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Whistleblower Reporting/ Anti-Retaliation Policy

Approved April 2024

It is the policy of the Moweaqua Public Library District (MPLD) to act in accordance with Illinois Public Act 101-652 generally, and specifically Section 4.1 of the Public Officers Prohibited Activities Act.

It is the policy of the MPLD to prohibit any official from retaliating against any employee who

  • reports an improper governmental action

  • cooperates in an investigation related to a report of an improper governmental action

  • testifies in a proceeding or prosecution of an improper governmental action.

 

An improper governmental action is defined as any action by an MPLD employee or trustee that is undertaken in violation of federal, state, or local government law or rule; is an abuse of authority; violates the public’s trust or expectation of his or her conduct; is of substantial and specific danger to the public’s health or safety; or is a gross waste of public funds.

 

This does not include MPLD personnel actions, including, but not limited to employee grievances, complaints, appointments, promotions, transfers, assignments, reassignments, reinstatements, restorations, reemployment, performance evaluations, reductions in pay, dismissals, suspensions, demotions, reprimands, or violations of collective bargaining agreements, except to the extent that such actions amount to retaliation. Retaliation, in this context means retaliatory action that results from an employee’s protected activity of reporting improper governmental action, cooperating in the investigation, proceeding or prosecution of a reported improper governmental action.

 

Copies of this policy will be provided to every MPLD employee upon hire and posted on the MPLD website.

 

Designation of Auditing Official

The MPLD designates the president of the Board of Trustees to serve as the MPLD auditing official, with the duties and responsibilities set forth in 50 ILCS 105/4.1.

Procedures for Reporting & Investigating Reports of Improper Governmental Action

A. Reporting an “Improper Governmental Action” or Retaliation.

  • If a library employee believes that they have witnessed an improper governmental action, as defined in the policy above, the employee must submit a written report of the improper governmental action to the auditing official.

  • If a library employee believes that they have been retaliated against for reporting improper governmental action, or cooperating in the investigation, or procedure involving an improper governmental action, the library employee must report such alleged retaliation to the auditing official within sixty (60) days of the retaliatory action taking place.

  • The auditing official may transfer the complaint to another auditing official, including the states attorney, if they determine that it is appropriate.

  • If the auditing official is also the subject of the complaint, the complainant may file the complaint with any states attorney. Another member (not the president) of the MPLD Board of Trustees must also be notified.

 

B. Investigation of Complaint.

  • The auditing official will keep the identity of the complainant confidential to the extent allowed by law. The complainant may waive confidentiality in writing on a form presented to the auditing official.

  • The auditing official shall investigate the complaint promptly and thoroughly and conclude whether the evidence gathered through such investigation warrants merit of a finding that either an improper governmental action, or retaliation for filing such a complaint or complying with such investigation occurred or did not occur.

  • The investigation by the auditing official may include

    • interviews of the complainant and witnesses

    • interviews of governmental officials who may have knowledge about the complaint or may be the subject of the complaint

    • inspection of documentation (in written, printed, or electronic format) relevant to the complaint

    • take any other appropriate measures to ensure that the complaint has been thoroughly investigated

    • make a determination whether the complaint has merit.

 

C. Determination and Remedial Action If Necessary.

  • If the auditing official determines that the complaint has no merit, they can dismiss the complaint.

  • If the auditing official determines that the complaint has merit, they may take remedial action on behalf of the complainant, including reinstatement, reimbursement for lost wages or expenses, promotion, or other remedial action that the auditing official deems appropriate. the auditing official may also make their investigation findings available to the complainant’s attorney if the auditing official finds that restitution is not sufficient.

  • Any person who engages in prohibited retaliation under Section 4.1 of the Public Officers Prohibited Activities Act may also be subject to fines, appropriate employment action, civil or criminal prosecution, or any combination of these actions.

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