Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) employees are encouraged to be constructive citizens of their local communities with their private activities conducted on personal time and kept separate from OKDHS working hours. While employed by OKDHS, an employee may not engage in a business enterprise either as an administrator, investor, or operator that is subject directly or indirectly to the control, inspection, review, audit, licensing, or enforcement by OKDHS. If, as a member of the board of directors, the employee, or his or her spouse, has a stake in the financial gains or losses in a business enterprise, membership is prohibited.
2. If an employee wishes to engage in other employment or in a business enterprise or activity or changes secondary employment or other business activity while an employee of OKDHS, the employee submits, in advance, Form 11AD042E, Request for Approval of Other Employment, to the employee's immediate supervisor and local administrator.
3. If there is an appearance of a conflict of interest or involvement with another state agency or a private agency contracting with OKDHS, final approval of Form 11AD042E
is made by the appropriate senior administrator or division director.
4. For purposes of this Section, "a member of the employee's household," or "comparably situated persons" are people who are in a similar relationship to an employee as a relative, but who, due to not being formally married, are not legally related. For instance, a supervisor may not supervise his or her child's co-habiting or estranged partner even though the child and partner are not married. Questions regarding interpretation of this Section are submitted in writing to the division director, Human Resources Management Division (HRMD), who makes a determination as to applicability of coverage.
5. Employees of OKDHS are expected to:
(1) respect the privacy of clients and hold in confidence all information obtained in the course of their duties, as required by law and OKDHS policy;
(2) make every effort to foster maximum self-determination on the part of clients;
(3) ensure that all judgments, decisions, and actions are taken in the best interest of the client;
(4) treat clients with dignity, respect, courtesy, fairness, and good faith;
(5) take responsibility for identifying, developing, and fully utilizing knowledge of their respective professions and adhere to professional codes of ethics and conduct that govern that profession;
(6) ensure that all contacts attempted or made with a client or relating to a client's case are recorded in the client case record, including contacts in person, by phone, or by written correspondence;
(7) maintain high standards of personal conduct in the capacity and identity as an OKDHS employee;
(8) comply with OKDHS policies and procedures governing client abuse, neglect, and mistreatment; and
(9) recognize the affect their recommendations and professional actions may have on the lives of clients, and ensure that personal, social, financial, political, or other inappropriate factors do not influence these actions or recommendations.
6. OKDHS employees are prohibited from:
(1) discriminating against employees or clients on the basis of race, gender, age, color, creed, national origin, religion, or disability and prohibited from engaging in sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, which makes sexual favors a condition of employment, employment benefits, approval, or receipt of benefits, or which create a hostile or offensive working or service environment, even though there may be no economic detriment to the employee or client;
(2) allowing personal problems and conflicts to interfere with professional judgments and effectiveness. Any employee who becomes aware that such personal problems or conflicts may adversely affect the provision of services to a client(s) immediately advises his or her supervisor so appropriate steps can be taken to ensure that client services are unaffected;
(3) taking any action that violates the legal and civil rights of clients or others who may be affected by their actions;
(4) initiating a discussion with, or lobbying clients on, issues unrelated to the provision of client services while engaged in official duties on behalf of OKDHS;
(5) using their position as an OKDHS employee to form a personal relationship with a client;
(6) exploiting the trust and dependency of clients or engaging in any activity that is, or is perceived as, an exploitation of the client relationship. Prohibited activities include, but are not limited to:
(A) taking clients on overnight visits or trips, unless such overnight outings have been officially arranged and sanctioned by OKDHS supervisory or administrative staff;
(B) extending or accepting social invitations from clients;
(C) engaging in sexual intimacies with clients;
(D) engaging in or encouraging clients in illegal activities, including use or possession of illicit drugs or alcohol;
(E) giving or accepting gifts from clients or exchanging or suggesting the exchange of any goods or services of value, unless specifically authorized by policy or appropriate supervisory personnel; and
(F) making home visits or other client contacts on behalf of OKDHS outside normal working hours, unless specifically authorized by policy or appropriate supervisory personnel.
7. (a) In the event an employee has a personal relationship off-duty with a person whose case or OKDHS services are being administered by the immediate office or the program to which the employee is assigned, the employee promptly reports such relationship to his or her immediate supervisor. The supervisor and higher-level management personnel determine whether it is appropriate for the employee to continue in that unit or be reassigned elsewhere.