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The purpose of this policy is to outline Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center's (Fred Hutch) commitment to ethical conduct and open communication at all levels of operation, and the process and procedure to report any feedback or concerns that may violate such commitment.


Staff - Fred Hutch employee, non-employee, affiliate, volunteer, or any other member of the Fred Hutch community that may observe, experience, or in any way be involved in the topics or concerns outlined below.


Fred Hutch values open, honest, and respectful communication between management and staff. Effective communication is crucial for achieving our individual and collective mission. Management’s door is always open. We want you to feel comfortable sharing your feedback and concerns with us at all times.

Fred Hutch leadership also recognizes that many of the best ideas for enhancing operations come from our Workforce Members. We encourage Workforce Members to submit ideas and suggestions in that regard.

Your direct supervisor or your HR Business Partner are always available for discussing concerns. Fred Hutch has a variety of other avenues for bringing forward your feedback and concerns as well.

Workforce Members who report their feedback and concerns in good faith under this Policy are protected from retaliation. Please see the section Retaliation is Not Permitted below.

Types of Feedback and Concerns

Types of feedback and concerns that may be reported under this Policy include:

  • Disrespectful or Inappropriate Behavior: Workplace Respect is a core value at Fred Hutch. Please report any experiences or observations about disrespectful or inappropriate behavior in our workplace.
  • Harassment and Other Discrimination: Our Harassment and Other Discrimination Policy is clear: it won’t be tolerated. If you have experienced, witnessed, or learned of disrespectful or inappropriate behavior based on a Workforce Member’s membership in a protected class, please report it immediately.
  • Business Conduct and Compliance: Appropriate Business Conduct and Compliance are core values at Fred Hutch. Please report any concerns of unlawful or unethical business behavior, including concerns related to Conflicts of Interest, Research Integrity, Compliance, Privacy, and Ethical Conduct. See also the Compliance Program Statement of Ethical Conduct.
  • Policy Violations: Please report concerns about violations of Fred Hutch policies, including COVID-safety concerns.
  • Policy Suggestions or General Suggestions: For suggested wording changes to existing policies, for suggested new policies, or for suggestions generally, please contact the current policy's owner, your HR Business Partner, and/or Fred Hutch's Policies and Practice manager.
  • For issues involving Scientific Staff (Faculty, Staff Scientists, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students), including authorship or concerns during postdoctoral fellowships, please contact the Fred Hutch Scientific Ombuds.

Reporting Options

As previously stated, your supervisor or HR Business Partner will often be the best person to help you resolve your concern. If you choose for whatever reason not to report your concern to them, there are a variety of other options available to you for reporting feedback or concerns. You should choose whichever reporting option you are most comfortable using:

  • Your manager, your PI, or anyone else at a manager level or above at Fred Hutch; OR
  • An HR Business Partner; OR
  • The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; OR
  • Use the Fred Hutch Hotline, either online or via telephone, which includes options for anonymous reporting; OR
  • An attorney in the Office of General Counsel; OR
  • The Ethics and Compliance Office.

Formal Review Procedure

If your particular concern does not seem to fit into one of the Types of Feedback and Concerns, above, or if you have followed one of the processes above and the concern has not been addressed to your satisfaction, you may use the Formal Review Procedure. The Formal Review Procedure allows you to submit your concern directly to the Vice President, Human Resources, who will work with appropriate leaders to resolve your concern.

Note: The Formal Review Procedure is not a grievance procedure. In other words, it is not an entitlement to appeal individual employment events such as disciplinary actions or involuntary terminations. Use of the Formal Review Procedure will not prevent, limit, or delay any such event, or enforcement of a policy.


  • Email a written request for Formal Review directly to the VP, HR. The request should fully define the concern and describe previous efforts the Workforce Member has taken to resolve the matter. The Workforce Member must submit the request within 10 business days after the event about which the Workforce Member is complaining or, in the case of an unresolved concern, 10 business days following the most recent action on the concern. The VP, HR has sole discretion to determine whether exceptional circumstances warrant an extension of these time limits.
  • The VP, HR will first determine in their sole discretion whether the matter is appropriate for Formal Review and so notify the Workforce Member. If the VP, HR determines the matter is not appropriate for Formal Review, they will explain their reasoning to the Workforce Member in writing, referring the Workforce Member to a different resolution procedure or closing the matter, as appropriate. The decision of the VP, HR that a matter is not appropriate for Formal Review is final.
  • If the VP, HR determines the request is appropriate for Formal Review, they or their delegee will meet with the Workforce Member to discuss the concern. The VP, HR or their delegee will also engage a senior leader in the Workforce Member’s division or department and, when appropriate, from other departments – such as the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion – to participate in addressing and resolving the concern.
  • Upon resolution of the concern, the VP, HR will provide a written conclusion to the Workforce Member. This conclusion will be deemed final.
  • The VP, HR or their designee may terminate the Formal Review process at any time if they determine in their sole discretion that it is no longer applicable or is not being pursued appropriately and in good faith.

Retaliation is Not Permitted

Fred Hutch does not permit retaliation against Workforce Members who in good faith:

  • Report possible misconduct;
  • Raise a concern under this Policy;
  • Participate in an investigation;
  • Submit a good faith request for Formal Review under this Policy; or
  • Engage in any other legally protected activity.

Anyone who retaliates in violation of this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

If you feel as though you have been retaliated against in violation of this Policy, please immediately report it using one of the Reporting Options described above.


Fred Hutch Policies, read together or individually, do not constitute a contract of employment. Please see the Policy on Policies for more details.



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