Questions about protection from retaliation for being a whistleblower

  1. What if word gets out that I am a whistleblower and people are making it difficult for me to work here?
  2. What is considered to be "retaliation"?
  3. What are the basic requirements for a retaliation complaint?
  4. What happens after I file the retaliation complaint?
  5. Who will investigate my complaint?
  6. How long will an investigation take?
  7. Who makes the decision on whether or not retaliation occurred?
  8. What if I don't agree with the decision?
  9. If retaliation was found, will I be informed of the action taken?
  10. The Whistleblower Protection Policy is long and detailed. I want to properly file a whistleblower retaliation complaint. Where do I go for help?

1. What if word gets out that I am a whistleblower and people are making it difficult for me to work here?

The university has a Whistleblower Protection Policy (pdf). If you feel you are being retaliated against for being a whistleblower, you can file a written retaliation complaint with the following:

  • the Academic Personnel or Human Resources Office under the applicable grievance or complaint resolution procedure (such as APM - 140 for academic personnel or PPSM 70 staff personnel) or under the applicable collective bargaining agreement;
  • the Locally Designated Official (the official at your location who is designated to receive retaliation complaints); or 
  • your supervisor, who will refer it to the Locally Designated Official.

Back to top

2. What is considered to be "retaliation?"

Retaliation is an adverse personnel action that was taken against you because you made a protected disclosure or refused an illegal order.

Back to top

3. What are the basic requirements for a retaliation complaint?

A retaliation complaint filed under the Whistleblower Protection Policy must be accompanied by a sworn statement and contain the required allegations identified in Section III.C of the Policy. It must be filed with the Locally Designated Official or with your supervisor, who will refer it to the Locally Designated Official.

If you want to file under the complaint or grievance process available to you under staff policy, academic personnel policies or a collective bargaining agreement, please contact Human Resources or the Academic Personnel Office for assistance.

Back to top

4. What happens after I file the retaliation complaint?

If you filed under the Whistleblower Protection Policy, the Locally Designated Official will conduct a preliminary review to determine whether your complaint was accompanied by required sworn statement, includes the required allegations, and is timely. If you have not met any of these requirements, you will be given an opportunity to correct the deficiency. The Locally Designated Official will then determine whether to accept your retaliation complaint for investigation.

Back to top

5. Who will investigate my complaint?

Under the Whistleblower Protection Policy, investigations are conducted by a Retaliation Complaint Officer (RCO) or an investigator appointed by the RCO.

Back to top

6. How long will an investigation take?

Under the Whistleblower Protection Policy, the RCO is responsible for delivering the investigation report to the LDO within 6 months from the date on which the LDO notifies the Complainant that the Retaliation Complaint has been accepted for processing.

The LDO may extend the 6-month deadline upon receipt of a written request from the RCO that explains why the extension is needed. Additional extensions may be sought when appropriate. The LDO will respond in writing to such requests and will also notify the Complainant in writing of any extensions that are granted. The LDO generally will not provide an extension or extensions that increase the 6-month time frame beyond 12 months total.

Back to top

7. Who makes the decision on whether or not retaliation occurred?

Under the Whistleblower Protection Policy, the Chancellor (or Chancellor’s designee) reviews the investigation report, decides whether retaliation occurred, and issues a written decision.

Back to top

8. What if I don't agree with the decision?

Under the Whistleblower Protection Policy, a decision based on the substance of the complaint is final. 

9. If retaliation was found, will I be informed of the action taken?

If the Chancellor (or Chancellor’s designee) finds that retaliation occurred, the decision will identify any relief granted to you as a result of that determination.  However, you will not necessarily be informed of any corrective action taken against the person who retaliated against you.

Back to top

10. The Whistleblower Protection Policy is long and detailed. I want to properly file a whistleblower retaliation complaint. Where do I go for help?

Consult your supervisor or other appropriate supervisor or administrator, the Locally Designated Official, or the Academic Personnel or Human Resources Office.

Back to top