Teachers College
Columbia University

Whistleblower Assurances




      To establish Teachers College policy and procedure relating to the protection of employees reporting potentially unlawful or hazardous conditions.

2.0   SCOPE

      This policy applies to all employees and all members of the TC community.


       The interpretation and administration of this policy shall be the responsibility of the Assistant Vice President, Human Resources.

4.0   POLICY

4.1  A “whistleblower” as defined by this policy is any member of the College community who reports an activity that s/he reasonably considers to be illegal or dishonest to one or more of the parties specified in this Policy. The whistleblower is not responsible for investigating the activity or for determining fault or corrective measures; appropriate management officials are charged with these responsibilities.

4.2  Examples of illegal or dishonest activities are violations of federal, state or local laws; billing for services not performed or for goods not delivered; and other forms of fraudulent financial reporting.

4.3  If an employee has knowledge of or a concern regarding apparently illegal or dishonest fraudulent activity, the employee should contact his or her immediate supervisor and/or the Assistant Vice President, Human Resources. Employees with any questions regarding this policy should contact the Assistant Vice President, Human Resources or the Ombudsperson.

4.4  An employee with concerns about potentially illegal or dishonest activities relating to financial or safety issues, such as accounting, donor stewardship, conflict of interest, environmental health and safety, grants or misappropriation, may also report concerns or allegations through EthicsPoint.  EthicsPoint permits employees to make anonymous reports either on-line by dialing toll-free 888-329-6420.

4.5  Whistleblower protections are provided in two important areas — confidentiality and protection against retaliation.

4.5.1      Insofar as possible, the confidentiality of the whistleblower will be maintained. However, identity may have to be disclosed to conduct a thorough investigation, to comply with the law and to provide accused individuals his or her legal rights of defense.

4.5.2      The College will not retaliate against a whistleblower and will not tolerate retaliation. This includes, but is not limited to, protection from retaliation in the form of an adverse employment action such as termination, compensation decreases, or poor work assignments and threats of physical harm. Any whistleblower who believes s/he is being retaliated against should contact the Assistant Vice President, Human Resources immediately.

The right of a whistleblower for protection against retaliation does not include immunity for any personal wrongdoing that is alleged and investigated.

4.5.3        An employee who files a report in good faith is protected by this policy even if it is ultimately determined that the activity reported was neither illegal nor dishonest.  However, an employee who intentionally files a false report of wrongdoing will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination.

Responsible office: Human Resources

Last updated: July 30, 2014



Tagged: HRPolicy