- Retaliation is an act or attempted act taken to intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against an individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by law or University policy, or an adverse action taken because someone exercised his or her rights under law or University policy. Such rights include, but are not limited to, filing or making a complaint, making a good-faith report about unethical or suspected unethical behavior, or participating in (or refusing to participate in) a hearing. The University prohibits retaliation against any individual who engages in any activity protected by law or University policy, and prohibits attempts to interfere with the rights and privileges secured by law or university policy. The following examples do not constitute retaliation:
- The exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment
- A good faith complaint against an individual alleging the individual made a knowingly false allegation of discrimination, harassment, or unethical behavior
- Retaliation is a violation of the Code regardless of whether the underlying allegation of discrimination, harassment, or unethical behavior is ultimately found to have merit. A determination that the evidence does not support the allegation of discrimination or harassment, alone, is not sufficient to conclude that any party made a knowingly false allegation.
- Employees are protected from retaliatory discharge if in good faith they report or attempt to report illegal activities or if they refuse to participate in illegal activities. For purposes of the Code, illegal activities are violations of the civil or criminal code of Tennessee or the United States or any regulation intended to protect the public health, safety, or welfare. Employees are also protected from other forms of retaliation for reporting or seeking guidance regarding potential or actual criminal conduct.
Key Policies, Statements, and Guidelines
- University of Tennessee System Compliance Hotline
- University of Tennessee System Policy HR0585 Mandatory Reporting
UT System Employee and Organizational Development Training
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