3.58 / Protection from Retaliation for reporting Wrongful Conduct

  1. Purpose

    The purpose of this policy is to protect any Wichita State University (University) Employee or member of the campus community who makes a Good-Faith Disclosure of suspected Wrongful Conduct. This policy establishes the appropriate reporting mechanisms used for notification of known or suspected Wrongful Conduct and protection from Retaliation.

  2. Policy

    The University is committed to providing an environment of integrity that encourages the disclosure of Wrongful Conduct to Leadership, while protecting Employees and members of the campus community from Retaliation.

    Federal and state law protect Employees from Retaliation for disclosing information about a violation of any state or federal law, rule or regulation. The laws also allow Employees to discuss the operations of the University or other matters of public concern, including matters related to the public health, safety or welfare with any member of the legislature or any Auditing Agency.

    Employees are to comply with applicable state and federal law, regulations and rules, as well as University and Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) policies. Furthermore, an employee cannot be compelled by Leadership or a University official to participate in Wrongful Conduct.

    Employees who have knowledge of specific acts which they reasonably believe, in good faith, are evidence of Wrongful Conduct are to report those acts to the appropriate Leadership.

    Employees shall not be Retaliated against for reporting, or causing to be reported, suspected Wrongful Conduct, or for assisting in an authorized investigation of alleged Wrongful Conduct.

  3. Definitions

    • Auditing Agency:

      • Legislative post auditor
      • Any employee of the Legislative Division of Post Audit (LPA)
      • Any firm performing audit services pursuant to a contract with the Legislative Post Auditor
      • Any state agency or federal agency or authority performing auditing or other oversight activities under authority of any provision of law authorizing such activities, or
      • The inspector general created under K.S.A. 2007 Supp. 75-7427 and amendments thereto
    • Employee

      An individual who, when hired, provides services on a regular basis in exchange for compensation, receives a W-2, and who does not provide these services as a part of an independent business. This includes temporary and part-time Employees.

    • Good-Faith Disclosure

      Information that is reported truthfully by an Employee or member of the campus community with regard to the provisions of this policy. This policy does not protect an employee who files a report or provides information that:

      • the employee knows to be false or which the employee discloses with reckless disregard for its truth or falsity;
      • the employee knows to be exempt from required disclosure under the open records act; or
      • is confidential or privileged under statute or court rule.
    • Leadership

      Individuals at the University who have Employees reporting to them, or are Department Chairs/Directors.

    • Retaliation

      Adverse action or threat of adverse action including, but not limited to:

      • Separation
      • Demotion
      • Corrective action
      • Transfer
      • Reassignment
      • Suspension
      • Warning of possible separation
      • Withholding of work
    • Wrongful Conduct

      Includes, but not limited to:

      • A violation of applicable state or federal laws or regulations;
      • A violation of University or KBOR Policy;
      • Use of University property, resources, authority for personal gain or other non-University-related purpose, except as authorized under University policy and approved by University President.
  4. Procedure

    1. To make a Good-Faith Disclosure of suspected or known Wrongful Conduct, contact University reporting hotline at 1-844-724-5631 or via the University hotline website.
    2. If the Employee believes the Wrongful Conduct which has been reported and continues to remain unresolved, a report should be made to University General Counsel.
      1. Reports may be made anonymously. Reports and investigations will be kept confidential to the extent possible under law and consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation and take action to correct the Wrongful Conduct.
      2. Reports are promptly and thoroughly reviewed to ensure that appropriate action is taken.
    3. Employees of contractors, grantees, subcontractors, and sub-grantees, when working on Federal grants and contracts in connection with the University, have certain “whistleblower” rights and remedies afforded by statute, including but not limited to 41 U.S.C. 4712. Accordingly, all such contractors, grantees, subcontractors, and sub-grantees are required to comply with all applicable laws.
    4. Employees who believe they have been subjected to Retaliation in violation of this policy should notify the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC).
  5. Responsibilities

    1. Leadership

      1. Be knowledgeable of and implement the policy and procedures.
      2. Understand that they shall not:
        1. Prohibit any Employee from reporting any violation of University or KBOR policy to Human Resources.
        2. Prohibit any Employee from reporting any violation of state or federal law or rules and regulations.
        3. Require any such employee to give notice to Leadership prior to reporting any violation of state or federal law or rules or regulations.
        4. Prohibit any Employee from discussing the operations of the University or other matters of public concerns, including matters relating to the public health, safety and welfare either specifically or generally with any member of legislature or any auditing agency.
    2. Employee

      1. Adhere to University policies and procedures.
      2. Report Wrongful Conduct with Good-Faith Disclosure.
      3. Understand they are not authorized to represent their own personal opinions as the opinions of the University.
  6. Related