they have no outside employment.

What if I do have outside employment to report? 

If you do have outside employment to report, then you should identify the employer or business, describe the nature of the outside activities undertaken, and indicate the time involved.

What if I have an outside business but the business operates at a loss. Should I report this? 

Yes, self-employment or ownership and operation of a for-profit business should be reported regardless of profit or loss.

Do I report all income? 

No. Not all income is the result of employment. For example, you would not list income from royalty distributions under the patent policy, payments from Social Security, child support, alimony, or payments received from the government for being a foster parent. The primary concern is income reported on your tax returns from another employer or company for whom you do consulting work.

I do my consulting and outside activities through a Limited Liability Corporation formed for that purpose. Do I report these activities on the outside activities questionnaire? 

Yes.

Can I run for elective office?

Yes. Information is provided in University Policy 60.1.14 Employment of Current and Former Public Officials. However if you hold elective office then you must assure that those duties do not take so much time that you cannot perform your Rutgers duties. Moreover, if your position at Rutgers and your elective office involve interaction between Rutgers and that public body, then you should not participate in those interactions.

Is it possible that my political and ideological views could be construed as a conflict by the university?

No. This is a First Amendment issue. The university respects the rights of all faculty and staff to express themselves on matters of public importance. University employees, however, should take care not to give the impression they are speaking on behalf of the university. See University Policy 50.3.4 Electoral Political Activities and the Use of University Resources for more information.

As a regular salaried full-time faculty member, do I need approval to teach a course for an outside employer?

Yes. Faculty may on occasion teach courses or parts of courses at other institutions. (This is to be distinguished from more typical individual scholarly presentations, honorific lectures, seminars and the like.)

Teaching a course at another institution may serve the interests of a Rutgers program by extending the influence of the faculty member and his or her program at Rutgers. However, teaching a course for another academic institution should not be undertaken if it does not serve the interests of the unit to which the faculty member belongs. For example, the ability of Rutgers to attract students to a university program might be undercut in some circumstances if a faculty member were to conduct significant teaching at a competing institution. Teaching at another institution could pose an ethical difficulty particularly if the faculty member were to also have a reduced teaching load at Rutgers. Accordingly, prior to accepting outside employment to teach a course at another institution, the faculty member must be certain that the assignment meets the interests of Rutgers, and must obtain the approval of the faculty member’s chair and dean.

 

FERPA FAQs

What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, commonly referred to as FERPA or the Buckley amendment, is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of a student’s educational record. FERPA applies to all educational agencies or institutions that receive federal funding for any program administered by the Secretary of Education.  FERPA also applies to private entities that contract to perform services for the University that it would otherwise undertake to perform on its own; in such cases, the private entity must observe the same FERPA protections applicable to the University. FERPA grants adult students (18 and older) the following rights:

  • The right to inspect and review their educational records
  • The right to seek the amendment of their educational records
  • The right to consent to the disclosure of their educational records
  • The right to obtain a copy of their school’s Student Records Policy
  • The right to file a complaint with the FERPA Office in Washington, D.C.
FERPA Basics
  • With only a few exceptions, student educational records are considered confidential and may not be released without the written consent of the student.
  • Faculty or staff members have a responsibility to protect educational records in your possession.
  • Faculty or staff members may only access information that is needed for legitimate completion of your responsibilities as a university employee.
What is an Education Record?
“Education Records” include any information or data recorded in any medium, including but not limited to, handwriting, print, tapes, film, e-mail, microfilm, and microfiche, which is directly related to a student and maintained by the University or by a person acting for the University.

Examples of an Education Record include, but are not limited to:

  • Admissions information for students who are accepted and enrolled
  • Biographical information including date and place of birth, gender, nationality, information about race and ethnicity, and identification photographs
  • Grades, test scores, evaluations, courses taken, academic specialization and activities, and official communications regarding a student’s status
  • Course work including papers and exams, class schedules, as well as written, email or recorded communications that are part of the academic process
  • Disciplinary records
  • Students’ financial and financial aid records
  • Internship program records
What is NOT an Educational Record?
Education records do not include:

  • Rutgers University law enforcement records
  • Employment records when the employment is not connected to student status (e.g., a staff member who happens to be pursuing a degree at the institution, as opposed to a student employed under the work-study program)
  • Medical and mental health records used only for treatment of the student
  • Alumni records which do not relate to or contain information about the person as a student (e.g., information collected by the University pertaining to alumni accomplishments)
  • “Sole possession records” The term “sole possession records” is intended to cover memory aids or reference tools. It does not refer to records that contain information provided directly by a student or records that are used to make decisions about a student. As such, this is a very limited exception. For example, personal notes from a committee meeting recommending students for a particular program would not be considered sole possession records if they are used to make decisions about the students

Healthcare Compliance FAQs

What is the False Claims Act?

The Federal False Claims Act, as amended by the FERA, establishes liability for, among other things:

  • knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval (removing the requirement that the claim be presented to an officer or employee of the Government);
  • knowingly making, using, or causing to be made or used, a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim;
  • conspiring to commit a violation of the Federal False Claims Act; and
  • knowingly making, using, or causing to be made or used, a false record or statement material to an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the Government, or knowingly concealing or knowingly and improperly avoiding or decreasing an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the Government.

Further information [CMS False Claim Act] (PDF link), [CMS Laws Against Health Care Fraud] (PDF link)

What are the Anti-Kick Back Laws?
  • Prohibits offering, paying, soliciting or receiving anything of value to induce or reward referrals or generate Federal health care program business

Further Information: [CMS Laws Against Health Care Fraud] (PDF link), [CMS Anti-Kick Back vs Stark] (PDF Link)

What are the Stark Laws?
  • Prohibits a physician from referring Medicare patients for designated health services to an entity with which the physician (or immediate family member) has a financial relationship, unless an exception applies
  • Prohibits the designated health services entity from submitting claims to Medicare for those services resulting from a prohibited referral

Further Information: [CMS Laws Against Health Care Fraud] (PDF link), [CMS Anti-Kick Back vs Stark] (PDF Link)

Physician Financial Transparency Reports: CMS Sunshine Act/Open Payments?

Open Payments is a federal program, required by the Affordable Care Act, that collects information about the payments drug and device companies make to physicians and teaching hospitals for things like travel, research, gifts, speaking fees, and meals. It also includes ownership interests that physicians or their immediate family members have in these companies. This data is then made available to the public each year on this website. Learn more about Open Payments.

What is the List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE)?

OIG’s List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE) provides information to the health care industry, patients and the public regarding individuals and entities currently excluded from participation in Medicare, Medicaid and all other Federal health care programs. Individuals and entities who have been reinstated are removed from the LEIE.

I have a question about billing for clinical trials or other clinical research. To whom to I talk to at Rutgers University?

Contact Ms. Cathy Florek, Senior Compliance Officer, Research, at catherine.florek@rutgers.edu.

What compliance training am I required to take? How is it different from Human Subjects Training and Ethics/Code of Conduct training?

Compliance training requirements are based off job roles.

A person showed up at my desk and stated they are here from an outside organization to perform an audit, what should I do?

Ask the person for their ID. Show them to a quiet room, and let them know someone will be with them shortly. Call your manager and contact the local Compliance Officer

Someone from a Medicare contractor review vendor walked in and said they wanted to talk to one of my doctors about his documentation. Should I let that person see the doctor?

No. Call your manager, the Compliance Officer and the Office of General Counsel so that they may talk to the representative to ascertain the purpose of the visit.

What should a Provider or Department do if a letter is received from CMS, or any other government entity, requesting copies of medical records for a review or audit?

It is important to promptly and accurately act upon correspondence from governmental entities. If a Provider or Department employee receives this type of correspondence, it should be presented promptly to the Department Manager for reporting and forwarding your unit’s compliance officer.

Examples of government entities include:

  • CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)
  • RAC (Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor)
  • Novitas (the Medicare Administrative Contractor or MAC)
  • New Jersey Medicaid (NJ Dept of Human Services)

Title IX FAQs

I’m not sure if what happened to me was a crime. What should I do?

If you are not sure if what happened to you was a crime, you have options. You can reach out to your campus Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance to discuss the incident confidentially.  Additionally, you can report to the University and/or RUPD, even if you’re not sure about the incident.

Sexual and relationship violence occurs on a spectrum, and we understand that what occurred may have you uncertain if it violated university policy. We encourage students to reach out if you are questioning a situation that was potentially misconduct.

What if I was using alcohol/drugs during the assault?

Students can be hesitant to report sexual or relationship violence because of involvement with drugs and alcohol that interfere with university policy. Rutgers encourages students to report all incidents of misconduct and whenever possible, actions will not be taken against a student survivor/victim who violated the Alcohol and Drug Policy.

Is there a time limit for reporting an incident?

Rutgers does not have a limit for when to report sexual or relationship misconduct. However, the length of time between the incident and the report may impact the ability of the university to investigate and effectively respond.

How can I best preserve evidence from my assault?

Sexual assault examination kits can be completed up to 5 days after the assault took place, but the sooner you can reach out for examination, the more likely it is that evidence can be collected. Avoid eating, drinking, changing clothes, showering or brushing your teeth, or going to the bathroom if possible. A certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner will be present to conduct the exam and can be activated through your victim services program or local participating hospital. Your clothing may also be taken as evidence. As there are many different methods of evidence collection included in the exam, survivors can consent to as much or as little of the exam as they feel comfortable with.

What happens if someone else reports my assault?

Certain Rutgers employees are required to report when they hear of sexual misconduct. Non-confidential employees include Title IX Coordinators, faculty, and RUPD. Additionally, third parties such as friends or family members sometimes make a report on behalf of the survivor. In cases where an incident is reported by someone other than the alleged victim, the Title IX Coordinator will promptly notify the alleged victim that a report has been received. The Title IX Coordinator will make every effort to meet with the alleged victim to discuss available options and on-campus and off-campus resources.

The victim is not required to participate in any resulting investigation or disciplinary process and the Title IX Coordinator will assess any requests to keep the identity confidential or not to commence an investigation.

If you are a third party thinking about reporting someone else’s assault, we encourage you to consult the survivor and get their permission before making a report on their behalf.

Can Rutgers provide support if the crime took place off-campus or while studying abroad?

Yes. If the perpetrator was a Rutgers student, the student is subject to investigation under The Office of Student Conduct. If the perpetrator was not a Rutgers student, the University can provide the appropriate resources for advocacy and law enforcement, and also offers counseling and a 24/7 crisis hotline.

I’m not sure if I want to report. Can I change my mind and choose not to move forward after going to the University?

Yes, you may choose not to participate in the investigative or disciplinary process. Rutgers will take your concerns into consideration, and may also continue the process without the complainant’s and/or respondent’s participation.

I’ve been accused of sexual misconduct. What do I do?

The University is committed to providing accessible, prompt, thorough, and fair methods of investigation and resolution of incidents reported. Both complainants and accused students (respondents) are entitled to rights throughout the investigation and hearing processes. This includes equal access to information, choice to participate in the process, accessing an advisor, written notification of all meetings, and privacy with respect to this investigation on campus.

GDPR FAQs

What is the GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) is a regulation in the European Economic Area (“EEA”) on data protection and privacy for individuals within the EEA which became effective on May 25, 2018. The GDPR is designed to harmonize data privacy laws across the EEA and its purpose is to protect the personal data of natural persons while they are living in or traveling to the EEA.[1]

[1] The European Economic Area (EEA) includes EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Norway.

Why does this affect me in the United States?

The GDPR also addresses the export of data outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”). Personal data collected in, or transferred from, any of the EEA countries is subject to the GDPR. Failure to follow these regulations, if they apply, puts the University at risk of noncompliance, monetary fines, and reputational harm.

If I am an EEA citizen but live in the US, will the GDPR apply to my personal data?

The GDPR will only apply to personal data collected from about you from EEA sources (e.g. data collected about you in the EEA and transmitted to the US would be covered by the GDPR); data collected about you that originates from United States sources is generally not subject to the GDPR, though US privacy laws would apply where applicable.

I am a US Citizen and I will be in EEA (e.g. study abroad, business travel, research, etc.) will GDPR apply to me?

Yes.  Any personal data collected about you while you are in the EEA will be subject to the GDPR, both in the EEA and also in the US if that data is transmitted to the US.

What Rutgers-related data does the GDPR protect?

GDPR applies to personal data[1] that are collected, stored or processed in the EEA by Rutgers, or Rutgers’ agents or contractors as well as personal data Rutgers receives from EEA sources.   This includes, for instance, the personal data of students, faculty, staff, visiting scholars, alumni, applicants, patients, and web site visitors, who are:

  • Permanently residing in the EEA, including EEA students taking on-line classes;
  • Temporarily located in the EEA and accessing RU services, including services relating to employment, academic studies and research; or,
  • EEA data subjects whose data Rutgers collects as part of a research project.

[1] For more information on personal data under the GDPR, see: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/what-is-personal-data/what-is-personal-data/.

 

What should I be doing to address the new GDPR requirements?

You do not need to do anything immediately. We are implementing prioritized GDPR requirements and developing recommendations for a sustainable GDPR compliance program. As the Task Force makes progress on the compliance plan, we will update the university’s GDPR web presence and share GDPR compliance resources with the University community as they become available. If you believe you have an immediate GDPR issue to be addressed or have additional questions, please contact Rutgers University Ethics and Compliance at privacy@uec.rutgers.edu.