Policies

Policies

Whistleblower Policy

Effective Date Mar 1, 2017

Applicable Employee Classes:

All Florida Tech Employees

Revised Date:

March 2017

Approved by:

Dr. T. Dwayne McCay, President

5.16 Whistleblower

Policy

Florida Institute of Technology is committed to the highest standards of moral and ethical behavior by all employees and in all business dealings. Employees are expected to conduct university business in an ethical manner and in compliance with all appropriate laws and regulations. Further, employees have a responsibility to report suspected dishonest acts and/or fraudulent activity to appropriate university officials.

This policy informs employees how allegations of wrongful conduct can be reported and protects employees from retaliation as a direct result of reporting a concern or participating in any investigation, hearing or inquiry into wrongful conduct. This policy also provides individuals who believe they have been subject to retaliation with a process to investigate and appropriately handle retaliatory acts. Employees acting in good faith to report suspected dishonest acts and/or fraudulent activity are protected against retaliation for making such report. However, if an employee knowingly makes a false claim they may be subject to disciplinary action. All employees are covered by this policy.

For purposes of this policy, the definition of a dishonest act or fraudulent activity includes but is not limited to:

  1. An intentional or deliberate act to deprive Florida Tech or a person of something of value, or to gain an unfair benefit using deception, false suggestions, suppression of truth, or other unfair means which are believed and relied upon.
  2. A dishonest act or fraudulent activity may be, but is not limited to, an act or activity that is unethical, improper, or illegal such as: 
  1. Fraud, dishonesty, or deception regarding accounting, financial controls, financial reporting, audit, and other financial matters
  2. Embezzlement
  3. Authorizing or receiving payments for hours not worked
  4. Authorizing or making payment for goods not delivered or services not performed, or receiving payment or other consideration for goods not delivered or services not performed
  5. Pursuing or obtaining a benefit in violation of the university’s conflict of interest policy
  6. Violations of applicable state and federal laws or regulations
  7. Misappropriation or misuse of university resources, property or authority
  8. Alteration or falsification of paper or electronic documents, including the inappropriate destruction of paper or electronic documents
  9. False claims and/or misrepresentation of facts
  10. Theft of an asset including but not limited to money, tangible property, trade secrets or intellectual property
  11. Inappropriate use of computer systems including hacking and software piracy
  12. Bribery, kickbacks, or rebates
  13. Improprieties in the approval, management, administration or assignment of contracts
  14. A serious violation of university policy
  15. Plagiarism
       3. Although a dishonest or fraudulent act may have criminal and/or civil law consequences, Florida Tech is not required to use a determination by a criminal or civil authority as the basis for determining whether an act is dishonest or fraudulent, nor must the act rise to the level of a crime or violation of civil law in order to constitute a violation of this policy.

Procedure

  1. If an employee has knowledge of illegal or dishonest fraudulent activity, the employee is to contact the Internal Auditor or submit an anonymous tip through https://www.fit.edu/audit/anonymous-reporting/#form . The employee must exercise sound judgment to avoid baseless allegations. An employee who intentionally files a false report of wrongdoing will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge.
  2. The Internal Auditor will be delegated the primary responsibility for investigating reported incidents. All Florida Tech employees are expected to provide full cooperation to ensure a timely and thorough review or investigation of allegations.
  3. Individuals who are subjects of a report will be treated fairly, respectfully, and consistent with all protections set out in university policy or law.
  4. In matters of disclosure, the university will make all reasonable efforts to respect the confidentiality of the employee making the disclosure as long as maintaining confidentiality does not interfere with conducting an investigation of the specific allegations, taking corrective action, or in circumstances when:  1) the employee self-discloses his or her identity or other information related to the report directly or indirectly through his or her own actions outside of the official investigation process or agrees to be identified;  2) identification is necessary to allow university or law enforcement officials to investigate or respond effectively to the report;  3) identification is required by law;  or 4) where findings are required to be reported to any outside agency or entity, findings will be timely reported.
  5. In those instances where the investigation indicates possible criminal activity, the investigation will be turned over to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
  6. Employees suspected of participating in dishonest acts or fraudulent activity may be suspended with pay during the course of the investigation.
  7. Employees found to have participated in dishonest acts or fraudulent activity will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge as well as possible criminal prosecution or civil action.
  8. Employees found to have knowledge of a dishonest act or fraudulent activity and who knowingly failed to report the activity will be subject to disciplinary action.
  9. The university will not retaliate against employees who act in good faith to report suspected dishonest and/or fraudulent activity. This includes protection from retaliation in the form of adverse academic or employment action such as, termination, demotion, suspension, failure to consider for promotion or transfer, reprimand, poor work assignments, harassment, threats of physical harm and/or any other negative action, made directly or indirectly, against a reporting person.
    If an employee believes he/she has been the victim of retaliation for reporting suspected dishonest and/or fraudulent activity, a retaliation complaint may be filed in writing with the Director of Human Resources. A retaliation claim must be filed within 45 days of the employee's discovery of the action. If there is more than one instance of alleged retaliation, the complaint must be filed within 45 days of the employee's discovery of the most recent alleged action.
  10. If the Associate Vice President of Human Resources determines that retaliation has occurred, the Associate Vice President of Human Resources will assure that appropriate remedial action is taken with respect to the employee against whom retaliation has occurred and that appropriate disciplinary action is taken against the employee(s) found to have retaliated.

 

Whistleblower Protection Act of 2007 (WPA)