College Policy Number/Title:
A whistleblower as defined by this policy is an employee of Howard Community College who reports an activity that he/she considers to be illegal, dishonest, or fraudulent to one or more of the parties specified in this policy. The whistleblower is not responsible for investigating the activity or for determining fault or corrective measures; appropriate management officials are charged with these responsibilities.
Examples of illegal or dishonest activities are violations of federal, state, or local laws, illegal or unethical treatment of employees or co-workers; theft of college property; intentional misreporting of time worked; billing for services not performed or for goods not delivered; and other fraudulent financial reporting. See college policy 63.09 for more information about ethical expectations at the college.
If an employee has knowledge of or a concern of illegal, dishonest, or fraudulent activity, the employee is to contact his/her immediate supervisor, the associate vice president of human resources, or his/her area vice president. An employee who in good faith reports the belief of or concern of improper activity will not be disciplined or retaliated against, even if the belief or concern turns out to be unsubstantiated. However, an employee who intentionally files a false report of wrongdoing will be subject to discipline up to and including termination.
Whistleblower protections are provided in two important areas -- confidentiality and against retaliation. In so far as possible, the confidentiality of the whistleblower will be maintained. However, his/her identity may have to be disclosed to conduct a thorough investigation, to comply with the law, and to provide accused individuals their legal rights of defense. The college will not retaliate against a whistleblower or any other individual who honestly and truthfully reports or assists in an investigation. This includes, but is not limited to, protection from retaliation in the form of an adverse employment action such as termination, compensation decreases, or poor work assignments and threats of physical harm. Any whistleblower or participant in an investigation who believes he/she is being retaliated against must contact the associate vice president of human resources immediately. The right of protection against retaliation does not include protection against discipline when the investigation concludes that the whistleblower has personally committed wrongdoing.
Effective Date: 2/19/10