Any employee who observes what they believe to be serious wrongful conduct has the right and duty to report it, acting as whistleblower, without the fear of retaliation.
Definition of Whistleblower: A whistleblower, as defined by this policy, is an employee of Casa de Esperanza who reports an activity that he/she considers to be illegal, unethical, or dishonest. The whistleblower is not responsible for investigating the activity or for determining fault or corrective measures; appropriate individuals within the organization are charged with these responsibilities.
Definition of Wrongful Conduct: Wrongful conduct includes serious improprieties that potentially impact the integrity and effective operation of Casa de Esperanza. Examples of wrongful conduct include, but are not limited to: Violations of federal, state, or municipal law; financial impropriety; or violation of the Casa de Esperanza Code of Ethics.
Reporting Wrongful Conduct: An employee who observes something he/she believes to be wrongful conduct is responsible to report it to the Human Resources Manager, CEO, or Board President. If the wrongful conduct implicates the Human Resources Manager, it should be reported to the CEO. If the wrongful conduct implicates the CEO, it should be reported to the Board President. The report should outline specific incident(s) with dates and names of individual(s) involved.
Good Faith: Acting in good faith means that the employee reporting the alleged wrongdoing has reasonable grounds for believing that what was witnessed, observed, or learned indicates wrongful conduct. The employee must exercise sound judgment to avoid baseless allegations. Any allegations which prove to have been made maliciously or knowingly to be false will be viewed as a serious offense that could result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
No Retaliation: An employee who in good faith reports wrongful conduct will not suffer retaliation. Retaliation is an adverse action (such as termination, discipline, refusal to hire or promote) by an employer against an employee who exercised their rights under this policy. Retaliation is not a feeling of discomfort or awkwardness on the part of the employee after the employee has exercised their rights. Any other employee who retaliates against an employee for reporting suspected wrongful conduct in good faith is subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment. An employee who feels that they have been subject to retaliation is to report the specific retaliation in writing to the same individual the initial report was made to (Human Resources Manager, CEO, or Board President).
The right of the employee reporting suspected wrongful conduct does not include immunity for any personal wrongdoing that is alleged and investigated.
If an investigation is conducted and a determination is made that there was no wrongful conduct, there can be no retaliation against the cleared employee.
Confidentiality: Reports of suspected wrongful conduct will be kept confidential, except to the extent necessary to conduct a complete and fair investigation; to comply with the law; and to provide accused individuals their legal rights of defense.
Handling of Reported Wrongful Conduct: The individual who received the report of suspected wrongful conduct (Human Resources Manager, CEO, or Board President) will acknowledge receipt of the employee’s report within five business days. All reports will be promptly investigated. Appropriate corrective action will be taken if warranted by the investigation.
The employee who made the report will be informed when the investigation has concluded. However, the extent to which the contents of the findings are shared will depend upon the circumstances and what information Casa de Esperanza is legally allowed to share.
The employee accused of wrongful conduct may have the right to a full or redacted copy of the report depending upon the circumstances and what information Casa de Esperanza is legally allowed to share.