Reporting and Addressing Concerns of Misconduct
Last Update: July 2012
Responsible University Officer:
- Institutional Compliance
- Director, Office of Institutional Compliance
- Updated: July 2012
- Primary Contact : Lynn Zentner
Printed on: . Please go to http://policy.umn.edu for the most current version of the Policy or related document.
The individuals described below are expected to report concerns if they have a good faith belief there has been a violation of local, state, or federal law or University policy governing any University activity.
- Employees (faculty and staff);
- Individuals employed by the University, using University resources or facilities, or receiving funds administered by the University; and
- Volunteers and other representatives when speaking or acting on behalf of the University.
Employees are encouraged to resolve their concerns at the most local level, by reporting their concerns to their supervisor or other appropriate contact person within their unit. If employees feel uncomfortable addressing their concerns at the local level, or wish for any other reason to address their concerns elsewhere, employees may make their reports directly to University offices responsible for handling the subject area.
Alternatively, employees and other individuals may file a report using the University’s confidential reporting service (via a confidential Web link www.Ureport.ethicspoint.com) or call toll-free 1-866-294-8680).
Reports will be directed to appropriate University administrators for resolution and investigation, as appropriate. Board of Regents or administrative policies and procedures may have specific protocols for handling certain types of concerns such as Administrative Policy: Research Misconduct.
Mandatory Reporting for the Protection of Minors
Professionals and their delegates in health care, social services, psychological or psychiatric treatment, child care, law enforcement, and education are required by Minnesota law to report when they know or have reason to believe a child (person under age 18) is being physically or sexually abused or neglected, or has been within the past three years, including abuse and neglect by non-University employees. These employees must report to the local police department (including University Police Departments), the county sheriff, or the local county social services agency. Informing a supervisor does not fulfill the reporting obligation; however, the supervisor should be informed when a report is made. The University understands the reporting obligation to extend to at least faculty and instructors, researchers, coaches, deans and other academic administrators. Reports must be made immediately, and within 24 hours at the latest. Failure to report when required is a crime and grounds for employment discipline. The University expects all of its employees, not just those covered by the mandatory reporting law, to report when they know of, or suspect child abuse or neglect.
Resolution Of Reported Concerns
Appropriate University officials will promptly address all reported concerns, and will notify the reporter when the matter has been fully addressed.
The University's General Counsel, Auditor, and Director of the Office of Institutional Compliance will inform the President and the Board of Regents of any potential serious or widespread legal violations, significant accounting misconduct, or other matters that in their judgment represent a significant compliance concern.
Protection from Retaliation
No one acting on behalf of the University may retaliate against an individual for having made a report in good faith under this policy. Any employee who engages in retaliation may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. Reports of retaliation will be reviewed and investigated in the same manner in which other allegations of misconduct are handled.
REASON FOR POLICY
This policy implements Board of Regents Policy: Code of Conduct and the reporting requirements in Minnesota statute 625-556 (Reporting Maltreatment of Minors.) The University community’s commitment to ethical conduct is detailed in the Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct addresses the University’s responsibility to promote a culture of compliance which includes efforts to prevent, detect, and correct violations of law or policy, which may result from mistakes, lack of information, or, deliberate misconduct. A reporting system and protection against retaliation promotes compliance with law and policy and fair treatment of employees. This policy and the procedures attached to it support existing University policies and procedures for responding to reports of misconduct, and do not establish any additional rights beyond those already provided by law.
There are no forms associated with this policy.
- Human Resource Liaison
- A person assigned by the Vice President for Human Resources to assist in preventing retaliation or unfair treatment of individuals for having reported potential violations of local, state or federal law or University policy.
- The steps taken to analyze all relevant information regarding an allegation and then determine whether sufficient evidence exists to find that misconduct occurred.
- A violation of local, state, or federal law or University policy.
- Report in Good Faith
- An individual who sincerely believes that a violation has occurred reports the incident.
- Taking an adverse action against an individual because of the individual’s good faith participation in the protected activity of reporting suspected misconduct. Examples of retaliation include, but are not limited to: impeding academic advancement, departing from any customary academic or employment practice regarding the individual, and termination of position, demotion, threats, and marginalization of the individual. A causal relationship between good faith participation in the protected activity of reporting and an adverse action is needed to demonstrate that retaliation has occurred.
- A confidential reporting service the University has retained to receive reports of potential law or policy violations through a toll free number (1-866-294-8680) or Web site (www.Ureport.ethicspoint.com).
- All Individuals
- Report good faith concerns about possible violations of local, state, or federal law or University policy governing any University activity. Be truthful and cooperative in investigations of alleged wrongdoing.
- Central Offices that Receive Reports
- Follow procedures for handling reported concerns.
- Collegiate/Unit Administrators
- Follow procedures for handling reported concerns.
- Deans, Vice Presidents, Chancellors, Vice Chancellors
- Annually notify employees of responsibility to report concerns and where to report them. Ensure timely follow-up and resolution of reported allegations in respective college or unit. Ensure that retaliation in response to the good faith reporting of violations of law or University policy does not occur.
- Director of the Office of Internal Audit
- Investigate allegations of financial and operational misconduct. Communicate information regarding allegations received to proper administrators. Consult with the General Counsel. Communicate with the President and the Board of Regents regarding potential serious financial or operational violations.
- Director of the Office of Institutional Compliance
- Administer the confidential and anonymous reporting service. Work collaboratively with responsible offices to address reported concerns and communicate results of these efforts according to established procedures. Coordinate with the General Counsel and the Director of Internal Audit in communicating potential serious violations to the President and the Board of Regents.
- General Counsel
- Conduct investigations where the assertions of the attorney-client privilege and/or other legal issues require the General Counsel’s involvement. Consult and coordinate with the Directors of the Offices of Internal Audit and Institutional Compliance as appropriate. Communicate with the President and the Board of Regents regarding potential serious legal violations.
- Human Resource Liaison
- Collaborate with responsible administrators to respond to concerns about retaliation or unfair treatment of individuals for having reported in good faith suspected violations of law or University policy
- Vice President for Human Resources
- Appoint Human Resource Liaison to protect against retaliation when appropriate. Respond to concerns of retaliation.
- Additional Service Contacts
- Information for Health Care Service Providers
- List and Description of Central Offices that Handle Concerns
- Reporting Concern Policy Flowchart (PDF)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Board of Regents Policy: Code of Conduct
- 31 U.S.C. section 3729 - False Claims Act
- Social Security Act section 1902(a)(68)
- Information for Healthcare Service Providers
- Minn. Stat. section 625.556 – Reporting Maltreatment of Minors
- Minn. Stat. section 181.932 - Disclosure of Information by Employees
- Other administrative policies that address retaliation include:
- Reporting Misconduct Website
- July 2012 - Comprehensive Review, Major Revision - 1. Incorporates a new section on mandatory reporting for the protection of minors. 2. Clarifies the section on retaliation and incorporates a definition of retaliation that could be used across the multiple policies that prohibit this behavior.
- May 2007 - Amended Policy and added related information to meet new requirements in section 1902(a)(68) of the Social Security Act.
- July, 2005 - Changed policy title from "Dealing with Financial and Operational Misconduct" to current title, expanded scope, amended responsibilities, and revised procedures to reflect expanded scope and outside reporting service.
- March 2002 - Added procedure on Reporting NCAA Violations. Policy Statement, Contacts and Responsibilities sections revised to reflect the inclusion of NCAA violations in the policy scope.
- March 2000