Sac State University Policy Manual

Reporting Procedures for Protected Disclosure of Improper Governmental Activities and/or Significant Threats to Health or Safety

Policy Administrator: Vice President for Human Resources
Authority: Executive Order 821
Effective Date: March 23, 2003
Updated:
Index Cross-References:
Policy File Number: UMC02055.htm

REPORTING PROCEDURES FOR PROTECTED DISCLOSURE OF

IMPROPER GOVERNMENTAL ACTIVITIES AND/OR

SIGNIFICANT THREATS TO HEALTH OR SAFETY

These procedures are established to further the intent of the California Legislature as stated in Section 8547.1 of the Government Code, a part of the California Whistleblower Protection Act.  This document establishes a procedure for employees and applicants for employment at California State University , Sacramento (CSUS) to make protected disclosures, as defined in these procedures. 

I. Definitions

A. "Employee" refers to any person employed by CSUS.   

B. "Applicant for employment" refers to an individual who has completed and submitted the application form for a specific, available position at CSUS.  

C. "Complainant" means an employee or applicant for employment who files a report and makes a protected disclosure under these procedures.   

D. "Improper governmental activity" means any activity by a CSUS department or employee that is undertaken in the performance of the employee's official duties, whether or not that action is within the scope of his or her employment, and that (1) is in violation of any state or federal law or regulation, including, but not limited to, corruption, malfeasance, bribery, theft of government property, fraudulent claims, fraud, coercion, conversion, malicious prosecution, misuse of government property, or willful omission to perform duty, or (2) is economically wasteful, or involves gross misconduct, incompetence, or inefficiency.   

E. "Protected disclosure" means any good faith communication that discloses information that may evidence (1) an improper government activity, or (2) any condition that may significantly threaten the health or safety of employees or the public if the disclosure or intention to disclose was made for the purpose of remedying that condition.   

F. "Working days" means Monday through Friday excluding all officially recognized university holidays or closure of the CSUS campus.   

II. General Provisions

A. All time limits refer to working days.

B. Time periods set forth in these procedures may be extended by the Vice President for Human Resources, provided she/he informs the complainant of the new time period in writing.   

C. Complaints, responses, and investigations under these procedures shall be shared only with individuals who have a legitimate business reason to know.   

III. Protected Disclosures at the Office of Human Resources, CSUS

A. Any employee or applicant for employment may make a protected disclosure to the Vice President for Human Resources no later than thirty (30) days after the event giving rise to the protected disclosure or no later than thirty (30) days after the employee or applicant for employment knew or reasonably should have known of the event.   

B. The protected disclosure shall be in writing and contain the following information:  

    1. The name and mailing address of the complainant, the complainant's working title, or the
        position applied for.   

    2. A detailed description of the specific actions that constituted the alleged improper
        governmental activity or condition that may significantly threaten the health or safety of
        employees or the public, including the name(s) and title(s) of CSUS employee(s) or
        official(s) allegedly engaged in the improper governmental activity or responsible for the
        health or safety condition.   

    3. The date(s) the alleged improper activities occurred or the condition developed.   

    4. Other potential witnesses to the alleged improper activities or condition. 

    5. Any documentation that supports the allegations of improper activities or of a threatening         condition.   

    6. Descriptions of documents that support the allegations of improper activities or of a
        threatening condition, if the actual documents are not in the possession of the         complainant.   

    7. The protected disclosure must be signed, dated, and contain a sworn statement under
         penalty of perjury that its contents are believed to be true.   

IV. Response to Protected Disclosures Made to the Vice President for Human Resources 

A. The Vice President for Human Resources shall acknowledge receipt of the written protected disclosure in writing within ten (10) days of receipt.   

B. Upon receipt of a protected disclosure complying with the provisions of section III.B. above, the Vice President for Human Resources may commission an investigation of the matter.   

C. Care shall be taken to keep confidential the identity of the complainant insofar as feasible and consistent with the law.   

D. If the Vice President for Human Resources determines that there is reasonable cause to believe that improper governmental activity has occurred or that a condition that may significantly threaten the health or safety of employees or the public exists, the Vice President for Human Resources shall report this information with a recommendation for appropriate action to the President.   

E. The President will determine what action, if any, is necessary.  Within ninety (90) days of receipt of the protected disclosure, the Vice President for Human Resources shall issue a formal response to the complainant that includes whether the allegations were substantiated and what, if any, actions were taken.  Care shall be taken to protect the privacy interests of those involved. 

F. CSUS will notify the California Department of Finance, Office of State Audits and Evaluation, and the Bureau of State Audits of all cases of actual or suspected fraud, theft or other irregularities it learns of as the result of any protected disclosures made under these procedures.  

V. Protected Disclosures Made to the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources at the Office of the Chancellor, California State University

A. Employees and applicants for employment at CSUS may make a protected disclosure directly to the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources under Executive Order 821.

B. The campus is required to notify the Vice Chancellor for Human Resources of all cases of actual or suspected fraud, theft or other irregularity as well as meet the notification requirements under Section IV., F. above.

"A sample form for reporting this disclosure can be found in the Forms Section ("Complaint Form" listed under Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action) on the Human Resources Web site at: http://www.csus.edu/hr"