Employee Policies Manual Policy Index
 

Whistleblower Policy

Wilkes University is committed to instructing and operating in an ethical, honest and lawful manner and expects its employees to conduct their activities in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, University policies and procedures and ethical norms (“standards”). When University employees witness or suspect violations of laws, regulations, policies, procedures and/or standards are expected to report the issue as soon as possible. Those who make such good faith reports are commonly referred to as “whistleblowers.”

University employees are prohibited from interfering with good faith reporting in any way. The University also prohibits any form of retaliation against whistleblowers, including but not limited to threats, verbal or physical abuse, harassment or any adverse employment, academic or educational consequence. This protection from retaliation does not prohibit managers from taking legitimate disciplinary or performance related action for reasons which are unrelated to the whistleblower report.

Violation of Standards
Conduct which constitutes a violation of Standards is a deliberate act or failure to act with the intention of obtaining an unauthorized benefit which can include, but is not limited to:

ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL

  • Falsification of information
  • Fraud
  • Improper disclosure of financial information
  • Improper giving or receiving of gifts
  • Theft/Embezzlement
  • Waste, abuse or misuse of University resources

ATHLETICS

  • Fraud
  • Misuse of assets, players or endorsements
  • Substance Abuse

HUMAN RESOURCES

  • Conflict of interest
  • Discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Nepotism
  • Time abuse
  • Unsafe working conditions
  • Violence

INFORMATION TEHNOLOGY

  • Data privacy/integrity
  • Malicious/inappropriate use of technology
  • Misuse of resources
  • Software piracy/intellectual property infringement

RESEARCH

  • Conflict of interest
  • Data privacy
  • Research grant misconduct or misappropriation of costs

RISK AND SAFETY

  • Confidentiality
  • Data privacy
  • Environmental and safety matters
  • Public safety

Reporting
University employees are obligated to report any activity that appears to violate laws, regulations, policies and procedures. Employees should make a report or address any questions or concerns related to potential violations of laws, regulations, policies and/or procedures to their immediate supervisor, department director or Human Resources. The University recognizes that circumstances related to alleged violations may cause employees to feel uncomfortable making a report in person and has established a confidential reporting mechanism to address this issue (see Confidential Reporting Mechanism).

Reports should contain the name(s) and title(s) of the employee(s) against whom the allegation(s) is being made and a specific description of the alleged violation, including dates, times, and any other relevant information which substantiates the allegation(s). In addition, the employee making a report should note how they came to know this information, such as from first-hand observation, a report they received from another person or persons, etc.

Confidentiality
Whistleblower reports will be handled with sensitivity and discretion, and will be treated confidentially to the extent allowed by the circumstances and the law. Normally, the University will only share information related to the report on a need to know basis for the purpose of conducting a thorough and effective investigation.

Investigation
The University is committed to investigating all whistleblower reports in accordance with procedures outlined in the applicable University policies. If the report suggests a potential violation of the law, the University will consult with legal counsel and related law enforcement officials. All investigations will be handled on a case by case basis. The University reserves the right to take disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment based on the outcome of the investigation.

False /Baseless Allegations
False or baseless allegations are those which the reporter knows to be false, or which are made without any reasonable basis or with reckless disregard for their truth or falsity. Employees making such allegations may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Effective: 12/17/2012