Non-Retaliation Against Persons Reporting Misconduct

Effective: Moved to Policy Library from UPM 2.5(16)
Updated/Revised: May 29, 2013
Contact: Office of University Counsel

Introduction

The purpose of this policy is to comply with requirements of federal and state law and Regents policy to prohibit retaliation against persons reporting misconduct.

Policy Statement

The university will not tolerate retaliation against persons who report misconduct. Such conduct is inconsistent with university policy and in some cases is also prohibited by law.  The university is committed to creating an environment wherein members of the university community are encouraged to report misconduct without fear of retaliation.

Retaliation against a person who makes a good faith report of activity believed to be unlawful, unethical, or in violation of university policy is prohibited.  Retaliation is also prohibited against persons who participate in an investigation of such activity or who otherwise take steps to object to or resist such activity.  This prohibition shall exist even if the complaint is ultimately dismissed – it is the act of making a good faith complaint, not the outcome, which warrants such protection. It shall not be retaliation to take steps to counsel or discipline persons who knowingly,  intentionally, or recklessly make false claims of misconduct or for the university to take affirmative steps to prevent or correct damage to persons when it is determined that allegations of misconduct against them are false. This policy is not intended to interfere with legitimate employment, academic, or business decisions/actions that are unrelated to the underlying complaint of misconduct.

The behavior believed to be misconduct might include, but is not limited to:

  • an activity that violates a law, regulation, or university or Regent policy
  • discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct
  • research misconduct
  • misuse of grant money, university property or resources
  • impropriety or fraud with respect to financial reporting or accounting
  • embezzlement or theft
  • Conspiring with or coercing another to engage in any such behaviors

 Definitions

"Good faith report” is a report made with the honest and reasonable belief that a violation of law or university policy may have occurred, based on available information.  

“Retaliation” is a materially (not trivial) adverse action taken against a person because of the person’s report, or participation in the investigation of a report of misconduct, or objecting to or resisting such misconduct.  Retaliation is prohibited not only by the person accused of misconduct, but also by persons acting on behalf of, in cooperation with, or in defense of the person accused of misconduct if the behavior otherwise satisfies the definition of retaliation. Timing can be a factor in determining whether retaliation has occurred, along with other evidence that the action was taken as a result of the underlying complaint of misconduct.


Resources