The Boys & Girls Club of Syracuse (the “Club”) is deeply committed to protecting and preserving the health and well-being of the children whom the Club serves and the staff and volunteers who provide services to these children. The Club is similarly committed to protecting and preserving the physical and financial assets and resources which allow the Club to provide these services. The Club, therefore, requires its Directors, officers, employees, consultants and volunteers, to observe high standards of business and personal ethics in the performance of their duties on the Club’s behalf. As employees and representatives of the Club, we are all expected to practice honesty and integrity in fulfilling our responsibilities and are required to comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and Club policies.
The objective of this Whistleblower Policy is to encourage and enable Club employees and anyone else with knowledge of the Club’s operations to raise in good faith, concerns, without fear of intimidation, harassment, discrimination, or retaliation, regarding violations of any Club policy as well as suspected unethical, fraudulent, and/or illegal action, conduct, or practices, on a confidential and, if desired, anonymous basis so that the Club can address and correct inappropriate conduct and actions.
It is the responsibility of all employees and individuals with knowledge of the Club’s operations to report in good faith any concerns they may have regarding actual or suspected activities which may be unethical, fraudulent, illegal and/or in violation of the Club’s policies with respect to, without limitation, fraud, theft, embezzlement, accounting or auditing irregularities, bribery, kickbacks, and misuse of the Club’s assets, as well as any violations or suspected violations of high business and personal ethical standards, as such standards relate to the Club (each, a “Concern” and collectively, “Concerns”), in accordance with this Whistleblower Policy.¹
No one who reports a Concern in good faith shall suffer intimidation, harassment, retaliation, discrimination, or adverse employment or other consequences because of such report. Any employee of the Club who retaliates against someone who has reported a Concern in good faith will be subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment. Notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary, this Whistleblower Policy is not an employment contract and does not modify the employment relationship between the Club and its employees, nor does it change the fact that employees of the Club are employees at will. Nothing contained in this Whistleblower Policy is intended to provide a person who raises a Concern with any additional rights or causes of action, other than those provided by law.
Any Concerns should be reported as soon as shall be practicable to the current Chair of the Club’s Board of Directors (the “Compliance Officer”). Any questions with regard to the scope, interpretation, or operation of this Whistleblower Policy should also be directed to the Compliance Officer.
The Compliance Officer is responsible for investigating or designating someone else to investigate all reported Concerns. The Compliance Officer shall advise the Audit Committee and/or the Executive Committee, if the Compliance Officer deems it appropriate to do so, of all reported Concerns. The Compliance Officer shall report to the full Board of Directors at each regularly scheduled board meeting on compliance activity.
Accounting and Auditing Matters
The Audit Committee of the Board of Directors shall normally address all reported Concerns regarding corporate accounting practices, internal controls, or auditing (“Accounting Concerns”). The Compliance Officer shall immediately notify the Audit Committee of any reported Accounting Concern and shall work with the Committee until its resolution. Promptly upon receipt of notice from the Compliance Officer, the Audit Committee shall evaluate whether a Concern constitutes an Accounting Concern and, if so, shall promptly determine what professional assistance, if any, it needs in order to conduct an investigation. The Audit Committee will be free, in its sole discretion, to engage outside auditors, counsel, or other experts to assist in the investigation and in the analysis of results.
The Compliance Officer may delegate the responsibility to investigate a reported Concern, whether an Accounting Concern or otherwise, to one (1) or more employees or representatives of the Club; provided, that the Compliance Officer may not delegate such responsibility to an employee or representative of the Club who is the subject of the reported Concern or in a manner that would compromise either the identity of an employee who reported the Concern anonymously or the confidentiality of the complaint or resulting investigation. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, the scope, manner, and parameters of any investigation of a reported Concern shall be determined by the Audit Committee (or by the Executive Committee if the Compliance Officer designates it to investigate a Concern) in its sole discretion, and the Club and its Directors, officers, and employees shall cooperate as necessary in connection with any such investigation.
Acting in Good Faith
Anyone reporting a Concern must act in good faith and have reasonable grounds for believing that the information disclosed may indicate a violation of law, Club policy, and/or ethical standards. Any allegations that prove to have been made maliciously or knowingly to be false will be viewed as a serious disciplinary offense.
The Club takes seriously its responsibility to enforce this Whistleblower Policy and therefore encourages any person reporting a Concern to identify himself or herself so as to facilitate any resulting investigation. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in reporting a Concern, a person may request that such report be treated in a confidential manner (including that the Club take reasonable steps to ensure that the identity of the reporting person remains anonymous). Concerns may also be reported on an anonymous basis. Reports of Concerns will be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation.
Handling of Reported Concerns
The Compliance Officer will acknowledge receipt of each reported Concern within five (5) business days, so long as the reporting person’s identity is disclosed or a return address is provided. All reports will be promptly investigated, with the scope of any such investigation being within the sole discretion of the Compliance Officer, or of the Audit Committee and/or Executive Committee, if designated to investigate a Concern), and appropriate corrective and/or disciplinary action will be taken if warranted by the investigation.
The Compliance Officer, Audit Committee, and/or Executive Committee (if designated to investigate a Concern) will retain on a strictly confidential basis for a period of seven (7) years (or longer if otherwise required by the Club’s record retention policies in effect from time to time) all records relating to any reported Concern and to the investigation and resolution thereof. All such records are confidential to the Club and such records will be considered privileged and confidential.
The Compliance Officer shall make arrangements to distribute a copy of this Whistleblower Policy to all employees, directors, officers, and representatives of the Club and to volunteers who provide substantial services to the Club on an annual basis.
Compliance Officer Contact Information
Chair of the Board of Directors
2100 East Fayette Street
¹ This policy is not intended to and shall not be the primary vehicle for reporting possible violations of the Club’s human resources policies, such as issues related to alleged employment discrimination, sexual or any other form of unlawful harassment, or other problems between or among employees and supervisors. These issues and other human resources issues should be dealt with, in the first instance, in accordance with the Club’s Personnel Policies and Procedures. However, if an employee is not satisfied with the response received to a concern raised through the Club’s Personnel Policies and Procedures, then the employee may elevate the concern to the Compliance Officer pursuant to this Whistleblower Policy.