Whistle Blower Policy & Anonymous Reporting
Section: Employee Conduct & Responsibilities
The following statement describes Iona University's policy on whistleblowing and applies to all employees including full-time, part-time, temporary and student employees, as well as former employees and independent contractors.
Iona University is committed to the highest standards of ethical, moral and legal conduct. In line with this commitment and Iona's further commitment to open communication, this policy aims to provide an avenue for employees, former employees, student employees, and independent contractors (individually and collectively, “Reporter/s”) to raise complaints that they reasonably believe violate the law or pose a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.
Reporters will be protected from retaliation, harassment, reprisals or victimization for whistleblowing in good faith. If a Reporter does not wish to be anonymous, then they have an option to contact the Director for Human Resources or their immediate supervisor directly in order to file a complaint. If a Reporter does wish to file a complaint anonymously, then the procedures described below should be followed. Reporters may also review our existing "Harassment and Discrimination Policy.” A copy of the statement of employee rights can be obtained by contacting the Office of Human Resources or by viewings its contents on the bulletin board outside of Human Resources in McSpedon Hall, 2nd Floor.
Iona’s whistleblower policy is intended to cover complaints that could have an impact on Iona University, including complaints about circumstances that:
- may lead to incorrect financial reporting.
- are reasonably believed to be violations of the law.
- pose a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.
- conflict with University policy, including the Rules of Conduct (; or
- otherwise constitute serious misconduct or conflict of interest.
- involve retaliation for good faith complaints or allegations of a violation of any law or executive order, including violations of non-discrimination laws.
Routine business matters that do not require anonymity should be directed to your supervisor or the Director for Human Resources and are not addressed by this policy.
The policy allows employees to remain anonymous at their option. Complaints expressed anonymously will be investigated, but consideration will be given to:
- the seriousness of the issue raised;
- the credibility of the concern; and
- the likelihood of confirming the allegation from attributable sources.
Iona University has contracted with Lighthouse, a third-party vendor dedicated to providing anonymity for the complainant about whistleblower concerns. Reports to the whistleblower hotline can be made in the following ways:
- Through the Toll-Free Hotline: (877) 472-2110
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax alternative for written documents: (215) 689-3885
- Web: www.lighthouse-services.com/iona (click on the Submit Report button on the top right). Login Name: Iona and Password: Employee
Employees who contact the Hotline will have the ability to remain anonymous if they choose. Please note that the information provided by a complainant may be the basis of an internal and/or external investigation into the issue reported and anonymity will be protected to the fullest extent possible by law. However, your identity may become known during the course of the investigation. Complaints are submitted by Lighthouse to Iona University or its designee and may or may not be investigated at the sole discretion of Iona University.
Although the employee is not expected to prove the truth of an allegation, the employee needs to demonstrate to the person contacted that there are sufficient grounds for concern. Malicious allegations may result in disciplinary action, termination of employment, or other alternatives.
HOW THE COMPLAINT WILL BE HANDLED
Action(s) taken will depend on the nature of the complaint. Initial inquiries will be made to determine whether an investigation is appropriate and the form that it should take. Some complaints may be resolved, with the assistance of the Office of Human Resources, and therefore not require further investigation.
Whether reporting to Iona personnel or through the Hotline, the complainant shall be provided with a response to the complaint.
The amount of communication with the complainant during an investigation will depend on the nature of the issue/s, the clarity of information provided, and whether the complainant remains accessible for follow-up. Further information may be sought from the complainant. Complainants will be able to create a password which will allow them to re-contact the Hotline and anonymously continue dialogue if they wish. Subject to legal constraints, the complainant may receive information about the outcome of any investigation.
Iona University reserves the right to modify or amend this policy at any time.
A whistleblower is a person who raises a concern about misconduct occurring in an organization. Such misconduct may be a violation of law, rule or regulation, the act of fraud, health and safety violations, or corruption.1
Since 1998, Lighthouse Services has been providing confidential, 24-hour reporting services, enabling companies of all sizes to maintain an ethical workplace and address fraud, abuse, regulatory violations and other inappropriate behavior. By delivering industry best practices while pioneering affordable solutions, Lighthouse has been established as one of the most successful hotline providers in the industry, servicing more than 1,000 clients.1
A key component of the hotline is to provide a method for reports to be made confidentially and anonymously using a third party.1
Iona University's policy on whistleblowing allows for all employees including full time, part-time, temporary, independent contractors, former employees and student employees to use the hotline service.2
Yes. Your anonymity will be protected to the extent possible by the law and Lighthouse will never divulge your identity to your employer without your permission.1
Examples of serious issues that might be reported include (but are not limited to): Falsification of Contracts, Reports or Records; Harassment and Discrimination; Theft and Embezzlement; Unsafe Working Conditions; Violations of College Policy; and Violations of the Law.2
Yes. Reports sent by email, web or fax allow for this option.1 You are encouraged (but not obligated) to provide Lighthouse with your contact information so Lighthouse can contact you on our behalf if additional information is needed.1
Reports to the whistle blower hotline can be made in the following ways:
If you have questions about the status of your report, please contact the hotline toll-free phone number and provide your report number. 1
Consistent with our Mission, and as a community of ethical decision-makers, it is of the utmost importance that improprieties are reported so that corrective action can be taken. The Whistleblower hotline offers Iona employees the ability to do this anonymously.2
The Whistleblower policy aims to provide an avenue for reporters to raise concerns anonymously and reassurance that they will be protected from retaliation, harassment, reprisals or victimization for whistleblowing in good faith.2
1 Source: Lighthouse Services
2 Source: Iona University