Office of Compliance and Risk Management

Conscientious Employee Protection Act Policy (Whistleblower Policy)

 

  1. PURPOSE

    The New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act ("CEPA") makes it unlawful for an employer to discharge, suspend, demote, or take any other adverse employment action against an employee because that employee has reported an employer’s violation of the law, a rule or regulation issued under the law or other workplace activities that are potentially harmful to the public and/or the environment. This policy is promulgated in accordance with CEPA. It also sets forth Seton Hall’s own policy and procedures for filing a CEPA complaint at the University.

  2. SCOPE

    This is a University-wide policy and applies to all employees.

  3. DEFINITIONS

    1. A "supervisor" means any individual within the University who has the authority to direct and control the work performance of the affected employee or who has authority to take corrective action regarding the violation of a law, a rule or regulation or other workplace activities that are potentially harmful to the public and/or the environment about which the employee complains. For purposes of disclosing or reporting a violation under this policy, "supervisor" also includes the University's Director of Compliance and Risk Management, Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Director of Internal Audit.
    2. "EthicsPoint" is the University's anonymous and confidential reporting system as more fully described below.
  4. POLICY

    1. The University prohibits any retaliatory action against an employee because the employee does any of the following:
      1. Discloses, or threatens to disclose, to a supervisor, to EthicsPoint or to a public body, an activity, policy or practice of the University, or that of another employer with whom the University has a business relationship, that the employee reasonably believes is in violation of a law or a rule or regulation issued under the law;
      2. Provides information to, or testifies before, any public body conducting an investigation, hearing or inquiry into any violation, by the University, or by another employer with whom the University has a business relationship, of a law, or a rule or regulation issued under the law; or
      3. Objects to, or refuses to participate in any activity, policy or practice which the employee reasonably believes is unlawful or in violation of a rule or regulation issued under the law, fraudulent, criminal, or incompatible with a clear mandate of public policy concerning health, safety, welfare or protection of the environment.
    2. If an employee is a licensed or certified health care professional, the University also prohibits any retaliatory action against such a licensed or certified health care employee because the employee does any of the following:
      1. Discloses, or threatens to disclose, to a supervisor, to EthicsPoint or to a public body, an activity, policy or practice of the University, or that of another employer with whom the University has a business relationship, that the employee reasonably believes constitutes improper quality of patient care; or
      2. Provides information to, or testifies before, any public body conducting an investigation, hearing or inquiry into the quality of patient care; or
      3. Objects to, or refuses to participate in any activity, policy or practice which the employee reasonably believes constitutes improper quality of patient care.
    3. The protections against retaliation for disclosure to a public body apply only if the employee reasonably believes the activity is in violation of the law or regulation, has first brought the activity, policy or practice to the attention of a supervisor by written and signed notice, and has afforded the employer a reasonable opportunity to correct the activity, policy or practice. No such prior written notice is required when the employee is reasonably certain that the activity, policy or practice is known to one or more supervisors or where the employee reasonably fears physical harm as a result of the disclosure, provided that the situation is an emergency.
    4. The complete text of CEPA may be found at N.J.S.A. 34:19-1, et seq.
  5. UNIVERSITY PROCEDURES FOR FILING A CEPA COMPLAINT AT SETON HALL

    1. Reporting. If a University employee reasonably believes that a University activity, policy or practice is (a) in violation of a law, a rule or regulation or (b) within the scope of Paragraphs IV.1-2 above, in order to satisfy CEPA and unless an exception above applies, the employee must provide written notification of the alleged activity, as soon as possible, to a supervisor as defined in this policy, so that the matter may be investigated and responded to appropriately by the University.
    2. Duty to Report. Any supervisory University employee who is approached by another University employee who discloses or reports a University activity, policy or practice (a) in violation of a law, a rule or regulation or (b) within the scope of Paragraphs IV.1-2 above has a duty to report such activity to a supervisor as defined in this policy.
    3. False Complaints. A complaint found to be intentionally false and lacking in good faith will subject the complainant to discipline.
    4. Ethics Point Anonymous Reporting. The University has established an anonymous and confidential reporting system for CEPA complaints. An employee may anonymously report activities that fall within the scope of CEPA as set forth in Paragraphs IV.1-2 above via the web or a toll free telephone number. The toll free telephone number is 888-236-7522. To file electronically, an employee may go to the Ethics Reporting site.
    5. Investigation Guidelines and Confidentiality. A complaint made pursuant to this policy will be investigated in accordance with the University's Investigation and Mediation Guidelines for Complaints of Discrimination, Retaliation and Whistleblowing. Investigations are confidential. Complainants, respondents and witnesses should refrain from discussing investigations with each other or other University employees. Violations of confidentiality are inappropriate and unprofessional and may result in disciplinary action.
  6. UNIVERSITY REPRESENTATIVE

    The University has designated the Director of Compliance and Risk Management as the contact person to answer questions and/or provide information regarding an employee's rights and responsibilities under this policy and CEPA. The Director of Compliance and Risk Management is:
    Lori Brown, Esq.
    Director of Compliance and Risk Management
    Seton Hall University
    400 South Orange Avenue
    South Orange, New Jersey 07079
    973-313-6132 (phone)
    973-761-9071 (fax)
    lori.brown@shu.edu
  7. NOTICE TO EMPLOYEES

    This policy will be distributed annually and is posted on the University's policy website (www.shu.edu/offices/policies-procedures/policy-on-policies.cfm). It will be posted in both English and Spanish in appropriate areas and posted on the University's bulletin board in Human Resources.

  8. RESPONSIBLE OFFICES

    Office of Compliance and Risk Management
    Office of Human Resources
    Office of Internal Audit
  9. RELATED POLICIES

  10. APPROVED

    Approved by President A. Gabriel Esteban on the recommendation of the Executive Cabinet on August 30, 2013.

  11. EFFECTIVE DATE

    August 30, 2013

 
 
Contact Us

Office of Compliance and Risk Management
(973) 313-6132
lori.brown@shu.edu
Presidents Hall

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