Whistleblower Policy for Employee Handbook

Whistleblower Policy for Employee Handbook

, and   |  September 6, 2017

If you observe what you believe to be wrongful conduct, you have the right and the duty to report it without fear of retaliation.

Definition of wrongful conduct
Wrongful conduct includes serious improprieties that potentially impact the integrity and effective operation of Your Co-op. Examples of wrongful conduct include, but are not limited to:

  • Violations of federal, state or municipal law
  • Sexual harassment or other forms of unlawful harassment or discrimination
  • Use of co-op resources, funds or property for personal gain
  • Mishandling of co-op resources resulting in serious losses for the co-op
  • Nepotism, i.e. showing favoritism in decisions based on family relationship or friendship
  • Engaging in, or permitting, sale, solicitation or use of narcotics or other illegal drugs, or prescription medication without a prescription, while on the job.
  • Being perceptibly under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while representing the co-op in public

Reporting wrongful conduct:
If you observe something you believe to be wrongful conduct, it is your responsibility to report it to the General Manager or HR Manager.  If the wrongful conduct implicates the HR manager, you should report it to the General Manager. If the wrongful conduct implicates the General Manager, or if you are not satisfied with the response of the General Manager, you may report the issue in writing to the president of the Board of Directors. Your report should outline specific incident(s) with dates and names of individual(s) involved.

Good faith
Acting in good faith means that you have reasonable grounds for believing that what you’ve witnessed, observed or learned indicates wrongful conduct. 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.

No retaliation
No one who in good faith reports wrongful conduct will suffer retaliation. Retaliation is an adverse action (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 either employee or manager, in communicating after an employee has exercised their rights.) Any employee, including the General Manager, who retaliates against you for reporting in good faith suspected wrongful conduct is subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment. If you feel you have been subject to retaliation, please report the specific retaliation in writing to the person you submitted your initial report to for follow-up.


Although we encourage all reports of suspected wrongful conduct to be made willingly and without fear of retaliation, such reports may be made in confidence. Reports of suspected wrongful conduct will be kept confidential, except to the extent necessary to conduct a complete and fair investigation.

Handling of reported wrongful conduct:

The person (General Manager, HR Manager or Board President) to whom you submitted the report of suspected wrongful conduct will acknowledge receipt of your report within five business days. All reports will be promptly investigated and appropriate corrective action will be taken if warranted by the investigation.  You will be informed when the investigation has concluded. However, the extent to which you are informed of the contents of the findings may be subject to the advice of Your Co-op’s legal counsel.


About the Authors

Carolee Colter

Human Resources for Boards &...

[email protected]

Melanie Reid

Human Resources

[email protected]

Sarah Dahl

Human Resources

[email protected]

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