Policy Manual

Retaliation Policy

Policy Statement

The University prohibits retaliation against any person for bringing forth a good-faith complaint a violation of law or policy against the university, or for assisting another in bringing a complaint.


The following definitions apply to the terms as used in this Policy:


Individual who is reported to have been the subject of the retaliatory action.

Bad Faith

Knowingly false, or with malicious intent, files a complaint of retaliation against an employee or student.

Good Faith

Subjective sincere belief that one is being retaliated against an employee or student.


Individual reporting an instance of retaliatory action.  The reporter may or may not be the complainant.


Retaliation is an adverse or negative action taken against an employee or student who complains about alleged unlawful practices, violations of policy, participates in a court or administrative investigation, hearing, or litigation relating to Georgia College conduct by filing a charge or acting as a witness. Employees or students closely related to or associated with any person who engaged in this conduct are also protected from retaliation.



Good Faith

Bad Faith

Reason for the Policy

The University has an interest in encouraging the reporting of wrongdoing, and members of the community must be free from fear of retaliation to support that interest.  In addition, the University has a responsibility to protect its employees from retaliation. 

Proposed Outcome

This policy aims to promote a consistent approach to the addressing and reporting retaliation within the University.  The University encourages its faculty, staff, and students to make good faith disclosures of university-related misconduct. The commitment to improve the quality of the University through such disclosures is vital to the well-being of the entire campus community.  Retaliation as a response to such disclosure will not be tolerated. Retaliation, whether actual or threatened, destroys a sense of community and trust that is central to a quality environment.  The University, therefore, wishes to make clear that it considers acts or threats of retaliation in response to such disclosures to constitute a serious violation of university policy.  It is the policy of the University that positive employee relations and morale can best be achieved and maintained in an environment that promotes ongoing open communication between administration, staff and faculty, and students, including open and candid discussions of problems and concerns. The University encourages its staff, faculty, and students to express their issues, concerns, or opinions without fear of retaliation or reprisal.

Applicability of the Policy

This Policy applies to all members of the Georgia College community, including but not limited to faculty, staff, students, volunteers, visitors, vendors, and invited guests, as well as the general public.

Related Policies

Georgia College Complaint and Investigation Policy

Georgia College Progressive Discipline Guide

Georgia College Non-Discrimination and Harassment Policy

University System of Georgia Standards for Institutional Student Investigation and Disciplinary Proceedings

University System of Georgia Protection against Retaliation Policy

University of System Georgia Ethics Policy


If any employee or student believes they have been retaliated against because of a protected activity, contact the Office of Human Resources or Office of Legal Affairs, their supervisor or manager in person or by phone.  If a report is made to the supervisor, the supervisor will forward the information immediate to the Office of Human Resources or the Office of Legal Affairs. 

    1. A complaint of retaliation may be included along with an original investigation complaint or filed as an additional complaint at a later time by the original complainant or another employee or student.

    2. Complaints for retaliation will be investigated according to the University investigation procedures.

    3. The university will treat retaliation as a separate incident separate to appropriate discipline/corrective action, from written warning to termination/dismissal.  

    4. To encourage and protect whistleblowers, it is University policy that no reference to the good faith disclosure of university-related   misconduct   shall be made in personnel   files, letters of recommendation, performance appraisals, or any other permanent evaluative documents without the concurrence of the whistleblower.

    5. Intentionally false allegations will not be tolerated. A person will be held accountable for making intentionally false claims of prohibited discrimination or harassment.   Irrespective  of the origin or intent of the allegations,  in the event  the original  discrimination  allegations  are not substantiated, the  university  in consultation  with the accused  shall  take  all  reasonable  steps  within  the  control  of  the  university  to  restore  the  reputation  of  the accused  to the extent  that it was damaged  by the investigation and  proceedings, for example,  expunging  all references to the allegations in the personnel records of the accused.


Creation Date:  April 2018

Revision Date: N/A

Last Reviewed Date: April 2018

Next Review Date: March 2020

Responsible Department:  Office of Legal Affairs

Cabinet Approval Date: July 2018

Effective Date: July 2018