April 28, 2021
New Staff Ombudsperson Joins OHR Team
The Office of Human Resources is pleased to introduce Jennifer Pablonis as the new staff ombudsperson. She comes to CMU from BNY Mellon with over 20 years of experience in Compliance and Ethics. At BNY Mellon Jen managed the company’s Hotline, a confidential place to ask questions or report concerns regarding conduct that is, or appears to be, inconsistent with the company’s Code of Conduct. She started her new role at the end of March and is looking forward to providing support and resources to all employees across all locations when conflicts and disputes arise on the job. In addition to her ombudsperson duties, Jen will be fundamental in helping provide leadership and support to the establishment of the Employee Resource Groups at CMU.
What does an ombudsperson do? Although an ombudsperson does not have direct authority to rule over disputes, they do serve as a neutral representative that can provide information, options, and guidance to overcome workplace problems and challenges. Jen describes her role as the ombudsperson as being “neither an advocate for any individual nor the organization, but rather, an advocate for fairness.” The ombudsperson also serves as a confidential contact for employees to report concerns in instances where they are uncomfortable reporting them through their traditional chain of command or for other ethical concerns. The ombudsperson has the responsibility of documenting and reporting concerns to the appropriate university officials. Individuals should also be reminded that CMU has an Ethics and Reporting Hotline available to anonymously report concerns, as well as a Policy Against Retaliation.