Protection of Whistleblowers – No Retaliation
Policy number: 1.12
Policy section: Institutional Affairs
Revised Date: January 2, 2019
Definitions of capitalized terms used herein are set forth in Appendix A.
The purpose of this policy to ensure the protection of whistleblowers from retaliation.
3. Policy Statement
It is the policy of the University to encourage its faculty, staff, and students to report any University-related misconduct. Anyone making a Good Faith Report (http://smu.edu/fraud) is protected from retaliation resulting from the report even if the report is not correct or there was no misconduct. The University considers acts or threats of retaliation in response to such reports to be a serious violation of University policy and will take appropriate action against any individual who retaliates or threatens to retaliate against a good-faith reporter.
4. Prohibition of Retaliation
- No Materially Adverse Action may be taken against a University employee as knowing retaliation for any good faith report of behavior that could reasonably be considered fraud, illegal activity or violation of University policy or procedure.
- The University will act promptly to stop retaliation, to conduct a thorough investigation into allegations of retaliation and to impose sanctions, if appropriate, if retaliation occurred. Complaints alleging violations of this policy may be filed with the Associate Vice President/Executive Assistant to the President and Title IX Coordinator for review and appropriate action.
Appendix A: Definitions
“Good Faith Report” means disclosure of University-related behavior that constitutes fraud, illegal activity, or violation of University policy or procedure made with the reasonable belief in the truth of the report and the reasonable belief that the behavior constitutes fraud, illegal activity or violation of University policy or procedure. A report is not made in “good faith” if it is made with reckless disregard for or willful ignorance of facts that would disprove the report.
“Materially Adverse Action” means any action that causes or threatens to cause significant injury or harm such that it would have the effect of dissuading a reasonable person in similar circumstances from making or supporting a good faith report of fraud, illegal activity or violation of University policy or procedure. Materially adverse action does not include an action whether employment-related, academically-related or professionally-related that would have been taken regardless of the good faith report.
Examples of materially adverse actions that could be taken against faculty, staff or other employees may include, but are not limited to, discharge, demotion, suspension, denial of tenure or promotion, detrimental changes in work assignment, threats, harassment or any action that substantially disadvantages an employee regarding the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.
Examples of materially adverse action that could be taken against a student may include, but are not limited to, expulsion, suspension, disenrollment, grade reduction, denial of student employment or training opportunities, exclusion from academic or extracurricular activities or opportunities, threats, harassment or otherwise being substantially disadvantaged with respect to academic, residential or extra-curricular life.
“Retaliation” means a materially adverse action threatened, taken or initiated by a University employee or a University student against an individual who has made a good faith report of fraud, illegal activity or violation of University policy or procedure.
Revised: January 2, 2019
Adopted: August 17, 2012