Whistleblowers

As employees and representatives of the NorthFork Center for Servant Leadership (NorthFork), we must practice honesty and integrity in fulfilling our responsibilities and comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

In keeping with the policy of maintaining the highest standards of conduct and ethics, NorthFork Center for Servant Leadership will investigate any suspected fraudulent or dishonest use or misuse of NorthFork’s resources or property by staff, board members, consultants, or volunteers.

Staff, board members, consultants, and volunteers are encouraged to report suspected fraudulent or dishonest conduct (i.e., to act as “whistleblower”), pursuant to the procedures set forth below.

Reporting

A person’s concerns about possible fraudulent or dishonest use or misuse of resources or property should be reported to his or her supervisor or, if suspected by a volunteer, to the staff member supporting the volunteer’s work. If, for any reason, a person finds it difficult to report his or her concerns to a supervisor or staff member supporting the volunteer’s work, the person may report the concerns directly to the chief executive. Alternately, to facilitate reporting of suspected violations where the reporter wishes to remain anonymous, a written statement may be submitted to one of the individuals listed above.

No Retaliation

No director, officer, staff, or volunteer who in good faith reports suspected fraudulent or dishonest conduct shall suffer harassment, retaliation, or adverse employment consequence. This Whistleblower Policy is intended to encourage and enable employees and others to raise serious concerns within the organization prior to seeking resolution outside the organization.

Confidentiality

Violations or suspected violations may be submitted on a confidential basis by the complainant or may be submitted anonymously. Reports of violations or suspected violations will be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation.

Definitions

Baseless Allegations ~ Allegations made with reckless disregard for their truth or falsity. Individuals making such allegations may be subject to disciplinary action by NorthFork Center for Servant Leadership, and/or legal claims by individuals accused of such conduct.

Fraudulent or Dishonest Conduct ~ A deliberate act or failure to act with the intention of obtaining an unauthorized benefit. Examples of such conduct include
• Forgery or alteration of documents
• Unauthorized alteration or manipulation of computer files
• Fraudulent financial reporting
• Pursuit of a benefit or advantage in violation of NorthFork Center for Servant Leadership’s Conflict of Interest Policy
• Misappropriation or misuse of NorthFork Center for Servant Leadership resources, such as funds, supplies, or other assets
• Authorizing or receiving compensation for goods not received or services not performed
• Authorizing or receiving compensation for hours not worked

Whistleblower ~ An employee, consultant, or volunteer who informs a supervisor or the chief executive about an activity relating to NorthFork Center for Servant Leadership which that person believes to be fraudulent or dishonest.

Rights and Responsibilities

Reasonable care should be taken in dealing with suspected misconduct to avoid
• Baseless allegations
• Premature notice to persons suspected of misconduct and/or disclosure of suspected misconduct to others not involved with the investigation
• Violations of a person’s rights under law

Investigation

All relevant matters, including suspected but unproved matters, will be reviewed and analyzed, with documentation of the receipt, retention, investigation, and treatment of the complaint. Appropriate corrective action will be taken, if necessary, and findings will be communicated to the reporting person and his or her supervisor. Investigations may warrant investigation by independent persons such as auditors and/or attorneys.

Whistleblower Protection

NorthFork Center for Servant Leadership will protect whistleblowers as defined below:
• NorthFork Center for Servant Leadership will use its best efforts to protect whistleblowers against retaliation. Whistleblowing complaints will be handled with sensitivity, discretion, and confidentiality to the extent allowed by the circumstances and the law. Generally, this means that whistleblower complaints will only be shared with those who have a need to know so that NorthFork Center for Servant Leadership can conduct an effective investigation, determine what action to take based on the results of any such investigation, and in appropriate cases, with law enforcement personnel. (Should disciplinary or legal action be taken against a person or persons as a result of a whistleblower complaint, such persons may also have the right to know the identity of the whistleblower.)
• Staff, consultants, and volunteers of NorthFork Center for Servant Leadership may not retaliate against a whistleblower for informing management about an activity which that person believes to be fraudulent or dishonest with the intent or effect of adversely affecting the terms or conditions of the whistleblower’s employment, including but not limited to, threats of physical harm, loss of job, punitive work assignments, or impact on salary or fees. Whistleblowers who believe that they have been retaliated against may file a written complaint with the chief executive. Any complaint of retaliation will be promptly investigated and appropriate corrective measures taken if allegations of retaliation are substantiated. This protection from retaliation is not intended to prohibit supervisors from taking action, including disciplinary action, in the usual scope of their duties and based on valid performance-related factors.
• Whistleblowers must be cautious to avoid baseless allegations (as described earlier in the definitions section of this policy).

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