IS-2101 Reporting Observed, Suspected, or Apparent Misconduct (Procedure)

Human Resources

Effective Date: 08/12/14
Revision 1: 02/19/20
Review: 10/06/22

This procedure describes the steps to be taken for reporting and investigating misconduct to include the steps the College will take for any interference or retaliation as a result of reporting observed, suspected, or apparent misconduct.

This procedure applies to all employees including all faculty, staff, and student employees, as well as independent contractors and volunteers.

Nothing in this procedure limits the right of any person to seek individual remedies or otherwise proceed under any other state or federal remedy.

Reporting to CNM Authorities and Investigation of the Observed, Suspected, or Apparent, Misconduct

Employees who are aware of or have a good faith reason to suspect misconduct is occurring, or has occurred, should select one of the following reporting methods that he or she is most comfortable with and most appropriate to the situation.  Reporting can be either oral or in writing:

  • Report the conduct to your supervisor unless there is reason to believe the supervisor may be involved in the misconduct.
  • Report the conduct to the Human Resources (HR) Department in person at the HR Department or by calling Human Resources at 224-4600. 
  • Calls may be anonymous. CNM understands a person’s desire to remain anonymous; however, anonymous reporting may limit an employee's protection from retaliation and CNM’s ability to conduct a full investigation.

CNM employees and officials shall promptly notify the Internal Audit Department of instances of theft or other disappearance of cash, checks, or property, of misfeasance or nonfeasance, defalcations, security breaches, and non-compliance with laws and regulations of which they are aware.  Individuals making such reports will identify themselves and the Internal Audit Department shall assure the confidentiality of the individual to the fullest extent of the law.

Reports of suspected misconduct should include the following information:

  • Name of employee filing the report.
  • Contact information to identify how the reporting employee prefers to be contacted.
  • A detailed description of the suspected misconduct. This should include the name(s) and department(s) of all those believed to be involved.
  • Dates or range of dates of suspected misconduct.
  • Any supporting evidence or material that may be available to the reporting employee.

The employee reporting the misconduct should feel free to contact Human Resources concerning the investigation and should provide any new information that becomes available.  At no time shall the reporting employee investigate suspected misconduct.

Investigation of Observed, Suspected, or Apparent, Misconduct

Human Resources will review and evaluate reports of observed, suspected, or apparent misconduct to determine if the report should be reviewed and/or investigated internally or externally.  Human Resources may enlist investigation assistance from another CNM Department or external resources where appropriate.  A joint investigation may be conducted when more than one (1) area is involved.  The timeliness of any investigation shall depend on the type and complexity of the report, the observed act, whether suspected or apparent, and the type of investigation required.

When the investigation is complete, a confidential report of the investigation will be sent for appropriate action to the Executive Team member responsible for the department where the investigation was conducted or to the President for departments that report to the President.  If the investigation is conducted by any of the CNM Departments, the report will be filed in accordance with their requirements/mandates.  The responsible CNM Department will notify the complainant when an investigation is complete.  If illegal activity appears to have occurred, the findings will be reported to the appropriate audit and law enforcement agencies.

Interference With or Retaliation for Reporting Suspected Misconduct

Employees reporting suspected interference with or suspected retaliation for reporting suspected misconduct may file a report with Human Resources. An employee may file a retaliation complaint only if he or she has previously reported suspected misconduct.

Some examples of retaliation include:

  • Giving false negative performance evaluations to the reporting employee.
  • Reprimanding the reporting employee without legitimate justification.
  • Creating a hostile work environment for the reporting employee.

Human Resources will review and evaluate reports of suspected interference with, or suspected retaliation against an employee for reporting suspected misconduct to decide if an investigation is necessary.

Records Retention – Outcome of the Investigation

After completion of a case, if there are no findings of observed suspected, apparent misconduct, or apparent retaliation, Human Resources will seal the file and keep it for one (1) year, separate from the employee’s personnel file. 

Disciplinary Action

Any disciplinary action taken as the result of an investigation will be implemented in accordance with the personnel policies contained in CNM’s Governing Board Handbook, the CNM Employee Handbook, The Source, and the collective bargaining agreements, as appropriate.



Reference Materials:

4.05 Reporting Observed, Suspected, or Apparent Misconduct