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: Human Resources
: President
: 09/20/2018
: 09/20/2018
: 09/20/2019

Whistleblower and Anti-Retaliation Policy

Comment on Policy

AUDIENCE

All University employees.

PURPOSE STATEMENT

The purpose of this Policy is to protect any Thomas More University employee who makes a good faith disclosure of suspected Wrongful Conduct.  This policy provides a mechanism for and encourages individuals to report wrongful conduct or raise any ethics-related questions or concerns, free from any fear of reprisals.

DEFINITIONS

Baseless Claim: an allegation made with reckless disregard for its truth or falsity.

Good Faith Report: an allegation of Wrongful Conduct made by an individual who believes that Wrongful Conduct may have occurred.  However, an allegation is not in good faith if it is made with reckless disregard for or willful ignorance of facts that would disprove the allegation.

Protected Disclosure: communication about actual or suspected unethical behavior or Wrongful Conduct engaged in by a University employee, student, volunteer, agent or contractor (who is not also the disclosing individual) based on a good faith and reasonable belief that the conduct has both occurred and is wrongful under applicable law and/or University policy.

Retaliation: adverse action against an individual because she or he has made a Protected Disclosure or has participated in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing involving a Protected Disclosure.

Wrongful Conduct: illegal practices or serious violations of University policies, state laws or federal laws, fraud, financial improprieties, accounting or audit matters, ethical violations, falsification or records, improper destruction of University records, conflicts of interest, impeding a University or law enforcement investigation, violation of a government contract or grant requirement, research misconduct, the use of University property, resources, or authority for personal gain or other non-University related purpose (except as provided under University policy), or other similar illegal or improper practice or policies.

THE POLICY

Thomas More University encourages employees, Board of Trustees members, and students to report credible information on Wrongful Conduct as defined by this Policy and agrees to protect the person from Retaliation.

Encouragement of Reporting

Thomas More University encourages complaints, reports or inquiries about Wrongful Conduct by Thomas More University itself, by its leadership, or by other on its behalf.  Appropriate subjects to raise under this Policy would include financial improprieties, accounting or audit matters, ethical violations, or other similar illegal or improper practices or policies.  Other subjects on which Thomas More University has existing complaint mechanisms should be addressed under those mechanisms, such as raising matters of alleged discrimination or harassment via Thomas More University’s human resources channels, unless those channels are themselves implicated in the wrongdoing.  This Policy is not intended to provide a means of appeal from outcomes in those other mechanisms.

Protection from Retaliation

Thomas More University prohibits retaliation by or on behalf of Thomas More University against employees, Board of Trustees members, and students for making good faith complaints, reports or inquiries under this Policy or for participating in a review or investigation under this Policy. This protection extends to those whose allegations are made in good faith but prove to be mistaken.  Thomas More University reserves the right to discipline person who make bad faith, knowingly false, or vexatious complaints, reports or inquiries or who otherwise abuse this Policy.

RELATED POLICIES AND APPLICABLE LEGAL OR ACCREDITATION STANDARDS

Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy
Business Ethics and Conduct Policy
Conflict of Interest Policy
Record Retention Policy and Schedule

PROCEDURES

I. Reporting Allegations of Wrongful Conduct

Members of the campus community can report suspected Wrongful Conduct to the University as follows:

II. Investigation and Resolution

The President or the Board of Trustees (or their respective designee) if the alleged Wrongful Conduct involves a fiduciary matter or the potential for litigation will oversee the investigation of a report of Wrongful Conduct promptly and with discretion, and all information obtained will be handled on a “need to know” basis.  In investigating, the University may enlist outside legal, accounting, or other advisors as appropriate to conduct any investigation.

The University’s investigation will determine whether reasonable cause exists to believe that Wrongful Conduct has occurred.  If reasonable cause does not exist, case will be closed.  If however, reasonable cause does exist, the matter will proceed in accordance with the University’s disciplinary practices as follows:

In addition, if illegal activity is suspected, the case may be referred to local law enforcement.

REFERENCING THE POLICY

HISTORY

This is a new policy, replacing language in the Staff Manual (May 2014).

APPENDIX

There are no appendices to this Policy.

APPROVALS

Laura Custer, Director of Human Resources

Dr. Kathleen Jagger, Acting President