Human Resources Investigative Guidelines
In accordance with University Administrative Policy (UAP) 2200: Whistleblower Protection and Reporting Suspected Misconduct and Retaliation, Human Resources (HR) investigates reported allegations of policy violations related to staff employment issues. A report may come in via a variety of methods, such as e-mail, phone call, walk-in, the Vice President of Human Resources Office, an HR Consultant, the Compliance Hotline, or as a referral from another office. If the complaint did not come through the Compliance Hotline, dependent on the extent of the issue(s), the complaint may be input into the EthicsPoint system, a system of record for investigations.
Determining the level of review/investigation
A report may be addressed in a number of ways:
- Anonymous with insufficient details will be closed with no investigation.
- Anonymous or non-anonymous with sufficient details may not result in a full investigation due to issues disclosed.
- Anonymous or non-anonymous with sufficient details may result in a full investigation which will lead to an investigation report being sent to the administrator who can effectuate any recommendations, as needed.
The review and investigation process
When Human Resources receives a complaint, an investigator in the Labor & Employee Relations department is assigned to review it. The investigator will determine whether a full investigation is warranted by HR, if the matter should be referred to another office for review*, or if the matter should be closed due to insufficient details.
If the matter will be investigated by HR, the Labor & Employee Relations investigator may use web resources and data both internal and external to UNM, may review documents, and in addition to interviewing the reporter (if known) may interview individuals who could potentially have knowledge about the situation. The investigator may also interview management and administrators who may have relevant knowledge about details mentioned in the complaint.
In a full investigation, the implicated person will be interviewed and it is at this time that the implicated person will be made aware of the complaint made about him/her. If a full investigation is not conducted, the implicated person may or may not be informed of the complaint against him/her.
During the interview process, information regarding what was reported will only be shared on a need to know basis. While the identity of a reporter (if known) may not be communicated to the implicated person or witnesses, please note that it may become evident who an anonymous or non-anonymous reporter is based on the nature of the allegation and questions that are asked. In addition, the name of a non-anonymous reporter or witnesses may have to be disclosed to:
- University employees assigned to investigate the matter;
- University administrators and Regents conducting an investigation or effectuating remedies;
- Law enforcement investigating the matter;
- Pursuant to subpoena or otherwise by law;
- Defend a grievance; or
- Provide due process in connection with disciplinary action against the person accused.
Upon conclusion of the interviews, an investigation report may be compiled for the administrator overseeing the area where the matter occurred. As previously stated, an investigation report may not be necessary in all cases. However, if one is created, it is also shared with the HR Consultant assigned as an advisor to the administrator’s division.
Closing an investigation
An investigation is considered closed when the report is sent to the administrator to effectuate change, when a complaint can’t be substantiated, or when an investigation can’t result in a recommendation for resolution due to insufficient details provided. If the matter was reported through the Compliance Hotline, he or she is notified of the investigation closure via a system generated email. If the complaint was not reported through the Compliance Hotline, the reporter will be notified via the contact information he/she provided.
If recommendations are made in the investigation report, the investigator will meet with the administrator that can effectuate the recommendations. Dependent on subsequent changes to the situation, the recommendations may be amended. Recommendations may include a referral to Ombuds Services for Staff or Counseling, Assistance, and Referral Services; training; strategic planning; other organizational development activities; performance improvement or disciplinary measures against those who have violated policy. The investigator will notify both the reporter and the implicated person that the investigation is closed and that appropriate action will be taken.
If findings are not substantiated, the investigator will notify both the reporter and the implicated person that the investigation is closed with no findings.
*Other offices that may conduct investigations are, but not limited to: Internal Audit and Office of Equal Opportunity.
Typical steps in a full investigation
These steps are just an example. Depending on the complaint and amount of details provided, some investigations may not follow this order or include each of these steps.
||Investigator interviews reporter.
||Investigator interviews witnesses named by reporter.
||Investigator informs implicated person of complaint and interviews implicated person.
||Investigator interviews witnesses named by implicated person.
||If findings are substantiated, recommendations are provided to the appropriate administrator and HR Consultant.
||If findings are not substantiated, both the reporter and the implicated person will be notified that the investigation is closed with no findings.
||Report of issue closed and conclusion documented.
Who to contact to report a policy violation or issue
File a report online using Compliance Hotline.
Receive email notifications regarding the progress of your investigation.
Contact your HR Consultant.
Each organization of staff employees that make up the University has a dedicated HR Consultant. Your HR Consultant will conduct a preliminary intake of your matter and get you set up with the Labor and Employee Relations office if an in-depth investigation is advised to take place.
If the matter appears criminal in nature or involves violence, report the matter to the UNM Police department immediately. In an emergency, always call 911.
If the matter involves a potential Title IX violation, depending on the urgency, you may submit the matter via Compliance Hotline or you may contact the Office of Equal Opportunity.