Anti-Retaliation, Confidentiality, and Anonymity


University employees should work without fear or threat of retaliation if they, in good faith (i.e. holding a genuine belief in the truth of one’s allegations) and based on a reasonable belief that improper conduct has occurred, make complaints of improper conduct to University management or in accordance with the Respect@UVA complaint procedure, or if they assist or participate in the complaint process.

  • You may be experiencing retaliation if you oppose workplace misconduct (i.e. you make a formal complaint) and, as a direct result, your employment is penalized or materially altered
  • Even if your complaint is found to be without merit, retaliation can still exist
  • Retaliation against employees making complaints of mistreatment or abuse can damage employee engagement and commitment and seriously undermine the ethical culture of the University
  • Managers with complaints filed against them should never react in anger to such allegations or behave in any way that could be considered retaliatory

Examples of retaliation

  • employment actions such as termination and denial of promotion
  • unfounded civil or criminal charges that are likely to deter reasonable people from pursuing their rights
  • other actions affecting employment, such as threats, unjustified negative evaluations, or increased surveillance
  • actions designed to interfere with the individual’s prospects for employment, such as giving an unjustified negative job reference, refusing to provide a job reference, or informing an individual’s prospective employer about the individual’s protected activity

UVA takes allegations of retaliation seriously. Immediately report allegations of retaliation to Human Resources Consulting Services (HRCS) at 434.982.0123 or through the Respect@UVA Complaint System


Complaints of disrespect, bullying, or other abuse or mistreatment are handled with discretion by University management, University Human Resources (UHR), Faculty and Employee Assistance Program (FEAP), Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights (EOCR), and other relevant administrative offices.

Depending on the nature of the complaint, complete confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. Sensitive information will only be shared to the extent that it is necessary.

Anonymous Complaints

The University cannot typically conduct investigations based on anonymous complaints because there is not enough information to proceed. It is difficult to fully and fairly investigate a complaint, identify witnesses, and follow up with questions when the complainant is not known.

  • The University is committed to safeguarding from retaliation or reprisal all employees willing to come forward
  • If you are reluctant to file a complaint for reasons of personal security, you may make anonymous complaints
    • Use the employee complaint system to print out a paper complaint
    • Report such incidences to supervisors by mail or other method that does not identify you to the recipient of the complaint
    • Anonymous complaints will be logged and accumulated with all other complaints for reporting purposes and to identify trends that may develop over time