PEMAC Ethics Reporting and Whistleblower Protection Policy
PEMAC takes all allegations of misconduct and policy violations seriously and seeks to address any misconduct in an expedient manner. PEMAC requires directors, officers, employees, and members to observe high standards of business and personal ethics in the conduct of their duties and responsibilities. As employees and representatives of the PEMAC, we must practice honesty and integrity in fulfilling our responsibilities and comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
This Whistleblower Policy is intended to encourage and enable employees, member and others to raise serious concerns internally so that PEMAC can address and correct inappropriate conduct and actions. It is the responsibility of all board members, officers, employees, members, and volunteers to report concerns about violations of PEMAC’s code of ethics or suspected violations of law or regulations that govern PEMAC’s operations.
It is contrary to the values of PEMAC for anyone to retaliate against any board member, officer, employee, member, or volunteer who in good faith reports an ethics violation, or a suspected violation of law, such as a complaint of discrimination, or suspected fraud, or suspected violation of any regulation governing the operations of PEMAC. An employee who retaliates against someone who has reported a violation in good faith is subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment or cancelation of membership.
PEMAC has an open-door policy and suggests that employees and volunteers share their questions, concerns, suggestions or complaints with their supervisor. If you are not comfortable speaking with your supervisor or you are not satisfied with your supervisor’s response, you are encouraged to go through the reporting process given below.
Reporting a Potential Violation
PEMAC expects employees, volunteers and members to report suspected policy or legal violations through any one of the various channels available including the following:
- For staff: Your direct supervisor
- For volunteers: The Volunteer Engagement Specialist
- PEMAC’s Executive Director or another PEMAC staff member: https://www.pemac.org/people/staff
- Any member of PEMAC’s Executive Team: https://www.pemac.org/people/bod/board-exec
- The Chair of PEMAC’s Audit Committee email@example.com
PEMAC will appropriately investigate all claims of misconduct or wrongdoing brought to its attention, regardless of the reporting channel, and will take appropriate steps to investigate and address policy violations. The Chair of the Audit Committee has the responsibility for investigating all complaints. Complaints should be writing and sent to any of the channels listed above or directly to the Chair of the Audit Committee.
All complaints are expected to be made in good faith. Deliberately making false complaints may be considered a violation of this Policy and may result in disciplinary action.
Supervisors and executives are required to report complaints or concerns about suspected ethical and legal violations in writing to the Chair of the Audit Committee upon receiving them.
Reporting Issues or Concerns
- Any report made, whether anonymous or not, should include as much detail as possible to allow PEMAC to investigate the matter appropriately. Important details may include, for example, the names of the people involved in or witnesses to the incident(s), the dates, and times of the incident(s) (approximate or exact), where the incident(s) occurred and why the person believes the incident(s) should be reported. Insufficient detail may result in an inability to address the matter appropriately.
- Cooperation – all staff, volunteers, members, and others are required to fully cooperate with designated investigators and provide truthful information.
- Confidentiality - PEMAC will make every effort to protect the identity of anyone making a report in good faith. Such information will only be shared on a need-to-know basis with those individuals responsible for investigating the issue and/or other Employees tasked with resolving the concern.
- Preserving Records – staff or volunteers who have been informed or become aware of ongoing investigations for which they have potentially relevant records (for example, email, instant messages, files, notes, photographs, recordings, etc…) must retain these records and provide them to the Chair of the Audit Committee for the investigation if requested.
- The Chair of the Audit Committee has responsibility to receive and act on all ethics complaints, obtain legal counsel, where appropriate, develop the investigation framework, notify relevant parties of the facts of each complaint, and provide recommendations to the Audit & Risk Committee with respect to the investigation and disposition of complaints.
- Once a complaint has been received, it will be evaluated to determine appropriate next steps. In general, the matter will be referred to the Audit Committee to perform an initial review of the facts in order to objectively determine whether such an occurrence may have violated PEMAC policy, a law and/or regulation.
- Depending on the facts of the case the Audit & Risk Committee will determine next steps, including whether the issue warrants an investigation or not. Once next steps are determined, an investigation plan will be developed, and subject matter experts engaged for any additional investigation as needed.
- When an individual is assigned to investigate a matter, they should have no interest in the outcome of the case. Any witness who believes that an investigator in a particular matter has a conflict of interest or bias should immediately raise the issue to the investigation lead.
- PEMAC assumes that all parties are innocent of any wrongdoing until a thorough investigation is completed. When conducting an investigation, an investigator should determine, by interviewing witnesses and reviewing other relevant material.
- Once an investigation is completed and if there is a determination that a violation to a policy, law or regulation has occurred, the Chair of the Audit Committee will provide pertinent background information as to any appropriate remedy to the Audit & Risk, which will make a final decision as to whether to accept the recommendation and / or next steps taken.
- Information regarding the investigation will be shared with the Board of Directors for awareness.
Statement of Policy and Procedure
March 24, 2023
Ethics Reporting and Whistle-blower Protection Policy
|March 24, 2023|
BoD Approval Date: November 16, 2022
Next Approval Date:
|This policy is posted in the PEMAC Governance handbook as well as on the public side of the website. When changes or updates are made it must be updated in both places.|