My Iona

Whistle Blower Policy & Anonymous Reporting

Section: Employee Conduct & Responsibilities
Issued: 01/2010

The following statement describes Iona College's policy on whistleblowing and applies to all employees including full time, part-time, and temporary.

Iona College is committed to the highest possible standards of ethical, moral and legal business conduct. In line with this commitment and Iona's commitment to open communication, this policy aims to provide an avenue for employees to raise concerns and reassurance that they will be protected from retaliation, harassment, reprisals or victimization for whistleblowing in good faith. If an employee feels that their anonymity is not required then they should contact the Director for Human Resources or immediate supervisor in order to file a complaint. Employees may also follow our existing grievance procedure (see Human Resources Policy #11.1 "Grievance Procedures"; or the Harassment and Discrimination Policy).

The whistleblowing policy is intended to cover serious concerns that could have a large impact on Iona College, such as actions that:

  • may lead to incorrect financial reporting;
  • are unlawful;
  • are not in line with college policy, including the Rules of Conduct (Human Resources Policy #12.2); or
  • otherwise amount to serious improper conduct or conflict of interest (Human Resources Policy #2.14).

Regular 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. Concerns 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.

Procedure

Iona College has contracted with a third-party vendor to provide a "whistleblower hotline," which is managed and staffed by an outside company in order to maintain the anonymity of the complainant. Reports to the whistleblower hotline can be made in the following ways:

Employees who contact the Hotline will have the ability to remain anonymous if they choose. Please note that the information provided by you may be the basis of an internal and/or external investigation into the issue you are reporting and your anonymity will be protected to the extent possible by law. However, your identity may become known during the course of the investigation. Complaints are submitted by Lighthouse to Iona College or its designee, and may or may not be investigated at the sole discretion of Iona College.

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 up to and including termination of employment.

How the Complaint will be Handled

Action(s) taken will depend on the nature of the concern. Initial inquiries will be made to determine whether an investigation is appropriate, and the form that it should take. Some concerns may be resolved by agreed action without the need for an investigation.

Whether reported to Iona College personnel or through the Hotline, the complainant will be given the opportunity to receive follow-up on their concern:

  • acknowledging that the concern was received;
  • possibly indicating how the matter will be dealt with;
  • telling them whether further investigations will follow.

The amount of contact between the complainant and the body investigating the concern will depend on the nature of the issue, 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 investigations.

Iona College reserves the right to modify or amend this policy at any time.

Whistleblower Hotline FAQs

Section: Employee Conduct & Responsibilities

The Whistleblower hotline is a service offered by Iona College, which allows our employees to report serious violations or infractions and remain anonymous. Whether making a report openly or anonymously, employees are protected from retaliation, harassment, reprisals or victimization for whistle blowing in good faith. Below are answers to questions you may have about this service.

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 College's policy on whistleblowing allows for all employees including full time, part-time, and temporary 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 employees 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 College