VCU is committed to an environment of uncompromising integrity and ethical conduct wherein all individuals are expected to understand and comply with the laws, regulations, and policies that govern university activities. In order to maintain integrity at the highest level of excellence and to promote equal treatment, VCU expects that all members of the university community will report actual or suspected violations of laws, regulations, and policies, hereinafter referred to as misconduct, in a timely manner.
The expectation to report actual or suspected misconduct is absolute and for this reason every individual also retains protection against retaliation for making a good faith report, raising a good faith concern and/or participating in an investigation of misconduct. Knowingly making a false report,or reporting with malice or reckless disregard for the truth, is prohibited.
VCU is committed to a civil professional working environment. Inherent in this commitment is an environment free from retaliation. Retaliation against any employee who brings forth a good faith concern, asks a clarifying question or participates in an investigation is prohibited. In addition, every VCU community member must uphold the principles outlined in the university’s Code of Conduct and Expectations of Ethical Conduct policy when interacting with a person who made a good faith report, raised a good faith concern and/or participated in an investigation of misconduct.
No individual shall be adversely affected for refusing to carry out a directive which constitutes misconduct.
Management has a special duty to recognize and report misconduct. Management is expected to report—without unreasonable delay—any misconduct to the Integrity and Compliance Office, Audit and Compliance Services, for guidance and support.
Employees are not to investigate suspected misconduct on their own but should, without unreasonable delay, report to the appropriate authority for the concern; if unknown, all concerns may be centrally reported to the Integrity and Compliance Office, Audit and Compliance Services. See the procedures sections for additional details.
All persons employed by the Commonwealth of Virginia are required to report actual or suspected child abuse and/or neglect in compliance with the Mandatory Reporting of Injuries to Children Code of Virginia §63.2-1509. Additionally, all persons employed by the Commonwealth of Virginia who work with adults in an administrative, supportive or direct care capacity are required to report actual or suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation of an aged adult or incapacitated adult in compliance with Code of Virginia §63.2-1606. See the procedures section of this policy for details.
Noncompliance with this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Every VCU employee (includes faculty), independent contractor and vendor is responsible for knowing this policy and familiarizing themselves with its contents and provisions.
Means any person 60 years of age or older who resides in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It may also include any person 60 years of age who is temporarily in the Commonwealth and who is in need of temporary or emergency protective services.
The VCU Helpline reporting option utilizes a third party service which manages intake of reports. Any report made anonymously using this option is not tracked by this company. E-mail addresses, phone numbers, location information, etc. are not identified, saved or retrieved, unless otherwise provided by the reporter.
Compliance partners are university members having compliance responsibilities formally required by their position descriptions and, therefore, have joined the Compliance Advisory Committee (CAC). The CAC members in these highly specialized areas, with highly specialized compliance functions, give direction and assistance to the university community. A complete listing is available on the compliance website at www.compliance.vcu.edu
All reports made are kept confidential to the extent possible, meaning they are addressed under tight control, keeping dissemination of information on a need to know basis. Only VCU’s Ombudsperson, counselors holding a licensure for their profession, and clergy functioning in those capacities for the university are able to provide confidentiality.
Means that an aged adult or incapacitated adult is living in conditions that present a clear and substantial risk of death or immediate and serious physical harm to himself or others.
For purposes of this policy, good faith is defined to mean reasonable belief or suspicion and without ill-will.
Means any person 18 years of age or older who resides in the Commonwealth of Virginia and who is impaired by reason of mental illness, intellectual disability, physical illness or disability, advanced age or other causes to the extent that the adult lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make, communicate or carry out responsible decisions concerning their well-being. It may also include an incapacitated nonresident adult who is temporarily in the Commonwealth and who is in need of temporary or emergency protective services.
For purposes of this policy misconduct is defined to mean failing to meet VCU expectations whether intentional or inadvertent. *Note: See definition for “VCU’s Expectations” below.
Research misconduct is the fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research or in reporting research results. Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.
An adverse employment action, or credible threat of an adverse employment action, taken against an employee who has reported actual or suspected misconduct, participated in an inquiry or investigation, or raised a concern. Disciplinary action resulting from performance or taken as a result of misconduct is not considered retaliation. Types of adverse action include, but are not limited to: dismissal from employment; demotion; unfounded negative job references; loss of salary or benefits; transfer or reassignment; denial of promotion that otherwise would have been received; and/or unwarranted written notices or change in day to day job duties.
Timely is defined to mean as soon as reasonably possible once misconduct is known or suspected, or without unreasonable delay.
For purposes of this policy, VCU’s expectations are defined to mean adherence to and compliance with all laws, regulations, and policies.
The Integrity and Compliance Office officially interprets this policy and is responsible for obtaining approval for any revisions as required by the policy Creating and Maintaining Policies and Procedures through the appropriate governance structures.
Please direct policy questions to the Integrity and Compliance Office.
The procedures below outline specific information available throughout the university community for reporting. While a report may go to a specific individual for further inquiry, all reports (excepting crimes and child abuse/neglect reported to the state) are eventually reported to the University Integrity & Compliance Office, Audit and Compliance Services (ICO-ACS) for tracking purposes. When management receives a report, management is expected to contact the ICO-ACS for tracking purposes, support and guidance.
A reporter may choose to report concerns to a specific area, or to the University Integrity & Compliance Office. Available reporting options are listed below.
3. Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect: All persons employed by VCU who suspect child abuse or neglect in their professional or official capacity are to report as follows:
4. Suspected Aged or Incapacitated Adult Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation: All persons employed by VCU who work with adults in an administrative, supportive or direct care capacity are required to report actual or suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation of an aged adult or incapacitated adult as follows:
5. Reporting Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct, Harassment or Related Retaliation
6. Reporting Fraud: VCUPD and Internal Audit, Audit and Compliance Services, are responsible for coordinating investigation and reporting to the Commonwealth of Virginia incidents of fraud. Report fraud as soon as you suspect or know of fraudulent activity.
7. Reporting Research Misconduct: For any known or suspected instances of waste, fraud or abuse under any federal grant, contract, or subcontract:
For instances of known or suspected falsification, fabrication and/or plagiarism while conducting research activities:
This policy supersedes the following archived policies:
|February 11, 2010||Reporting Suspected University Related Misconduct- Noncompliance & Protection from Retaliation|
|January 7, 2013||Duty to Report (formerly Reporting Suspected University Related Misconduct-Noncompliance & Protection from Retaliation)|
|June 13, 2014||Duty to Report|
|May 5, 2017||Duty to Report (title changed to Duty to Report and Protection from Retaliation)|
|January 23, 2018||Duty to Report and Protection from Retaliation|
|May 2, 2018||Duty to Report and Protection from Retaliation (minor revision to address elder abuse; update reporting mechanisms to EAS; add and update definitions)|
|March 13, 2019||Duty to Report and Protection from Retaliation (minor revision to update names of hyperlinked policies)|
|July 13, 2021|
Minor Revisions to update links, clarify retaliation, and include external reporting agencies.
I recently reported a co-worker for suspected misconduct. Now my colleagues are not speaking to me and giving me angry looks. I am also not being included in meetings that I used to attend. Is this retaliation?
It depends. If you feel like these actions are in response to the reporting of suspected misconduct, you should contact either Human Resources or the Integrity and Compliance Office for guidance.