I. PURPOSE & SCOPE
sets out the process for submitting a whistleblower retaliation complaint and
for determining whether a complaint that has been submitted qualifies to be investigated under the standards of
the University’s Whistleblower Protection Policy (WPP).
retaliation complaint may be filed by a UCLA employee, former employee, or
applicant for employment as outlined in this Procedure. A complaint form with filing instructions is provided as Attachment A.
The following definitions from the Whistleblower Protection Policy are applicable to this Procedure:
Action is a management action that affects an individual’s existing terms and
conditions of employment in a material and negative way, including, but not
limited to, failure to hire, corrective action (including written warning,
corrective salary decrease, demotion, suspension) and termination.
Illegal Order is
a directive to violate or assist in violating a federal, State, or local law,
rule, or regulation or an order to work or cause others to work in conditions
outside of their line of duty that would unreasonably threaten the health or
safety of employees or the public.
Governmental Activity is any activity undertaken by the University or by a
University employee that is undertaken in the performance of the employee’s
duties, whether or not that activity 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 (including University property and facilities),
fraudulent claims, fraud, coercion, conversion, malicious prosecution, misuse
of government property (including University property and facilities), or
willful omission to perform duty, or (2) is economically wasteful or involves
gross misconduct, gross incompetence, or gross inefficiency.
Designated Official (LDO) is the UCLA-designated official responsible for
receiving whistleblower retaliation complaints and determining whether a
complaint is eligible for processing under the University’s Whistleblower
Disclosure is a good faith communication, including a communication based on,
or when carrying out, job duties, that discloses or demonstrates an intention
to disclose information that may evidence either (1) an Improper Governmental
Activity or (2) a 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.
III. GENERAL POLICY
A UCLA employee,
former employee, or applicant for employment who believes that he/she has been
subjected to an Adverse Employment Action in retaliation for having made a
Protected Disclosure or for having refused to obey an Illegal Order, may file a
whistleblower retaliation complaint as outlined in this Procedure. Such a
complaint must be filed with the Locally Designated Official (LDO) within
twelve (12) months of the alleged retaliation. The Whistleblower Retaliation Complaint Form with instructions is provided as Attachment A.
complaints of “retaliation” qualify as “whistleblower retaliation.” The LDO
determines whether a complaint qualifies to be investigated under the standards
set out in the WPP. A claim that does not qualify under the WPP may qualify
under an applicable employee personnel policy or collective bargaining
agreement grievance process. An employee should contact his/her employment
representative for more information about the employee’s grievance or complaint
options and the applicable filing deadlines.
IV. WHISTLEBLOWER RETALIATION COMPLAINT STANDARDS
For your claim to
qualify as “whistleblower retaliation,” your complaint statement must set forth
the facts that constitute your claim for each of the following:
Activity. 1) Describe each Protected Disclosure you made, to whom each
disclosure was made, the date or approximate date of each disclosure, and how
each disclosure was communicated, for example written report, hotline call,
Describe each Illegal Order you refused to obey, who ordered you to do what,
the date or approximate date each order was given, your response to each order,
and date or approximate date of your refusal to obey each order.
Personnel Action. Describe each Adverse Personnel Action that you believe was a
result of your protected activity. Your statement must specify when you were
given notice or otherwise became aware of each Adverse Personnel Action and
must identify the person responsible for taking each action.
Factor Basis. Describe the facts that support your belief that your protected
activity was a contributing factor in the decision to take each Adverse
guidance, refer to Attachment B, Standards for Accepting and Evaluating a
Whistleblower Retaliation Complaint and Attachment C, Frequently Asked
V. FILING A WHISTLEBLOWER RETALIATION COMPLAINT
A. Submission Requirements
must satisfy the following submission requirements:
- Written. Your
complaint must be in writing. A complaint may not be phoned in or submitted
through the University’s whistleblower hotline. The Whistleblower Retaliation
Complaint instructions and complaint form are provided as Attachment A.
- Required Elements. Your complaint statement must set forth the required elements
in sufficient detail for the LDO to determine whether your complaint meets the WPP’s
standards for acceptance, as outlined in Section IV. of this Procedure. You
should use the complaint form appearing as Attachment A to this procedure and
may attach such additional sheets as may be needed to complete your complaint
statement. Alternatively, if you submit a separate narrative complaint
statement, the statement must include all the information called for in the
form, setting forth in separately labeled sections the Adverse Personnel
Action(s) you experienced, the name of the Respondent(s) responsible for
carrying out the Adverse Personnel Action, the Protected Activity in which you
engaged, and the reason you believe your Protected Activity contributed to the
Adverse Personnel Action(s).
You need not provide all the details of what
transpired or any documentary evidence in support of your claim. If your
complaint qualifies for review, then you will have an opportunity during the investigation
process to identify potential witnesses and present additional information/evidence.
- Sworn. Your
complaint must conclude with the following declaration or substantially similar
words and be signed and dated by you:
“I swear under
penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the facts
forth in my Whistleblower Retaliation Complaint and in any supporting documents
I have submitted with the complaint are true and correct to the best of my
- Timely. Your
complaint must be filed within twelve (12) months of when you were notified or
otherwise became aware of the Adverse Personnel Action you alleged to be retaliatory. If you allege
an ongoing pattern of retaliation, your complaint must be filed within twelve
(12) months of the most recent Adverse Personnel Action.
B. Filing Instructions
The timeliness of
complaints that are mailed is determined by the US Postal Service postmark
date. For complaints that are personally delivered or sent via campus mail
(Mail Code 140501), email, or fax (use fax number 310-825-3803), the timeliness
is determined by the date the complaint is received in the office of the LDO.
If you file your complaint with your supervisor, the supervisor will be
responsible for forwarding it to the office of the LDO.
For US Postal
Service delivery, complaints should be addressed to:
Administrative Policies & Compliance Office
Los Angeles, CA
complaints should be addressed as follows and delivered during University
business hours to:
Administrative Policies & Compliance Office
Attn: Locally Designated Official
3148 Murphy Hall
410 Charles E. Young Drive, East
Los Angeles, CA
You may call the
above office at (310) 825-9116 for information about where such a complaint may
be emailed as a PDF file. Note that an “electronic signature” is not acceptable-for
an emailed submission, you will need to sign and scan the original hardcopy
C. Optional Representative
You have the
option to designate an individual to represent you in the complaint process.
Your representative should be someone who understands or will learn about the
complaint process. Your representative may be a union representative or an
attorney but may not be someone who is involved in the complaint in any way or
who may be a potential witness in the proceeding. For this reason you should avoid designating someone from your University department to function as your representative.
You may identify
your representative on the complaint form or at a later time. You should
indicate if you want further communications about your complaint directed to
that individual instead of to you. If you ever decide to change your
representation, you should promptly notify the LDO in writing.
VI. PRELIMINARY REVIEW
complaint is filed, the LDO will review your complaint to determine whether it
qualifies for investigation under the standards of the WPP. The LDO will notify
you in writing if your whistleblower retaliation complaint is accepted,
accepted in part, or not accepted at all.
The acceptance of
your complaint means that the allegations are sufficiently clear and meet the
WPP standards for acceptance. Acceptance of a complaint does not mean that any
facts alleged in the complaint have been established as true. Reaching conclusions concerning the
facts of a complaint is the responsibility of the designated factfinder.
allegations of your complaint are not sufficiently clear, the LDO may require that you clarify your complaint before the LDO decides whether
or not the complaint can be accepted. If you are notified of the opportunity to clarify your complaint, you will have fifteen (15) calendar days from the LDO’s
notification to clarify your complaint.
If the LDO
notifies you that your complaint does not qualify to be considered under the Whistleblower Protection Policy standards or that your complaint was not filed within the twelve (12) month
deadline, you have the right to appeal that decision to the Systemwide LDO at
the UC Office of the President within thirty (30) days of the notification.
VII. INVESTIGATION AND FINAL DECISION
If your complaint
is accepted, a Retaliation Complaint Officer or other individual designated by
the LDO to serve as factfinder investigates your claim of whistleblower
retaliation. Typically, the factfinder interviews you, the named respondent(s)
to the complaint (the parties), and relevant witnesses identified by the
parties. The factfinder requests that each of the parties submit documents
containing information relevant to the complaint. The factfinder is responsible
for determining the relevance of evidence offered by the parties and may choose
to exclude certain witness testimony or documents. If at any time during the
factfinding process you decide to withdraw your complaint, you are expected to
notify the LDO of your decision in writing.
Once all the
necessary evidence has been considered, the factfinder delivers his/her
investigation report with findings and conclusions to the LDO. The LDO reviews
the report to confirm that the factfinder properly applied the WPP evidentiary
standards (see Attachment B). Assuming the standards have been properly
applied, the LDO refers the report to the Chancellor or other official with the
delegated authority to review the complaint matter and render a final decision on the complaint.
If your claim of whistleblower retaliation is substantiated, it is the responsibility of the final
decision-maker to determine an appropriate remedy for the complainant and the
appropriate action(s) to be taken against any employee who engaged in
of your complaint by the LDO, copies of your complaint will be sent to the
designated factfinder and to those accepted as the respondents to your
complaint. Copies may also be sent to the human resources department and other
University officials with a need to know.
witnesses involved in a complaint are expected to treat the pending
investigation as a confidential matter. In particular, you and the other
parties are expected to refrain from discussing the complaint with any
potential witness in any way that may influence or be perceived as influencing
the witness’ testimony. However, this admonition is not intended to prevent or
discourage anyone from reporting suspected wrongdoing to a responsible
University or other public official, or to prevent an employee from discussing
bona fide workplace concerns with other employees or the employee’s
- A Supervisor
who receives a written whistleblower retaliation complaint is responsible for
documenting when the complaint was received and promptly forwarding it to the
office of the LDO. Supervisors are encouraged to check with human resources
officials about the retaliation complaint options available to employees.
- The Locally
Designated Official (LDO) is responsible for determining whether a retaliation
complaint can be accepted under the standards set forth in the WPP. The LDO is
responsible for designating a Retaliation Complaint Officer or other individual
to serve as the factfinder to investigate a complaint that has been accepted.
The LDO is responsible for ensuring that complaints are processed in a timely
manner and in accordance with the WPP.
Retaliation Complaint Officer (RCO)/Designated Factfinder is responsible for
overseeing the investigation of an accepted whistleblower retaliation
complaint. The RCO/factfinder is responsible for forwarding to the LDO within
the appropriate time limit, a final report of his/her findings and conclusions,
and for making a written request to the LDO for any time extension and reason
for extension that may be needed.
- The Final
Decision-Maker is responsible for rendering a decision after reviewing the
investigation report. When there is a finding of whistleblower retaliation, the
final decision-maker determines remedy to the complainant and the appropriate
action(s) to be taken against any employee who engaged in whistleblower
retaliation. The Chancellor has authority to function as the final
decision-maker and may delegate any of his/her duties to another UCLA official.
- UC Whistleblower Protection Policy