To: The Pomona College Community
As you may have heard, the College yesterday asked a number of employees to meet with Human Resources regarding their personnel records. While I regret that confidential matters relating to personnel issues have become public, I think it is important to give the community a general overview of the situation to avoid misinformation.
Earlier this year, a complaint was made to the leadership of the College Board of Trustees accusing the administration of having a policy of not obtaining proper documentation from the College’s employees at the time of hire and alleging that no such verification of employees’ legal authorization to work was ever undertaken.
Given the serious nature of these allegations, the Board was obligated to investigate, and Board leaders engaged outside compliance experts to conduct an investigation. Because the allegations claimed this was a long-standing situation, the records of all Pomona College employees were reviewed to determine whether the College documentation process was effective and whether it had been followed. The College administration was not involved in conducting the investigation, other than to make information available as requested and to answer questions.
When the investigation was completed, the Board leadership concluded that the College’s procedures to verify and document the legal work-authorization of employees when hired are in compliance with the law and that there was no support for the allegations against the administration or the College.
However, some deficiencies were discovered in the documentation of some employees—among faculty, staff and part-time employees. The law requires that the College follow up with all such employees to re-verify their legal work status.
The 84 affected employees were notified by Human Resources and asked to schedule confidential one-on-one meetings to discuss the issue with their individual file. We are hopeful that these issues will be resolved, and we are working to do so as expeditiously as possible. In fact, some of these cases have already been resolved.
As we work toward a final resolution on this issue, I hope that everyone will remember that these are private personnel issues. In a community such as ours, where we place a high value on civil discourse and mutual respect, I call on everyone to reaffirm our fundamental principles of fairness and respect for the privacy of every individual.